SCHUYLER — A year and a-half after Gold Mine Restaurant closed, the building is reopening as Gold Mine Antiques, which will also carry Wemhoff Wrelics, furniture made from repurposed materials.
Gold Mine owner John Sayer has collected antiques for 30 years, with an emphasis on signs.
“Point to any kind of sign and he can give you a pretty darn close retail price,” said Wemhoff Wrelics owner Mark Wemhoff.
Wemhoff, who teaches construction classes at Schuyler Central High School, became interested in repurposed furniture after he remodeled his own house to look more rustic.
“I started building furniture out of old barn wood and using old ceiling tin,” he said. “Anything I can find that had an old, rustic look or kind of beat-up look.”
Sayer suggested Wemhoff sell his furniture at flea markets, so he built some more items and sold them in Brownville. That went well, so he spent about a year going to flea markets and craft boutiques selling his wares.
But it wasn’t easy.
“The hard part with my stuff is that it's big and trying to move it all the time, it’s laborious,” Wemhoff said. “You’re fighting the elements, taking a chance on those flea markets.”
Sayer still owned the Gold Mine building at 721 W. 16th St. in Schuyler and wanted to do something with it.
“It’s such a nice building, nice corner lot. It’s a secure building. We have security, we have cameras, it comes with everything,” said Sayer. “I've never had buyer's remorse. I like the place.”
The men decided to combine their interests under one roof and open an antique shop where Wemhoff could also sell his furniture.
In the center of what used to be the dining area, Wemhoff is displaying hall trees, trunks and tables made from barn wood, ceiling tin and corrugated tin.
He also has Christmas trees made from corrugated tin and barn wood he’ll sell later this year.
Sayer has been stocking up on antiques, particularly signs, some of which are from Schuyler. A giant Bryan’s Rexall sign from the former downtown drug store (which is not for sale) hangs over display cabinets filled with bric-a-brac.
“There's a lot of stuff that we're hoping (customers) want to display in their houses,” said Sayer. “And there's a lot of man cave stuff here.”
The restaurant equipment was sold after the closing, but Gold Mine patrons will recognize one area — the bar.
“We're going to do root beer and cream soda on tap and popcorn,” said Sayer. “You can come in, you can sit at the bar, have a root beer, popcorn, and we'll probably have candy bars or whatever, and shop.”
Customers will get free pours for the first two hours of the grand opening set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
After what happened to Sayer during Gold Mine Restaurant's opening, he’s not nervous this time.
“First day of opening Gold Mine Restaurant, the grill broke down,” he said. “So it can't be worse than that. There's no way.”
Regular hours for the business haven't been set, but the antique store will also be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 27 and noon to 5 p.m. May 28-29 for Memorial Day weekend.