I'm not normally keen on antiques, but my friend and fellow VTer Lee Mitchell grooves on them a little bit. He was looking for some specific things for his new townhouse.
ANTIQUE VILLAGE is a warehouse along Route 301 between Mechanicsville and Hanover Courthouse under which as many as 50 antique and collectibles under one roof. I remember being taken here during my childhood being warned to "look with my eyes". I have been back a few times since then. It's open 6 days a week. Oddly, its off day is Wednesday.
Address: 10203 Chamberlayne Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23116
Telephone Number: (804) 746-8914
MECHANICSVILLE FLEA DEPOT
In the old Safeway slot at Mechanicsville Shopping Centre is a flea market. Dozens of vendors pay rent for the right to sell their wares under this gigantic roof. They offer everything from tiny collectibles to large pieces of furniture. Lee found a small table on which to place a lamp on his stairwell for a reasonable $10. To some, the things offered here may appear to be junk, but one man's rubbish is another's treasure.
Address: 7508 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Telephone Number: (804) 559-9100
General Area/Directions: at Mechanicsville Shopping Centre. Directions in that tip.
Cattywampus from the Mechanicsville Shopping Centre is another antique store. This one, in the old Producers and Southern States (feed store) building, offers slightly more upmarket than across the street.
Address: 8034 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Telephone Number: (804) 746-7337
General Area/Directions: at the intersection of Atlee Road and the Mechanicsville Turnpike bypass.
Hanover Village Shopping Centre is a small strip mall at the corner of Mechanicsville Turnpike and Lee-Davis Road.
What to buy: Anchoring Hanover Village are Tractor Supply Company and Rite Aid Drug store. You can also buy or enjoy sporting goods, hair or nail styling, arts and crafts, an Italian restaurant, auto parts, a credit union, and a crafts store called Tuesday Morning opened up most recently.
Mechanicsville Shopping Centre is a small but significant shopping centre in downtown Mechanicsville. The strip mall is anchored by the Mechanicsville Flea Depot and a Dollar General store. Among the other tenants are Westbury Pharmacy which still has a lunch counter, a dance studio, a fish and tackle shop, and an Irish pub. In the spring, summer, and early autumn, there is a seasonal snow cone stand in the parking lot. If they wanted to keep busy the year round, they might better sell cider and hot chocolate during the autumn and winter. This shopping centre has been here for a long time, but it has adapted well to the changes. Unlike many older shopping centres in the area, this one is fully occupied as of May, 2008. When I was a child through to my early 20s, a Safeway grocery store was in the place closest to Mechanicsville Turnpike where the flea market is today.
Local farmers have their produce sold fresh here in the spring, summer, and the first half of autumn. All manner of locally grown fruit and vegetable can be found, together with jams, jellies, and vegetable-based condiment. The tomatoes can't be any fresher and the corn can't be any sweeter. This is one vestige of Mechanicsville's rural heritage that hasn't been drowned in a sea of concrete and cement.
What to buy: My favourite thing to get here is Hanover tomatoes, as well as Vidalia-style onions, and locally grown corn and melons.
For those of y'all who come to see me and stay a long time, that's the place where you go to mail your postcards and whatnots to the folks back home. I know the whole staff personally. They'll bend over backwards to help you out.
What to buy: Aside from packaging, they sell stamps, paper, and office supplies.
What to pay: You'll pay a little more than at the post office, but the service you get is much better than the little bit extra you pay.
Creighton Crossing Shopping Centre is a small strip mall located at the intersection of Mechanicsville Turnpike (Route 360 East) and Creighton Road. It is anchored by Kroger Supermarkets, but other tenants include Family Fitness Centre, the U.P.S. Store, Great Clips, Riverbound Cafe, and several other stores and services.
Anchored by Ukrop's Supermarket on one end and Kohl's Department Store and Dollar Tree on the other, Hanover Square is conveniently located between Mechanicsville Turnpike and Cold Harbor Road. Other stores and restaurants include Mrs. Wong's Chinese Restaurant and Buffet, Play It Again Sports, General Nutrition Center, Gus' Italian Cafe, Kay Bee Toys, Radio Shack, Payless Shoes and others.
The Shoppes at Bell Creek is a relatively newly-constructed strip mall in the area (as if we needed another one). It does have a few good spots like Food Lion, Mimmo's (Italian) Restaurant, Coffee Lane Cafe, Subway, Movie Gallery, and a few other places.
What to buy: When I go here, it is usually to Food Lion which sometimes has more of a selection than the one closer to me at Brandy Hill Plaza. Sometimes, however, I'll go into the coffee shop and see what they have.
What to pay: Everything here is relatively moderate in price.
Mechanicsville needs another strip mall / shopping centre about like the human body needs a third armpit. Having said that, it does come in handy to have a PetsMart nearby with a new puppy. Hanover Square just opened and there will be more than just Target, PetsMart, and Dress Barn.
What to buy: With Target in the mix, you can find just about everything here, but if you are tired of your pet using you as a chew toy, you can go to the PetsMart and bring him or her back some whatnots. A Panera bakery has also opened.
Atlee Square is a small strip mall conveniently located near the intersection of Atlee Road and Route 301 (Chamberlayne Avenue). Anchoring the shopping centre are Food Lion and Eckerd. There is also Brunetti's, a local branch of the library, and an internet cafe.
What to buy: You can buy groceries, pharmaceuticals, toiletries, and dine on American or Italian food.
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Capstone is a Christian book and gift store at Hanover Square on Bell Creek Road in Mechanicsville. Besides the religious nature of the merchandise, the staff is very friendly and helpful. I went in there the first time not having a good idea what to get my best friend for Christmas. Helping customers is to be expected in any store, but they way the owner did it and by pointing out discounts, that is more than I would get at Barnes & Noble, for example.
What to buy: I got my best friend gipper84 a Christian calendar for Christmas. However, they also sell mainly bibles, books, and videos.
What to pay: Everything here goes for a reasonable price.
Bowles Farm Plaza is a new shopping centre east of downtown Mechanicsville. Its main tenants include a tanning salon, a matress store, an Asian grocery, a beauty shop, and several restaurants. There is room for more as the slots are not all filled.
Brandy Hill is a shopping centre at the corner of Rt. 360 and Rt. 643 (Lee-Davis Road). Anchoring the shopping centre are International Buffer and pharmacy and Food Lion (a grocery store). In between is Clock Tower Pub and a number of other shops.
What to buy: Pharmaceuticals, toiletries, office supplies, food and drink, tobacco products, groceries, and sport collectibles.
What to pay: This is Mechanicsville, VA, not the luxurious West End (of Richmond).
The Antique Mall is by far one of my most favorite places to go in Mechanicsville. I love antiques! I collect political pins, and military memorobila. The Antique Mall has a really nice little staff, who are willing to work with you and help you find just about anything they have in the store. The store has a wide variety of antiques ranging from furniture, to records, to just about anything your heart could desire. Once you get in there plan on spending at least an hour, mayber longer, just observing all the neat antiques in the mall. You will find a rich history of antiques ranging from all decades, and all imaginable things. This is a good place to make a day trip, and to pick up souveneirs for friends back home. Don't miss out on this great experience if you happen to stop in Mechanicsville.
What to pay: There is no real price range. You will find things from a couple of dollars, to even a few hundred dollars. It all depends of the item in which you are purchasing
Mechanicsville Drug Store is appropriately enough a Good Neighbour Pharmacy. They don't only sell medicine, they sell office equipment, some toys, and they even have an old-style lunch counter.
What to buy: I stock my travel bag from here with things like toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc.