The Refindery on McCallie

December 27, 2017 in Editorials

The definition of refine: improve by making small changes; improve, perfect, or fine tune. The definition of re-find: to locate, attain, or obtain by search or effort; to locate or recover. The Refindery on McCallie chose a perfect name when they opened in the fall of 2015. The definitions easily describe this unique business, located at 1300 McCallie Ave., (corner of Holtzclaw and McCallie) in the revival area of  Chattanooga’s historic Highland Park. Its purpose is to locate and obtain unique and amazing items and if necessary by making small changes, improve, perfect, or fine tune them so that you and I can use, display, collect and enjoy what we purchase.

Each of the approximately 75 vendors with booths located in over 15,000 square feet of floor space in this unique historic 1910 building work tirelessly to find and fill their booths often. From the owners, Mandi Oakes and Joseph Oliver, and Rick and Carol Ellis, to each creative and serious picker, nothing is more exciting than discovering what is going to come through that door next!

The Refindery’s success comes from their dedicated antique, vintage, home décor booth vendors who are picking, no matter where they travel, bringing in some of the most unusual, unique and beautiful selections, and keeping their booths full and ready for customers.

The owners and their vendors look for everything from mid-century, Retro, Boho, antique and vintage, and that includes a variety of different types of furniture and home décor, accessories and collectibles. You’re going to enjoy hunting through the eclectic mix such as painted and repurposed pieces of furniture, hand built farm tables and shelves, farm and home primitives, and even lovely furniture pieces made with a combination of metal and wood. If you collect barware or any type of glassware, you’ll have lots to choose from here. The Refindery often have restaurant owners shopping for display pieces and designers travel from Nashville and Knoxville and other states to look for special items for projects they’re doing.

While here, you’ll love shopping in one of the largest vintage vinyl record shops located inside of the store. This vendor has over 6,000 albums that covers every era of music, starting in 1950s right on thru late 80s. He has albums with covers, and posters of some pretty amazing performers, including Elvis to Pink Floyd, Prince, and Kiss. If this vendor is available, he’ll be glad to help locate your favorite. Wear comfortable shoes, as you don’t want to miss a booth, for there’s more unique items, such as school house items with world globes, maps, and even science lab glass. Don’t miss the tables and unique items from old whiskey barrels that are taken apart and cleaned throughly, than made into furniture. You’ll find lots of collectibles including motorcycle and man cave items; ladies you’ll love the great vintage clothing booth with fine purses and shoes.

Designers and home builders both travel to shop in the large architectural area of the store. Vendors have been re-organizing so they can bring in even more hardware. They have a huge selection of antique and vintage door knobs in metal and glass. They also have the escutcheon or plates, mortise lock sets, kick plates and drawer and door pulls, to name a few.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and The Refindery’s expansion will include some unique and beautiful handmade gift creations by local artists. You’ll find great items featuring Tennessee or Chattanooga, and maybe even Lookout Mountain memorabilia on them, all handmade by area residents. Mandi and Oliver said customers often ask for Chattanooga and Tennessee memorabilia from this area, and now they’ll be able purchase them at The Refindery. Be sure to check out the new additions in February. The Refindery is open seven days a week, and if Mandi, Oliver, Carol or Rick are not available, you’ll be seeing one or two of their assistants; Aimee and Ken, Mary Ellen, Rebecca or Mary Grace ready to help you.

I overheard a customer telling the owners she was amazed because she came in almost weekly and the store was totally different every time, always full of so many new ‘ole’ things and that was why she came back often. Put The Refindery on your to do list; you’ll enjoy every minute of this great excursion. Be sure to tell them you saw them on the front cover of the January 2018 Busy Bee Trader. Happy New Year!

by Maxine Jones, Ocoee, Tennessee