By Shayna Mace | Photography by Shann Wolf
Items from a bygone era spark curiosity, nostalgia and many times, a fuzzy feeling for the good-old days. Record albums, rotary phones and vintage concert T-shirts can all be fun finds and spark a “remember when …” conversation with family and friends. That’s why stepping into Atomic Antiques, a 25,000-square-foot showroom that opened in August 2022, is so special. Carrying items from the 1890s up to the 1970s, owners Bob and Jennifer Richardson take pride in their wares. The showroom hosts 110 dealers from the Midwest, and the Richardsons have exacting standards on what dealers can carry. Beanie Babies from the ’90s? Not a chance. But vintage cowboy boots, charming kitchen wares and pieces oozing with Madison history? Absolutely.
Jennifer has always had a passion for antiques. Since 2006, she had four booths in Odana Antiques Mall (which closed in fall 2022). Seeking an opportunity to open their own business, the Richardsons decided to take the plunge and buy their current building, retrofit it and open their own antiques business on a larger scale. And they’re loving it — and customers do too.
“My favorite part here is the customers. I like it when they walk around and see things they maybe haven’t seen before — like when a kid sees a typewriter,” explains Bob. “And I always say, the coolest thing you see [here] is the coolest until the nextwalks in — it’s always changing.”
4546 Verona Rd., atomicofmadison.com