Riverwest Resale Shop reopens with great gusto

The Riverwest Resale Shop reopened in early November, and since then, according to employee Tyler Hanson, "It's been off-the-hook crazy."

Tyler's brother, Trent Hanson, took over managing the bizarre boutique after it shut down for several months earlier this year.

Thanks to an arrangement with Eagle Movers, Hanson receives 8-9,000 lbs. of merchandise every week, and consequently, his selling philosophy is, "I just want to get it the f--- out of here."

Hanson, who once worked as a hotline operator, feels his shop is a place to find "weird and cool" stuff but also an important service to the community, providing furniture, clothing and appliances to low-income people at low or no cost. (Check out the "free boxes" on your way in.)

Located above Onopa Brew Pub, the sprawling warehouse space is loaded with gems, from groovy lamps to Christmas goodies you haven't seen since grandma's. There's also a myriad of random oddities, like a ceramic cowboy boot vase, potato baker, toy toilet, black panther statue and an unopened tabletop bowling game, just to name a few.

Hanson admits that his knowledge of antiques is limited, and a number of "Roadshow" types have been quick to point out when an item is underpriced, but his goal is to keep stuff moving.

"I'm not going to bicker about prices. If something's not selling for $10, I'll sell it to you for one dollar," says Hanson, who is also a writer for the Orbit newspaper and a member of the synth dance band, Master Zaster Blaster, and the Horn Band, a 10-piece big band also featuring filmmakers Chris Smith and Sarah Price.

With his quirks, connections and convictions, Trent Hanson seems like the ideal person to breath new life into one of Milwaukee's most unpredictable and unique places to shop.

"People really need this stuff," he says, sifting through a stack of used CDs that just came in. "And I'm not here to gauge anyone for a dollar... Hey, look at this picture of Barry White."

The Riverwest Resale Shop, 731 E. Center St., is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays 12-4 p.m.

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