Hall of Fame Vintage is one of the many businesses breathing new life into the old Post Office building in downtown Tacoma, now called Courthouse Square. The shop offers not only an expertly curated selection of mostly vintage sportswear from the 1980s and ‘90s, but also a space for Tacoma’s creative community to showcase its talents.
Dese and her husband Richard, who own the shop, relocated here from the Bay Area, lived in Seattle for about 10 years, and moved to Tacoma three years ago. “We fell in love with Tacoma—there’s a lot of flavor out here,” she laughs.
“I had been selling vintage for a long time,” recalls Dese. “I grew up shopping vintage, going to flea markets with my grandparents.”
“My grandpa was a garbageman and he would pick stuff up in the rich neighborhoods and give us toys, bikes and clothes—I think it’s in my DNA to always be searching for gems,” she said.
Hall of Fame Vintage opened in March 2017, as one of the first shops in the basement of Courthouse Square. “I think I’m a little early in here,” said Dese, “but it’s a beautiful space and there’s a lot of creative energy in here—there’s a lot of artists, SOTA kids…it just felt right.”
In addition to the actual post office, Lift Bridge Coffee, En Rama, and part of Tacoma’s School of the Arts are upstairs. Other businesses have started to fill in the basement level as well, including Outpost Kitchen, Frinj Salon and more.
Beyond clothing, Hall of Fame Vintage also serves as a space for local musicians and visual artists to showcase their talents. “I just love art, and I feel like there’s so much talent here. I want to use my space to support the creatives in our community,” Dese says. “Every couple of months we host a different artist, and we do an opening during Tacoma Art Walk.”
In December, they organized a holiday pop-up market that showcased Courthouse Square’s tenants as well as other artists and small businesses from the area. Another market is scheduled for Sunday, May 6, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This event will feature vintage clothing, art, plants, home decor, an apothecary and a DJ, among other things.
The shop stocks “old-school” cassette tapes by local andnational hip hop artists: “it’s music you can hold, and open, and look at the art, and cherish,” says Dese. She and her husband have also launched a label of their own, Pick Six, and their first release—Tales from the T—will be a compilation of Tacoma rappers. “Tacoma has an amazing sound and I’m really excited about the rappers that are going to be on it.”
Tacoma rapper Seaan Brooks performed an intimate show in their space at the end of March, and up-and-coming producer Keyboard Kid did a set with Perry Porter in December. One of the benefits of hosting shows in the shop is that they are open to audiences of all ages.
The shop gained some high-profile attention when they styled Princess Nokia for her two sold-out Seattle shows earlier this year. At the artist’s request, one of the bookers from the Crocodile in Seattle reached out to Dese to see if she’d be interested; “I just took some pieces that I thought she would like. She looked cute!”
Whether or not vintage clothes are your thing, Hall of Fame Vintage has something for you: “This is your space to use,” says Dese. “I’m here for anything creative. It’s not only about selling clothes it’s just about building community and having a space for people to be creative.”
For more information, visit Hall of Fame Vintage’s Facebook page. The shop is located in the old Post Office building at 1102 A Street, Suite 113 (first floor) in downtown Tacoma.