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CROWN POINT — There are lots of hidden treasures packed in the new Crown Antique Mall.

“This is not your typical antique store. Anything from retro, vintage and modern day — you can find it here,” said Crown Antique owner Mark Kratkoczki, a former Old Town Square Antique Mall vendor.

Kratkoczki has found a marketplace for 70 vendors inside the 10,300-square-foot building, at 545 E. 110th Ave. in the Crown East Business Park, just off the 109th Avenue exit from Interstate 65.

Some vendors are new to the local antique community, but many of them come from the historic Old Town Square Antique Mall, which closed its downtown Crown Point store May 31.

In previous a Crown Point City Council meeting, Kratkoczki told the council he secured the new warehouse building the day before the downtown mall closed and immediately began moving vendors into the location. If he didn’t act quickly, he said his friends would have had nowhere to go.

“I was trying to find something big enough to hold all of us and that was my only option,” Kratkoczki said. “Everyone had to take their stuff out and they had nowhere to take it. … It’s all new to me. I jumped in and just wanted to give these people somewhere to go.

“I had more than 50 people counting on me and who trusted enough in me to follow me into this new adventure.”

Sandy Guerrero said she came out of retirement to be a part of the Crown Point antique mall because it gave her a chance to be creative as a vendor — something she hasn’t had the freedom to do at this level.

Guerrero previously worked as a vendor at the historic Old Town Square Antique Mall.

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“This place gave me life. Mark said, ‘This is your space. The sky is the limit. Be creative and be yourself,’” Guerrero said. “A lot of other places aren’t like that. This is very personal … vendors here share a passion.”

Since its grand opening July 6, Kratkoczki said business has been steady.  

Vintage toys and Little Golden Books, antique advertisement signs and retro vinyl records seem to be the hot sellers at the moment, he said.

“Anything odd and unusual that you won’t find in traditional retail stores usually go quick. There is some good stuff around,” Kratkoczki said while walking up and down the aisles of the mall, pointing to some stand-out booth spaces and items on display for shoppers.

“All of this has history. Every piece people are selling is part of history and tells a story. All these pieces.”

Kratkoczki said it’s “never the same ol' stuff on display.” Vendors move items around and add to their booths from week to week to keep collectors coming.

All items throughout the mall are individually priced and labeled for sale. Even though vendors are not always at the mall to man their booths, there are usually three to four employees working per shift to help assist customers during business hours.

The Crown Antique Mall is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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Allie covers South Lake County municipal government, development and breaking news for The Times. She comes to the Region from Lebanon, Indiana. She is a proud Ball State University graduate.