BY JACLYN ROSE –
Around 25 years ago, Jerri McCoy and her husband found Mena while on vacation. Residents of Galveston, Texas, they had heard of the Talimena Scenic Drive and the lodge at Queen Wilhelmina State Park and drove up through Oklahoma. “The next morning we drove to Mena and loved the town; the size, the people, and the scenic beauty. We knew this would be a great place to live, but we had to wait until we could retire to move to a small, slower paced town. We went back to Galveston and kept Mena on our short list. We knew we wanted to retire in Arkansas but many towns came and went on our list, but Mena stayed on it,” explained McCoy.
McCoy had always dabbled in antiques, as a collector, and then by renting co-op space in different stores. She knew after she retired from her job as an Adult Probation Officer, that she wanted to open an antique store. As retirement grew closer, she and her husband began looking at commercial properties in Arkansas and found their ideal space. McCoy purchased the building in 2008 and began a complete remodel of the outside and inside of the building. The building was originally built in 1911 as the Planter’s Bank, until it was purchased by Leroy Thomas of Thomas Jewelry, in the 1960’s. McCoy has now opened Old Bank Antiques located at 812 Mena Street. Originally opened in December of 2014, McCoy had to be flexible with her hours due to the extensive outside remodel, but is now thrilled to have the ability to open on a completely consistent basis and meet the needs of her customers.
Old Bank Antiques has something for everyone, at any price point, with a strong lean toward decorative antiques, and McCoy has done a wonderful job of utilizing her 1,500 square-foot showroom. “I really try to have something for everyone with a wide range of budget and price. We have a lot of glassware, pottery, lighting fixtures and antique kitchenware. We also have a good display of vintage jewelry for all ages, from Victorian cameos to the rhinestones of the 1960’s,” said McCoy.
“We love two things about Mena: the town, the size, and that we still have a strong and viable downtown. There are wonderful secondary markets, like my antique store, but there is also a home and auto and a downtown department store and a furniture store, those stores that have been there for many years and allow for a lot of commerce to be done downtown. But we also love the countryside and the views of the mountains. All of our neighbors downtown have been so friendly; Remax, Coast to Coast, Stewman’s Flowers, they are all so supportive and friendly and could not be better to us. They send their customers to us and are so kind and we appreciate them so much. We’ve found the whole town is like that and we haven’t had a bad experience here yet,” said McCoy with a smile. You can reach Old Bank Antiques by calling 479.385.5067.