Featured image: From left to right, Jordan Schlenker’s son Elias, Schlenker and Danny Teran. Photo by Cristin Noonan for Bushwick Daily.
When the owner of Duran Travel Agency decided to end her lease and retire, Danny Teran, the owner of local grilled cheese shop The Wheelhouse and Wheelhouse general manager Jordan Schlenker were presented with an opportunity to breathe new life into the space over at 167 Wilson Avenue, which they have done, turning it into a painstakingly curated second hand shop which they’ve christened Alberto & Sons.
Teran and Schlenker tell Bushwick Daily that were delighted to secure a space adjacent to their sandwich shop. They are hoping customers who are drawn to The Wheelhouse will poke their heads into Alberto & Sons, and vice versa, transforming the stretch Wilson Avenue between Hart Street and Dekalb Avenue into a destination.
“There are a dozen thrift stores in the area, [but] most are clothing,” says Schlenker. Alberto’s has some clothing for sale, but in general the offerings are eclectic. From a kerosene-powered bike light to a drum set fabricated in the 1960s to a fur coat, every corner of Alberto’s presents a new artifact, implement or thingamajig.
Both proprietors have a lifelong passion for digging up interesting things. Teran grew up attending scouring garage and estate sales with his father, Alberto; the shop’s name is a nod their family’s long held tradition of fathers collecting with their sons. Schlenker, who grew up in the country, has always been fascinated by holdover objects from the past and the long, sometimes dark stories behind their physical state.
Suggesting that “planned obsolescence” has driven the way products are made today, Schlenker explains that a deep regard for craftsmanship and well-made objects is at the core of the Alberto & Sons business model. “If you look around, everything you see has been made with quality materials,” he told a visitor to the shop on Wednesday afternoon.
Nearly everything on display in the store (besides shelving) is available for purchase, though some things are dearer than others: the owners would be hard pressed to put a price on a model biplane that hangs from the ceiling, which was the inspiration for the Alberto & Sons logo.
To source fresh merchandise, Teran and Schlenker head to Long Island and New Jersey together on weekends to sift through estate and garage sales. The shelves of Alberto’s are typically stocked with their finds on Tuesdays.
Some of their most recent scores include a bevy of items from the estate sale of a couple who had accumulated nearly a half century’s worth of Coca-Cola brand collectibles.
The shop’s prices aren’t tag sale low, but Teran characterizes their pricing as lower than rates elsewhere on the second hand market. The range of prices is wide and includes drinking glasses, which start at $1, to an incredibly beautiful and rare lamp that costs $200. Among the standouts that are both lovely and affordable is a sturdy woven picnic basket big enough for a feast, priced at $20.
Teran and Schlenker are committed to going the extra mile to share their passion with the greater Bushwick community. One sweet example of this commitment is a pool table, proportioned for kids, which the two are holding at the shop. It has been sold to a single mother who was displaced with her family following the fire on Dekalb last Spring. As her and her family await a permanent situation, Alberto & Sons are keeping their future toy safe. “We want to find the right place for things,” says Jordan. “And sometimes you run into people who really deserve it.”
The owners over at Alberto & Sons are eager to show their neighborhood that they understand how it feels to stumble across something that feels like it orbited into your life seemingly by fate. Stop by today and see if they have something that speaks to you!
Alberto & Sons
A shop selling antiques, furniture, collectibles, props, jewelry, clothing, art & decor brought to you by the owners of the adjacent Wheelhouse sandwich shop.
167 Wilson Avenue between Hart Street and DeKalb Avenue, off of the Central Avenue station and the Knickerbocker Avenue station on the M train in Bushwick.
Website coming soon at albertoandsonsbk.com.
Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon until 9 p.m.
+1 999 199-99-99
Follow Alberto & Sons on Instagram.