History of Archie McPhee

On the occasion of our new location in Wallingford, we thought we’d look back at some of our previous stores.

Archie McPhee's Original Location in the Mid-80s

In 1983 we opened our first  location on upper Fremont Ave next to the Pink ‘N Pretty Beauty Salon in Fremont/Wallingford. This was a store with folding tables and open cardboard boxes full of awesome stuff laid out randomly. As you can see from the signs in the window, our marketing plan could use a little work.

Old Archie McPhee Photo

This second Fremont location on Stone Way is where most people discovered us. This rickety building was crammed full of stuff which we stacked on shelves made of recycled coffin wood. Don’t ask where we got the wood. Even the light switch was a work of art. It was, however, freezing in the winter and oven hot in the summer.

Front of Ballard Location

Then in 1999 we moved to a larger, more modern building in Ballard. Originally a Food Giant supermarket and then a boat shop, the interior had several large garage doors that we covered with stuff to make it look more like home. In 2004 we added More Archie McPhee to accommodate larger items and give us space to grow.

Front of Wallingford Location

When we were no longer able to stay in our Ballard location we searched furiously for a suitable replacement. Thankfully we found it. Our new Wallingford location puts us in the middle of a busy urban area that seems to be a perfect fit for our particular sensibility. And our first customer, Nate, proved that people are still willing to buy things even though we’re in Wallingford. Excelsior!

Side of New Wallingford Location

You can see more of our new store and our history on Flickr.


  1. Posted June 2, 2009 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    The new store looks stunning… a dream come true! XD

  2. Posted July 28, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The new store looks awesome and really looks like in sync with the products you sell. Great work guys.

4 Trackbacks

  1. By Archie McPhee Moves To Wallingford on June 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    [...] a new store in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. Here are some photos of the new store and a history of Archie McPhee locations since they opened in [...]

  2. [...] New location for Archee McPhee. [...]

  3. By Speckklage « Fancy Notions on July 13, 2009 at 8:20 am

    [...] Listen, Archie McPhee. I know you think you’re really clever with your April Fool’s catalog listings, but you [...]

  4. By Plastic Junk Saves | duckbackslide on May 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

    [...] tasks took hold. I brought a hot glue gun and various plastic figurines from the local stuff shop, Archie McPhee’s. I highly recommend at least getting a photo booth there. They recently moved, near my old theatre [...]