Walking into Seems Like Yesterday, customers are immediately transported into a whimsical land of bits and bobbles that are sure to pique their interest.
Shelves are lined with antiques, from books to toys, and the walls are decorated with a variety of vintage signs and advertisements from bygone eras.
Robert Leonard, the owner of this new antique shop located at at 910 South Main Street, has been a collector of pretty much anything and everything throughout his life. He also admits to a special connection with Cheshire, one that he has never been able to give up.
“Years ago, I used to have my shop, ‘Seems Like Yesterday,’ out of the old garage in the back behind Pop’s Pizza,” Leonard explained. “I sold stuff out there for three years. I sold stuff like pinball machines, all kinds of good stuff that people didn’t want anymore. Everyone has something.”
The garage shop behind the popular Cheshire pizzeria eventually closed and Leonard shifted his business to an online platform during the dawn of the Internet. It turned out to be a business blessing, as he utilized sites like eBay to take his small local brand new heights.
“Now I am known all over Connecticut as the guy to go to for antique and vintage things. I have connections all over the state,” Leonard added. “We really took off online. People want what we have, it's only a matter of connecting them to it.”
Leonard’s mother, Edie, helped him come up with the name “Seems Like Yesterday,” and he’s kept it as a tribute to her.
“She used to help me out with everything, so we kept the name and it stuck,” Leonard said.
When Leonard learned that the property at 910 South Main Street was up for sale, he knew it would be a perfect spot for him to revive his brick-and-mortar business.
“I used to be a bartender down at Cheshire Pub that used to be where C. J. Sparrow (Pub & Eatery) is now,” Leonard explained. “These are my old stomping grounds. I knew I had to come down here.”
Leonard’s shop, which officially opened to customers on June 10, is jam-packed with vintage and antique items, just waiting to be picked up by someone looking for a gift.
“There are tons of places where you can order a gift online or something, but here we are always going to have something different,” Leonard promised. “We are always rotating the collection. We have vendors who sell some of their stuff — in one corner we have old toys, from a collector who just does old toys.”
Leonard also has a few larger, more elaborate furniture items in the back of his store that also come from a variety of vendors from around the state, further highlighting his extensive connections with people in the business.
“I do estate sales and liquidations. I help people out when they’re in a bind, and we get to find some really cool items,” Leonard added.
His store has hundreds of unique vintage items, including old comic books, an antique slot machine, and even an old map of Cheshire from the 1900s.
“Everyone has something that is worth something” Leonard advised. “You just have to know what to look for!”