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VALLEY WEEKEND : One-Stop Antiquing Is a Short Jaunt Away : Westchester Faire mall has over 75 shops and three cafes. It's the place other store owners go for a good deal.

November 02, 1995|GERI COOK | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

There are some spots not too far from the San Fernando Valley that offer such good deals that the trip is well worth it. For antique hunters, the Westchester Faire Antique Mall is certainly one of them.

Once you've been to upscale antique malls and shops, it's time to check out a source where many of those dealers shop. The Westchester Faire Antique Mall has more than 75 shops and three cafes in 30,000 square feet on two floors. There's even easy parking.

This collection is an intriguing mixture of shops, some selling all new merchandise and some specializing in Victorian, French, Art Deco or nouveau furnishings and accessories. There are new sofas in London Bridge, (310) 216-7677, where a seven-foot camelback sofa was tagged at $495, with a smaller version for $295. A few yards away an authentic Eastlake settee for $250 wouldn't even need reupholstering (if you can handle a couple little lumps). Not long ago, I spotted an Eastlake settee at a Pasadena antique shop in about the same condition with an asking price of $450.

Skip Petersen, owner and manager of Westchester Faire, was a pioneer in antique malls, having started this one 17 years ago. Some of those original dealers are still with him, which says a lot. So many of these antique collections open--and then close--in a short period of time.

Shoppers come from all over Southern California to Dawn's Discount Lace, direct European importers of all kinds of laces, ribbons and trim, millinery berries and foliage, French metallic trims, velvet shoes and handmade velvet pansies to name a few. Dawn also offers a series of classes, with the next beginning in January. You can sign up for these by calling Dawn's at (310) 641-3466.

Designer Cargo, (310) 670-9273, has a grand inventory of stunning sterling, pewter and Native-American art at very reasonable prices. A sizable selection of costume watches can be found at Four Seasons Gifts, (310) 216-2745, selling from $9.95 to $24.95; battery replacement is just $3. For fine jewelry we found the quality at Amlani's Gold Mine, (310) 417-3090, to be high and the prices low.

But each time I visit The Westchester Faire I find a new favorite and so will you, I imagine. Just allow plenty of time, because there are over 75 collections to enjoy.

Westchester Faire Antique Mall, 8655 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester, (310) 670-4000; Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m.

Weekend Super Sale: To celebrate a reopening of a children's resale store that once was known as Glad Rags, the new owner has changed the name to bbBoomers and is staging a storewide sale. In addition to the already dynamite prices, with the sale you can deduct anywhere from 10% to 60% more. For instance, some almost new Gymboree outfits are about $12 (generally $28-$32), a baby jogger that retails new at $240 is tagged at $90, a basinet with white eyelet bedding is $59.50, and a two-piece Flapdoodles set is $6.40, instead of the original $32. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. bbBoomers, 13807 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 789-0888.

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