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New in Orange: The Old, and More

Around Plaza Square, merchants add to antiques. Fresh faces include three galleries and a South American restaurant.

November 12, 1998|BENJAMIN EPSTEIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

There's always something new in Old Towne Orange, now celebrating its 125th year. Antique stores have expanded south of Plaza Square, a.k.a. the Orange Circle; three art galleries and a South American restaurant recently opened to the north.

MORNING 1 2

Look for the life-size peg-legged pirate, Coca-Cola salesman and diner setup at American Heritage, which six months ago expanded from its "little dungeon downstairs," according to salesperson Kezia Marques, to spacious quarters covering three floors. The sign advertises '50s memorabilia and "game room Deco." A giant Bob's Big Boy statue greets you just inside the door, and there are more Big Boys upstairs. Elsewhere you might see Popeye, Spanky and Alfalfa, and Pep Boys Manny, Moe and Jack.

You'll find a selection of vintage Coke machines and gas pumps, a wide variety of old Edison and Victor phonographs (even the kind with the large, flaring bell), a roomful of antique slot machines and two walls of vintage wall phones. Antique bicycles, including one that's 18-karat gold-plated, and an actual racing "funny car" body hang from the ceiling. Owner Ray Minardi described American Heritage as "the ultimate men's toy store," and indeed, all customers on a recent visit were men.

Walk out of that era and into another at Someplace in Time, purveyor of Victorian wares, where all customers were women. The antique mall and gift emporium displays goods from 48 merchants, such as 17th and 18th century bronze military buttons and emblems ($40-$75).

This week, Chloe's Closet--Ladies Clothing and Finery replaced Queen Anne's Lace upstairs. The Dining Parlor and Tearoom serves sandwiches and scones; Lady Vanessa's Tea Balcony accommodates parties of 10 to 25. A paint-your-own-teapot class takes place today (6-9 p.m.).

LUNCH 3

The Golden Maize serves South American cuisine in a 19th century setting featuring dark woods and corn-pattern wallpaper with a trim of corn and other harvest vegetables that's homey and elegant. Note the bottles of Dom Perignon and Far Niente on display.

Appetizers include corn cakes, cheese-stuffed ground white hominy and Colombian hominy turnovers. Corn kernels are sprinkled atop the green salad. Corn chowder is a specialty. Entrees include corn-crusted Chilean sea bass with corn ragu; even the Ecuadorean seafood bisque uses corn. Nevertheless, today's soup du jour, plantain, and most entrees--such as Colombian-style paella--arrive corn-free. Light eaters might consider the soup-and-half-sandwich combo.

AFTERNOON 4 5 6

Here's another fine combo: You can find murder mysteries and Southwestern art, and maybe even satisfy your advertising needs, under one roof at the Gallery on Glassell and Murder in the Gallery. The just-opened hybrid currently features whimsical painted furniture by Pedro Chavez, but according to a salesperson it's the books that draw people in. A back office will house the gallery owners' ad agency.

Schroeder Studio Gallery opened in April. Owner Judy Schroeder shows her own paintings Saturday through Jan. 3 along with work of several glass artists: John Barber (handblown ornate hanging vases, colorful stemware and ornaments), Jude Taylor Darlin (etched glass), Carolyne Okeyo (engraved glass) and Sherry Salito Forsen (fused glass masks).

Old Towne Art Gallery owner John Rusk also serves as local director of sales for a hotel chain, so gallery hours are limited. A contemporary artist himself, Rusk displays his creations alongside those of others, including Moscow-born Olga Petrov, who makes soft doll sculptures.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

1) American Heritage

110 S. Glassell St., (714) 289-2241.

10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

2) Someplace in Time

132 S. Glassell St., (714) 538-9411.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. (Chloe's Closet: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.)

3) The Golden Maize

264 N. Glassell St., (714) 532-5955.

11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Monday.

4) The Gallery on Glassell

115 N. Glassell St., (714) 744-9844.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

5) Schroeder Studio Gallery

112 E. Maple Ave., (714) 633-0653.

Noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.

6) Old Towne Art Gallery

479 N. Glassell St., (714) 288-1304.

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Buses: OCTA Bus Nos. 53, 54, 59 and 69 service the Orange train station and Park-and-Ride lot.

Parking: Free street and city-lot parking.

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