With a large following on Instagram, Toll Gate Revival’s carefully selected pieces attracted visitors to the open houses by the hundreds, and Hunter felt he should open a full-time location. Now, two years after opening his North Side studio, Toll Gate Revival opened in Lower Lawrenceville on October 15th.
“This isn’t a traditional antique shop by any means,” says Hunter who refers to his products as American Vintage. The rustic space feels like a cross between a hunting lodge and industrial loft, thoughtfully decorated with pieces that Hunter has found on his various picking expeditions across the state. The only piece in the store he won’t part with is one of his favorite picks—a large, worn black leather Chesterfield sofa in the middle of the store. “That’s my baby,” Hunter says.
Visitors won’t have a problem finding something else that catches their eye. From taxidermied moose heads to antique metal signs, Hunter’s eye for the unique and timeless is evidenced in his inventory, and in the minimal restoration that gives pieces new life while preserving their history.
Antique farming tools and aging globes grace old coffee tables. A large industrial metal locker basket in the corner that looks like it came straight off an interior design blog was an unappealing peach color when he came across it. “I wire brushed it down to the metal,” Hunter says.
The store also offers interior design services. “We work with a lot of designers, shops and retail spaces to help find them pieces to create an eclectic decor. If someone’s looking for a particular piece, we can hunt it down or design an entire space for you,” Hunter says.
Hunter enlists the help of local crafter John Malecki to build one-of-a-kind items out of reclaimed materials found on picking trips, including barn wood tables, shelves and consoles.
“You can expect that every time you come in here you’ll find something different,” Hunter says. “My inventory is always changing; there’s a lot of turnover when I’m out picking.”