A VISIT TO: The Bomb Shelter

the bomb shelter akron vintage shop

Living in the rust belt these days means experiencing a lot of community revitilization, and also a surge of reclaimed industrial items that pay homage to our area’s past. Akron and Cleveland have historically been Ohio’s hub for industry, including large manufacturing plants that supplied the whole world with rubber and steal. Akron’s known as The Rubber City, and while they’re still hanging onto Goodyear and Firestone, a lot of businesses have gone by the wayside, leaving us with the industrial fallout that has recently influenced a decorating trend.

I’m happy that Northeast Ohio’s economy is springing back, and I’m so into the industrial decor trend that’s swept through after the manufacturing crisis. Marque signs, moving carts, neon lights, and steel cabinets combine perfectly with the patina and prettiness of vintage furniture and accessories. So, of course it’s amazing to find all of these things under one roof! We have such a place here locally, in the heart of Akron, Ohio, called The Bomb Shelter.

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Located just off of Route 8 near The University of Akron sits what I think is Akron, Ohio’s best vintage store- The Bomb Shelter. It’s a large warehouse packed to the brim with an eclectic range of mid century vintage, mantiques, collectibles, reclaimed industrial pieces, marque signs, and well, basically anything you’ve ever wanted to find but never knew where to look. I dare you not to find a treasure inside! But if you do go to visit, be sure to budget a lot of time! It’s easy to get lost in nostalgia, or to just plain get lost while browsing at The Bomb Shelter.

The great thing about vintage shopping in Northeast Ohio is the affordable price point. Visitors from out of town are always surprised, and usually wish they had brought a moving truck! At The Bomb Shelter, you can find marquee letters anywhere from five dollars to one hundred, depending on how massive of a letter you’re looking for. Furniture prices range depending on an item’s collectible value (a mint condition arco lamp was priced at around four hundred dollars), but I spied a yellow mid century patio sofa for only one hundred bucks. Now I’m just deciding which of my recent finds needs to come home with me to be my forever friend.

A Visit To” is a continuing series featuring Mandi’s favorite local haunts in Northeast Ohio.

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56 Responses

  1. jeny says:

    I honestly couldn’t even read this post…my eyes were green with jealously. I live in the worst part of the country for vintage shopping and just from these pictures I see about 18 things I would buy….the torture!!!

  2. Cheryl says:

    I read about that place in an issue of Cleveland Magazine that came out a month or so ago. I’ve been wanting to check it out, it looks awesome!

    • Mandi says:

      Oh, I had no idea they were featured! My friend Allie Smith (I think you work with her?!) told me about it last year, and my mind was blown. I think it’s become a lot more popular since then, so I figured I could share my “secret” place. haha

  3. Sunnie says:


    Thanks so much for this tip!! I have to take my daughter to Akron Children’s for a checkup on her healing broken arm and I’m TOTALLY stopping here afterward!

  4. Suzy8track says:

    Love the name The Bomb Shelter…cool stuff too!

  5. Bethany says:

    oh my word. i barely made it through your first paragraph before googling how long a road trip would take from Nashville. I would loove to fill up a moving truck with all my findings.

  6. Bekuh says:

    Ooooh, the next time I’m visiting family in OH I’ll be sure to check this place out. I’m loving the industrial look too these days.

  7. Jenna says:

    Ooh. Maybe I’ll have to check this place out. It looks like the kind of place I’d love to visit.

  8. charity says:

    such a well curated shop! thanks for sharing this, feeling inspired now. :)


  9. Kaitlyn says:

    That looks amazing! I wish we had something like that here!

  10. La says:

    I want to go to there. Flip!

  11. Becky Bedbug says:

    What an amazing place! I don’t know what that Pepsi thing is but I want it!


  12. Meredith says:

    Awesome!!! Hubby & I will have to stop on our way to our in-laws, fine & fellow Ohio residents.

  13. Zero Style says:

    Wow! Looks amazing. I’ll have to make a trip down there next time I visit the Medina Antique Mall!

    • Mandi says:

      If you do, you should probably make time to grab dinner and drinks at The Lockview! It’s Akron’s answer to Melt. Sort of. Maybe you shouldn’t compare them, but they have grilled cheeses, soooo…. ;) (Have you been there?)

  14. What an amazing place! I wish I lived there now… but this just makes me want to do more research in my area to see what we have here.

  15. Christina says:

    Those letters KILL me!! I would love some for my new loft space.

    Some of my boyfriend’s family lives out in Willoughby, maybe we’ll have to detour the next time we go visit!

  16. Chloe Moon says:

    I think I’m living in the wrong part of the country…I live in New York but in my whole county there is no such store like this! Wow, I could happily go broke in this place and be completely content with it! I might have to take a trip to Ohio…. =)

  17. Katie says:

    I <3 Akron! I can't wait to check this place out next time we're go to the (fabulous) Akron Art Museum! What an awesome feature too, I love it when people celebrate all that NEO has to offer!!!!!It's refreshing, I'm excited to read more! Thank you!

    Next time you visit CLE, you MUST check out Lorain Furniture (4617 Lorain, CLE)! It's fantastic. And (I'm sure you've been there before, but in case not) Reincarnation (7810 Lorain, CLE) and there's a new vintage furniture gallery on Detroit Rd just past W.65th (very near where Weapons of Mass Creation Fest was last year) that is also very awesome. AND, of course, Sweet Lorain!

  18. cayce says:

    oh my! i wouldn’t even know what to do with myself in a place like this! legit antique stores and vintage items are scarce in my little tennessee town! goodwill is about as good as it gets for us! i could spend days in this shop!!!

  19. angee maree says:

    how have i lived in akron my entire life and never heard of this place…

  20. Damon says:

    Hey there Mandi…Thanks for your awesome post and pics of my store….so glad you enjoy it. It’s getting bigger and better every day…thanks for sharing your secret!!

    • Laura says:

      This is amazing!!!!! I’m from the UK and we have nothing like this over here. I need to plan a visit!! I wonder whether they ship to the UK??????

  21. Katy says:

    Looks like I now know how I will be spending my spring break… Thanks for sharing!

  22. Arica says:

    Sweet blog!!
    We love the Bomb Shelter!


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