The Violent Femmes play on the stereo inside Cowtown Guitars/Exile on Main Street (1235 S. Main St., 702-866-2600), where the showroom is loaded with amps and vintage guitars, music supplies and quippy T-shirts. Sunbeams land on a mannequin through the storefront windows and light up its turquoise jumpsuit. A woman passes by on Main Street toting an Antique Alley map printed by the guys at Retro Vegas (1131 S. Main St., 702-384-2700), a place stocked with mid-mod living room and dinette sets, cocktail furniture, consoles, Danish tables and plenty of teak.
Among the 24 or so businesses that make up Antique Alley, Retro is possibly the most visible, with its bright pink exterior and floor-to-ceiling windows teasing the collection inside. It’s easy to knock out a few hours exploring this cluster of shops—ranging from high-end vintage boutiques to low-end knick-knackery—extending all the way to Garces Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. Highlights include longstanding mod antiquery the Funk House (1228 S. Casino Center Blvd., 702-678-6278), savior of old air-raid sirens and gumball machines Rick’s Restorations (800 W. Mesquite Ave., 702-366-7030) and retro-collectible emporium Sin City Pickers (10 Wyoming Ave., 702-366-9166).
At Patina Decor (1300 S. Main St. #140, 702-776-6222), collectors meander the eclectic mixture of high-end furniture and women’s vintage couture, stopping to assess art on the wall, which like the rest of the store, falls somewhere between French provincial, Art Deco and mid-century modern. But across the street at Vintage Vegas (1229 S. Main St., 702-539-0799) a guy really wants a black velvet Elvis painting and asks where he could find one, while another customer flips through Riviera memorabilia and roams through vintage electronics. Chances are, he’ll find that velvet Elvis somewhere along the way.