Federal Restorations and Protean Records Team Up for Showroom at Former Gaines McHale

| June 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

IMG_8213Federal Restorations will be relocating from 912 S. Charles St. to the former Gaines McHale at 838 Leadenhall St. in Otterbein and teaming up with Protean Records. The 32,000 sq. ft. space was formerly an antique store that went out of business approximately seven years ago. The space is adjacent to a Shofer’s Furniture warehouse.

Federal Restorations and Protean Records will each have their own first floor showroom of about 4,000 sq. ft. Federal Restorations will display and sell restored furniture and antiques by owner David Reiff and Protean will have a large new collection of gently-used books, as well as many records, CDs, DVDs, collectibles, and “all kinds of weird stuff” according to owner Matthew Benicewicz. “We’re going to be one of the biggest book stores in the city,” said Benicewicz.

Protean Records will also keep its retail location at 925 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. Protean’s business has been growing since it first opened three years ago with a significant portion of its business coming from selling collectibles online. Protean was built out of Benicewicz’s passion for records and books.

“I’m always buying stuff,” said Benicewicz, a regular at at area yard sales, estate sales, storage clean outs, and flea markets.

Protean also fields calls from people looking to sell stuff and Benicewicz is always looking to hear from those in the area who have a large collection of records. “I know there are thousands of records out there just sitting in people’s houses,” said Benicewicz. “We encourage everyone with a collection to bring them in.”

Reiff has been in the antique business for 53 years and opened Federal Restorations six years ago. Along with his 4,000 sq. ft. showroom, Reiff will keep an additional 3,000 sq. ft. space for custom upholstery and repair projects, as well as to hold pieces that will soon hit the showroom. Federal Restorations will also keep a space for its office and cat Lucy, which Reiff joked has a bigger fan base than the store itself.

Federal Restorations expects to be fully moved in by next weekend and Protean is expecting to open its showroom by the end of the summer. Both will be installing new signs on the building and will be cleaning up the existing lion sculptures by the front steps.

With the remaining space in the building, a room will be rented out for photography and they are looking to rent about 18,000 sq. ft. on the second floor for area artists and dealers. This space has already received some interest.

Federal Restorations soon-to-be former 3,000 sq. ft. location on Charles St. is available for lease.

Both Benicewicz and Reiff are very excited about the new opportunity and large space. “It has the potential to be a pretty epic space for Federal Hill,” said Benicewicz.

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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