Robby Baum’s childhood memories are probably different from yours. “If I wasn’t playing sports, I was at a flea market,” says the entrepreneur. “I was probably one of the youngest guys to have a pewter ice-cream mold collection.”

No surprise, then, that Baum and his wife, Debra — principals in the Chicago hotel operator Bedderman Lodging — found a kindred spirit in Stuart Grannen, the Indiana Jones of antiquing. Grannen’s beloved Architectural Artifacts in Ravenswood closed its giant doors in 2018. Now they are all partnering on a reborn concept housed in the former St. Joe’s elementary school.

Once again, it’s an endless trove of discoveries for sale, from midcentury modern furniture to art deco adornments to centuries-old statues. But this time, it’s spread out over an even bigger space — 37,000 square feet on three floors — and includes a café and even a pickleball court. Sometime this fall, you’ll also find a speakeasy in the basement.

“You could just come out and kill a couple hours with your crazy uncle Ned,” says Grannen. “We want this place to be fun for everybody.” 1065 N. Orleans St., Near North Side

Stuart Grannen (left) and Robby Baum posing by a 1966 Fiat 500
Partners Stuart Grannen (left) and Robby Baum serve up unexpected finds like this 1966 Fiat 500 (sold for $25,000).


Spiced Lemonade and Fancy Pizza
The food menu, created by Lula Cafe chef Andrew Holladay, takes inspiration from Midwest farms. Shown here: Spiced Lemonade (featuring cayenne and butterfly pea powder) and Fancy Pizza (topped with creamy Burrata and heirloom tomatoes).


The floor plan of a former classroom
Former classrooms still instruct visitors, with items like early 20th-century German anatomical posters.


The gymnasium has been repurposed as a pickleball court for drop-in matches. Photograph: Getty Images


The Architectural Artifacts basement and a cocktail
The basement is an emporium of salvaged gems. This autumn, a speakeasy will sling classic cocktails there.