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A. Schwab, Memphis

4.2
#2 of 8 in Shopping in Memphis
A. Schwab dry goods store is the only remaining original business on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. A family owned store, their motto is "If you can't find it at A. Schwab, you're probably better off without it!"Established in 1876 by Abraham Joseph Schwab, a Jewish immigrant from Alsace Loraine France, the store is a local tourist attraction with two floors of shopping and, between the first and second floors, a small balcony which houses the Beale Street Museum, a collection of Beale Street memorabilia along with several items and records of the Schwab family, which has run the store throughout its lifetime. It began as a men’s haberdashery, transitioned to a dry goods store, and later evolved into a seller of quirky merchandise. Products include various hoodoo items, assorted dry goods, and tourist memorabilia. A. Schwab's was also the retailer of the largest overalls in the world which sold two pair a year. The overalls were so large they hung from the ceiling.A. Schwab, the oldest store in the Mid-South, is housed in the oldest remaining building on Beale Street. The store was founded at another location on Beale Street and moved to 163 Beale Street in 1911 and expanded into 165 in 1922. Both of these buildings were constructed before 1890. Prior to the expansion, 165 Beale housed a Piggly Wiggly.After 136 years, the Schwab family sold the business at the end of 2011.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
355 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 13, 2017
    Visited twice. Loved the old hardwood floors, the toys from my (and my parents ) childhood. The beautiful old soda counter still in use. ...loved it. Had a mini Coke in the glass bottle and my husband...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    This is a gem on Beale street. We had so much fun shopping here. There's a soda fountain/bar on the ground and candy. The second floor is a mini-museum with old typewriters and cash registers. The hig...  more »
  • August 8, 2017
    This a must visit when in Memphis. They have a little bit of everything, but they had an excellent selection of unique tee shirts. Be sure to visit the soda fountain for an ice cream treat or a snack....  more »
Google
  • June 13, 2017
    Memories of yesterday. This place stirs childhood memories of I had that and that. So much fun to walk through, visit the past and bring it to the present. Great gifts for friends, family (and yourself). Fun and funny stuff too! Really enjoyed my shopping on Beale Street. The oldest establishment on Beale, still going strong, I can see why. Really need to stop by and wander around, it's worth the time, you will enjoy it!!
  • May 24, 2017
    This general store has a little of everything, from old toys to hats, shirts to Elvis memorabilia and so on. Mr. Schwab at the soda fountain is a riot, a truly genuine guy. A nice local treasure
  • June 19, 2017
    Good shop with great prices on items. Was nice seeing some of the real old stuff in the "museum" they have on the second floor.
  • July 7, 2017
    Fun variety store. Good place with character to kill some time.
  • April 20, 2017
    If you find yourself on Beale, it's worth a stop. Quaint eclectic items and novelties from an age gone by. The milkshakes are fantastic, and the nostalgia is paramount.

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