San Francisco Warehouse Shopping Mecca at Fantastico

September 10, 2010 § 1 Comment

I was wandering around a new route yesterday in my neighborhood and came across a store that I had never been in before–Fantastico.

It’s on 6th Street, right around the corner from the San Francisco Flower Mart. I had passed by it several times before and poked my head in, but it looked like it was mostly flower pots, vases, statuaries, and other garden-type things.

Since I live in a loft now, which doesn’t have so much as a balcony, I’m not all that interested in gardening stuff anymore. But the other day they were unloading a bunch of Halloween stuff, and I’m a real Halloweenie. So I went in, and am I glad I did.

Fantastico is much more than a garden supply store. It’s like a Diddams/Michael’s/Mexican flea market mashup.

Fantastico interior

It’s a huge warehouse that’s crammed full of party supplies, holiday decor, craft supplies, Halloween costumes, candles, feathers, vases, about an acre of silk and artificial flowers, and so much more.

You want animals made out of paper? They’ve got ’em.

Paper animals

Need ribbons? They have an entire aisle of them.

Ribbon aisle

Looking for fake fruits and vegetables for your Beach Blanket Babylon headpiece? They’ve got an unbelievable array.

Fake fruits and vegetables

There are more Christmas decorations, ornaments, figurines, trees, and decor than I’ve ever seen in one place before. It’s like Christmas exploded in this store. It’s truly overwhelming.

Inside the Fantastico warehouse

And it’s dusty, like a lot of the stuff has been there in there for a very long time. This is not your nearly antiseptic, Costco-like, big-box “warehouse” shopping environment. This place is an authentic, rustic warehouse, in a district in San Francisco that used to be mostly warehouses.

It’s actually a lot like an authentic Mexican market. Most everything is in its original cardboard box. The merchandise is crammed in tightly–there’s not a lot of ‘white space.” There are no fancy display cases to pretty things up and jack up the prices. But who cares? It’s cheap, it’s kitchy, and it’s like a wonderland to bargain shoppers like me.

Feather display

And the best part of all? The glass pumpkins that they were just putting out for Halloween. The largest one was $19.50. You’d easily pay seven times that for a pumpkin that same size at the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch in my old stomping grounds in Palo Alto.

Glass pumpkins

I bought three!

Fantastico, you are my new favorite bargain shopping hangout!

Fantastico billboare

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