Thursday, June 11, 2009


A discussion a bit ago led to reminisce about Bruce Variety. Now, the place still exists, but it was such a staple of my childhood. Located in the same center as a hardware store and a gift store it was good for combination trips (especially once I needed good stickers and paint pens from the gift store).
Bruce Variety was a novelty to me as a child before giant discount chains got into the everything under one roof idea, this was a general store in the heart of Bethesda, a place that had nothing else like it that I knew.
They have buttons and fabric and ribbon and thread, and since my mother made blankets and Halloween costumes for many years, this was great for that. They have school supplies and party supplies and hair doodads and an impressive array of backpacks. They also have toys and kitchen gadgets and paper. It is small enough that my mother didn't worry too much if we wandered over another aisle or so.
When I was beading more, they were a great stop for jump rings, or wire or basic beads. And when I wanted to hunt down a spool knitter I called them.
The lovely woman who answered the phone had never heard of such a thing. I was pretty much ready to end the call, but she put me on hold and came back to tell me that they did have one, and she gave me the price and the location where it was displayed so I could find it when I came in. You can bet they were my first stop on my way home from work that day.
I discovered that interestingly it was profiled a few years ago (on different years) in both the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Also, the reviews on Yelp are very true.