Flaneuring Finds at the Uptown Plaza

By Richard White, October 4, 2013

Had great fun this morning flaneuring at the Uptown Plaza in Richland.  We had been told that we should check out Spudnuts a Richland icon but what we didn't know was that the entire plaza was a living history museum.  

Upon finishing our spudnuts for breakfast we decide to check out what else was around - as any good flaneur would do.   

Below is a photo essay of our flaneur finds at the Uptown Plaza which looks like it was built in the '60s and today has evolved into a second-hand, thrift, vintage, estate sale mecca.  For treasure hunters like us it was like we had died and gone to heaven.   

There are several of these Las Vegas like retro neon signs marking the entrances to the Uptown Plaza.  Why can't modern shopping centers create signage like this any more.  Where has the character and charm gone - stucco and rock just doesn't do it.  

The Spudnut Shop was established in 1948 when Jerry Bell bought a franchise for $50 and 100 sacks of Spudnut (potato) flour.  The store has been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel.  It is a local icon.

Inside Supnuts is full of local characters.  There was a long line-up not only of people waiting to get in but also people want to pick-up and go.  Everyone seemed to know everyone - it was like a big family kitchen. 

One of the quirkiest things about Spudnuts was the coffee served with two same straws.  We have never seen this before. At first thought this might be a way of noting which coffee was black and which had milk but B didn't have milk so both were black...strange?

We decided to check what else was in the plaza and just a few door around the corner was the sign "Desserts by Kelly" with the Atomic Bombe cake.  Who could resist checking this out. Once inside we found the strangest shop.  The front had framing and art supplies, another wall was all baseball collectables and then at the back was the bakery with wonderful looking cakes, cookies, scones and of course the Atomic Bombe cadke.  

This is the Atomic Bombe Cake with layers of velvety chocolate mousse, pralines and chocolate truffle icing.  It retails for $28.95 and they sell at least 4 per day.  I was sooooooo tempted. 

Just ahead was this wonderful neon sign announcing Lee's Tahitian Restaurant in the pink flamingo pink building.  It just doesn't get any better than this. 

One of the things we love to do when flaneuring is "window licking" i.e. window shopping (the french word literally translates into window licking).  One of the things like love is the reflections in the windows and the juxtaposition of the images.  They create rich collages of images that have their own wonderful narrative. Like this one in the music store.  

At the end of the Uptown Plaza's shops was a huge antique mall that was full of treasure's for someone.  We didn't have enough time to explore but will be going back.  

Flaneuring back we took a side alley like sidewalk just incase there might be something else and stumbled upon Becky's.  It was a hybrid between thrift and antique store...lots of interesting artifacts. Brenda has this place on the top of her list to go back and check out.  

No sooner had we left Becky's when we were at the Estate Sale.  While the Uptown Plaza doesn't have the upscale traditional tourist shops, it is a "treasure hunters" mecca.

While we didn't find the "kitchen sink" at the Uptown Plaza we did find a "four poster bed."   

As we were quickly shuffling off to meet up for lunch one of the last shops was this barber shop.  This was the exclamation mark on the Uptown Plaza experience for us.