The charming gift and home shop Life of Riley is relocating to a new address that's rich with historical heritage. After three years in its current location at 2646 Main St., the store will move in April to 2814 Main St., aka the Carson Warehouse building.
Co-owner Billy Milner says that he's always had a thing for that building.
"Carson Warehouse has always been one of my favorite buildings in this neighborhood," Milner says. "I remember going there five years ago when there was a gallery show. But instead of looking at the art, I was paying more attention to the building. Something about it draws me in."
Milner had done some work with Elefant Press, which was renting space in the building, but relocated to Richardson in 2016. Milner got on it immediately.
"The owners of the building are the lawyers who office upstairs, and they never even put a 'for lease' sign out," he says. "They were looking for something that would mesh with them upstairs, and not a food place."
That building is one of the few in Deep Ellum that's on the historical register. Dallas City Hall says it was "The Palace Blacksmith Shop, built in 1917," and thought to be "the last blacksmith shop still standing in Dallas" (although another City Hall document says it was built in 1914).
According to flashbackdallas.com, the building has housed many automotive-related endeavors over the years.
Life of Riley will be out of its current space at the end of April; landlord Scott Rohrman says he's in talks with a couple of retail concepts to replace the shop.
Milner anticipates a May opening in the new space. With the move, Life of Riley will also do a subtle pivot in its direction.
"The new store is slightly smaller, so we're going to focus less on furniture and place a high focus on our consumable items like candles, soaps, and personal care. We're also going to increase our selection of greeting cards and paper products, with a wall in the back dedicated to cards."
He's also focused on ambience. "I've always loved shopping in Boston or New York, where the stores have that feeling that they wrap themselves around you, and there's so much to look at. That atmosphere has always spoken to me the most, and that's one of my main goals for the new store."