February 23rd, 2024

Retro McMinnville: Get a dose of nostalgia at these small businesses

A collection of retro records and an old school tote.
Treasures from The Vortex Records. Photos by Emily Strelow.

There’s just a special something about McMinnville that reminds people of bygone eras. Whether it’s the 90’s or the 80’s, or even further back than that, there is a retro spirit that pervades the town. But that’s not by accident. Here are some local businesses that through careful collection, thoughtful displays, and community building, help keep retro alive and well in McMinnville.  

Vortex Records
314 NE 3rd St 
(503) 472-7444

Vortex Records is famous for their joyful throwback window displays of vintage toys and tees, and inside there is something for everyone. Records, patches, posters, band tees, jewelry, hacky sacks and more line the shelves of this artfully arranged store. Vortex even has 8 tracks to buy for those who collect. When you stop in, don’t miss out on the back room with black light posters. Come in, hang out with the knowledgeable staff, and soak in the vintage vibes. 

Vintage on 3rd 
228 NE 3rd St
(971) 517-7315

The newest member of McMinnville’s retro scene is now open with a mission to bring vintage and handmade goods to the people. When you walk in you’ll find curated booths by vendors. Each space feels intentional and chock full of antiques, clothing, collectibles, and handmade goods. Don’t forget to check out the beautifully renovated storefront façade with original leaded stained glass.

A collection of retro patches.
A plethora of patches can be found at The Vortex Records.

Reel Hollywood Video
105 NW 9th St
(503) 472-0553

Local family owned and operated since 1985, Reel Hollywood Video is known for their extensive in-store collection of VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray 3D, and 4K Ultra HD. They also offer services like disc repair, home video transfers, and special orders for hard-to-find films. RHV also hosts the annual McMinnville Sci-Fi Film Festival that is always a good time. If you miss in store video browsing, come in and experience a fun, retro blast from the past. 

1101 NE Adams St

G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) is vintage sportswear and streetwear from the 80’s, 90’s, and Y2K eras. They have thousands of items in their inventory starting at $10. Many of these retro pieces are not listed online or on social media so come in, browse, and you may just get your new fave vintage piece. 

A display case with hacky sacks.
Hacky sack is back (or did it ever leave?).

211 NE 3rd St
(503) 857-0899

A beloved McMinnville institution among kids and adults alike, Joysticks boasts over 20 retro arcade games. They also have many newer games and plenty of pinball. Serving classic arcade food including Mikey’s pizza, corn dogs, curly fries, they have throwback treats like deep fried twinkie and oreos. Joysticks also has a solid tap list for those who are 21+. The store is available to book for birthdays, as well. Let your kids pull you in to play 4 player Pac Man, retro Donkey Kong and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Or leave them at home and have a throwback date night. Either way, come relive the era when the arcade reigned supreme.

Emily Strelow (she/her) is a McMinnville resident and author of the novel The Wild Birds.