Before we lose the non-parents, let us say this: you all probably have nieces and nephews, or friends with kids. Don’t leave us.
Now, know this: Hammer and Jacks is a rad store. Even your inner-kid can appreciate it, parent or not.
Part toy and game store, part play space, Hammer and Jacks does for kids what NWIPA does for adults. Or Devil’s Point. It’s heavenly, really, with a variety of toys and games for the young’ns and a space to explore and play. What’s more, the design and decor make for inspired shopping–think globes for lights, a fake storefront facade inside that leads to a secondary space for playing and climbing, neatly placed displays and shelves for toys and games, and a large chalk board announcing deals and coming events.
Hammer and Jacks hasn’t even been open for two weeks, but it’s clear they spent a lot of time preparing the space. It is much transformed from the deceivingly cavernous feel it had while sitting vacant after Portland Ketchup Company left. The retail portion of the shop is lined with shelves and display tables, and is quite inviting. Splitting the space in two, a fake storefront facade sits just behind the register and forms an entryway to a large play area. This space is dominated by a wooden castle that has stairs to climb, windows to peek out of, a slide, and pseudo-dungeon to hide in. There’s a large carpeted area, too, just in front of the castle, where boxes of toys can be emptied onto and played on. For $4.00, kids have access to all of this.
The play space also doubles as event space–think birthdays or store-hosted entertainment, such as movie nights or sing-along parties. Speaking of sing-alongs, Olive and Dingo, the clowns who sing weekly at Pieper Cafe, will soon be relocating their gig to the toy store. (Their first show will be August 25 at 10:30.) And if we ventured a guess, there’s quite a bit more in store for Hammer and Jacks.
If you want a taste, they’ll be celebrating their grand opening next Saturday, August 27, from 12 – 2 p.m. There will be free open-play in the community space, raffles, games and entertainment. Lots of fun, too. Check ’em out, y’all.