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Golden oldies – Franc vintage store opens on Margit Avenue

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  • Wágner Gábor

07/11/2022 11.09am

The Margit Quarter Project has brought so much entrepreneurial impetus to the main street of the 2nd district that new shops are opening up not only in the municipality's vacant premises but also in privately owned ones. The Franc is the newest shop to open at the beginning of September, offering a wide range of old, unique, and high-quality items for sale. It's a vintage store after all.

'Vintage' means not only old but also a quality item, despite its possibly shabby, second-hand appearance, and it is also unique, something you are unlikely to find elsewhere. Vintage is not the same as retro, you could say that all vintage is retro, but not all retro is vintage. So, as we said, the key is quality and uniqueness, as well as antiquity, so if you buy a vintage item, you will have something really precious in your possession.

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

When you walk into the Franc and look around, you see all kinds of classy vintage goods, and at first glance, it looks like they mostly sell clothes. But when you take a second look, you realise that the shop is full of all sorts of things: paintings on the walls, sunglasses, scarves and other accessories, some small pieces of furniture, rugs, carpets, jugs, teddy bears, coffee sets and cutlery, mugs and glasses, in short, everything that fits into the vintage category and is in a condition that you're willing to pay money for.

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

The Franc is located in the street-facing retail space of the MANYI – Cultural Workshop, which remained vacant for a long time and was supposed to be turned into a café, which never opened. Note that inside the MANYI, there is an indoor terrace, a pub, and a vegan bistro, so opening a café would have been pointless. But the three ladies who set up the shop (Gabi Dosport, Judit Gyüre, or Judy, as she is known to everyone, and Soraya Hegyesi) found the space very convenient. The shop was already packed at the opening, and customers and visitors have been taking turns ever since. As it's located in MANYI, many of them are young people and foreigners.

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

Among the many vintage items, you can find some more recent pieces, at least among the paintings (by Soraya Hegyesi, Ágnes Áfonya Sipos, 15-year-old prodigy Anna Bernáth and Irma Joó) and photos (such as Cedric). Or there are the unique and spectacular sculptures by Tantin Művek made of plants, crops, and green materials from nature – although these are not on the wall, but in display cabinets made for them. Recycling, which is also a hallmark of Tantin, is also the underlying idea behind Franc's concept:

don't buy the largely low-quality, mass-produced, and overpriced products of the supermarket chains, but rather vintage objects that are still in good condition, possibly restored, and of good quality.

That is why the Franc will be coming up soon with its own designs for clothes, T-shirts, and bags that not only follow – or even dictate – fashion but are also made in this environmentally conscious spirit.

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

The Franc opens every day early in the afternoon and closes at 9 pm. The shop is so cosy and colourful that it will tempt you even if you don't intend to buy anything. Occasionally, Jancsi the dog is also "on duty", and he even encourages you to stop by. And if you stop to pet him, you go in for sure. Getting out, however, is difficult. There are so many objects and so many of them are worth a 'wow!' that we don't even notice the time passing while we are looking around and maybe even buying something. Some items have a fixed price, some leave room for bargaining. And the girls are so nice that they not only ask how they can help, but they'll chat about anything. In other words, Franc is not just a shop, it's a community space where you can also buy something vintage.

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