One of the many things that I enjoy about doing the blog is that I can just wander into businesses and see if I can just walk around and take pictures of some intriguing place I’ve never been in. I did just that over three years ago when I stopped into an old building who’s signage I’ve admired for years and wanted to get a look inside and document the place. That business was Nailon’s Plumbing Supplies and I loved it inside. In addition to about any plumbing items you might need, there was also a treasure-trove of knick-knacks, stuffed animal heads and other vintage photos and bric-a-brac on the walls and shelves in there. I recently stopped by again, said hello to the fourth generation owner, Larry and found out a surprise. If you’ve read the title to this post, you already know, but humor me and pretend like you don’t as we go and revisit, Nailon’s Plumbing Supplies!
Here we are at the aforementioned building, Nailon’s Plumbing Supplies. I learned last time that they’ve been operating this family business in here since 1963. I’m not sure how long the building has been here, maybe we can find out once we’re inside.
But before we go in, let’s take a look at some of the vintage signage outside of the building! I love these signs out here and they’re what initially drove me to check this place out.
Okay, let’s go inside and see the place after a three year gap in time!
There’s a familiar face behind the counter, it’s the fourth generation owner, Larry Nailon. Great to see him again and it turns out that Larry and I went to Bergan High School together. He was a year above me and in my cousin Mary’s class. Larry’s great grandfather started this business and we’ll see a picture of him later. I asked Larry how old the building is, and he said while he’s not sure of the exact date, he did have a picture of the building before his family moved in and started their plumbing business...
And here it is, courtesy of a page from a Peoria Historical calendar. Larry said that the building was a Swift’s Premium Ham and meat processing plant that dates back to the early 1900’s. He told me they closed in 1958 and then Larry’s family took the building over in 1963. Larry said he’s not sure if the building has been registered as a historical building, but it certainly qualifies. And while we’re on the subject of the building, here’s what I was hinting about and what i revealed in the title of today’s post: This building is for sale! Larry said he’s been showing the building to prospective buyers and it can be used for a retail store or it’s also configured perfectly for a restaurant to move in here and join the growing legion of businesses here on Peoria’s waterfront. If you’d like to take a look at the building or talk to Larry about it, the address and phone number are listed at the end of this post.
Uh, oh, some customers are at the counter, so I’ll let Larry get back to work while I roam around with the MBIP Camera.
As you can see from these shots, the store is huge and has lots of potential for anyone considering starting a business downtown here on the riverfront. And the historical status means there’s probably tax breaks involved!
Larry said if someone is interested in keeping it a plumbing supply store, he’d be happy to help them out as a consultant for their business. As you can see, there’s plenty of plumbing supplies in here for a starting inventory! Check out the last display in the photos, maybe it’s just me, but do you really want to have a crab as your mascot for bathroom plumbing supplies?
I love these deer heads that are mounted on the back wall of the store. I don’t know if they come with the building, but I’m sure they’re negotiable!
Check out this vintage sign on the wall: The Apprentice II! Anybody else thinking of this?
There’s more deer heads on the wall over here along with a slew of vintage photos, sayings, the Nailon family tree and a quartet of photos of the building.
I love the Nailon Bros. safe back here and all of the trophies. And as promised, there’s the founding father of the business, John Nailon, Larry’s great grandfather!
Meanwhile back at the front counter, Larry shared this alarm clock toilet with me! Whoops, I have to get ready to get to work, time to get going, but remember, whether you’re shopping for plumbing supplies or a historical building...
Try your Peoria area first! Thanks to Larry for letting me hang out and take photos and if you’re interested in possibly purchasing this building, the number is right below! We’ll see you all tomorrow for a special St. Patrick’s Day post!
101 Liberty Street (at the corner of Water Street)