by Alison Waldbart
The Bubble Room Emporium on Captiva Island is like walking into an antique toy museum and a one-of-a-kind boutique that sells toys, memorabilia, gifts clothing, jewelry, artwork and even candy. The emporium’s diverse collection of mint-condition antiques are reminiscent of its famous namesake restaurant, The Bubble Room.
The restaurant sits on the corner of Captiva Drive and Andy Rosse Lane, where it began in 1979 as just a few tables in the front room of the Farqhuarson family home. The multi-themed décor, including a profusion of black-and-white photographs of old idols and scenes from the big screen on the walls, started with old toys from the 1930s and 19040s and the collecting has continued to present day.
The Bubble Room Emporium opened the doors in August to its new 2,000 square-foot building, across from the restaurant on Captiva Drive, that will soon add a gallery of local artists, including former owner and creator of the restaurant Katie Gardenia, who also authored the special book “A Bubble Moment.”
“We have put in a lot of hard work,” said the emporium’s buyer and manager, Stephen Peach. “Our previous emporium, on the same property as the restaurant, was just 600 square feet, so we’re excited about showing everyone the new store.”
Guests who wander the emporium will see such items as Shirley Temple’s original motorized car, juke boxes, an early 1800’s carnival shooting gallery, a coin operated arcade fortune teller and a glorious French Orchestrian fairground organ – all which is available for purchase. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and those who dine at the restaurant receive a special offer for the emporium.