What will pawnbrokers think of next?
On little Maui, we refer to our retail store at 96 N. Market as “our big store,” because it’s about 4 times the size of our original location at 42 N. Market (now being turned into a framing shop by another business).
Everything is relative. On the Mainland, there seems to be a trend to mega-pawnstores, in the 20,000-square-foot range. But, hey, why stop there?
That appears to be the mantra of Chuck Brennan of Sioux City, Iowa, a concert promoter whose latest promotion is “the Disneyland of pawn shops,” a $15 million, 53,000-square-foot emporium of everything that would attract a shopper in northwest Iowa — a gun range where you can fire a .50-caliber machine gun; 20 restrooms such as you would find in a luxury hotel; a foundry where gold coins will be minted; an FM radio station; a tattoo parlor; and, oh yes, a pawn shop.
The report in the Sioux City Journal does not say anything about food, aside from nickel coffee, and nothing really about the pawn shop; but we’re guessing there will be a place to chow down on local delicacies like loose meat sandwiches.
That’s loose meat, not moose meat. Crumbled ground beef cooked so that the fat runs off and served on a hamburger bun. Gourmet dining in northwest Iowa.
We have heard of pawn shops that also performed weddings, but Brennan’s Badlands Pawn Shop Gold & Jewelry is the most ambitious expansion of the basic loan emporium we have heard of, and, to tell the truth, way beyond anything we ever imagined when talking over what we could do to make Kamaaina Loan an even better place for borrowers.
Sioux City is half the size of Maui and has weather about one-tenth as attractive, but Brennan’s venture is near the intersection of two Interstate highways, so maybe it will take its place with other improbable attractions that take advantage of Interstate off-ramps, like South of the Border in South Carolina and the original In-and-out Burger in Baldwin Park, California. (OK, nitpickers, it wasn’t on an Interstate, because in 1948 there weren’t any Interstatesw, but it was strategically situated near a freeway ramp.)