The Emaus Asociación Civil functions the Argentine equivalent of the Salvation Army or Goodwill. It accepts donations for sale and uses the proceeds to profit various national social programs. The Emaus store location in Buenos Aires is conveniently located in the antiques district of San Telmo. If the fine stores with no-touching policies along Defensa don’t offer you the chance to really dig for that one unique piece, give Emaus a try.
Emaus houses everything from used books to clothes. They have typewriters, toys and wooden picture frames of all sizes. They sell furniture in all shapes, sizes, and levels of disrepair, and furnishings like home appliances and décor objects.
Not for the unimaginative mind, this cramped, dusty, bi-level shop is ideal for those who have a mind to reupholster or refinish wood. Bureaus, bedframes, chairs, shelves, and tables, are all set at rock-bottom prices.
For those who can envision a new life for used furnishings but don’t possess the capabilities themselves, Buenos Aires – San Telmo in particular – is filled with skilled craftsman who can recreate just about anything. The friendly staff at Emaus will have the best recommendations for local carpenters and upholsterers.
The best pieces that come in are often placed right in the open front area of Emaus, on a platform just above the street, and these tend to get snatched up quickly. If you check back frequently you will likely encounter something along the lines of a beautiful antique sofa with carved wooden legs or a chaise lounge in fairly good condition. Most of the pieces have set prices; if you don’t see the price, it will be priced upon request. Bargaining is not a standard practice in Buenos Aires, even in the street markets, however, Emaus is one of the rare places where a suggested price just might be considered.
Make sure to climb the stairs to the loft section of the shop where all of the clothing is located, along with huge piles of coffee tables and chairs stacked one upon the other. Oftentimes, bolts of fabric can be found here, alongside drawers full of vintage silk scarves and shelves of leather handbags and clutches.
Name: Emaus Asociación Civil
Store address: Cochabamba 466, San Telmo, Buenos Aires
Phone: (5411) 4941-9065 / 4142
Emaus has similar store hours to the major antique stores in the area; the store is generally open Tuesday through Sunday, 10am-7pm, although exact times tend to vary slightly. Going in the middle of the day is the best idea.