May 23, 2023

Antiques, collectibles store coming to former Roller Dome South location

by: Jamie Duffy

Posted: May 17, 2023 / 04:35 PM EDT

Updated: May 17, 2023 / 06:20 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Many memories were made at Roller Dome South, the Bluffton Road roller skating rink owned by the Wall family.

Sadly, for its fans, the rink that opened in 1972 closed in August 2015, but now will see new life as a vintage and antique mall. Roller Dome North continues to welcome skaters.

Alex Haggard, local businessman and owner of FAK Logistics in downtown Fort Wayne, has acquired the 23,000 square foot arena, taking on the task of turning it into a new antiques and collectibles venue while paying homage to its history.

That's why he plans to call it The Rink.

"Vendors will set up shop and sell vintage and antiques," Haggard said during a phone interview Wednesday. The shop will likely be set up with small booths starting at 10 feet by 10 feet on up, "just a place for people who collect things to set up shop and not have to worry about paying for the whole store."

For Haggard, a 1997 North Side High School graduate, it's a natural business for him to pursue. He's a collector of old Chevy cars and trucks himself.

The inspiration for opening the emporium came from what he understood to be a need in the community. Antiques on Broadway, a smaller venue, closed this year. There is a similar business on the opposite end of town.

On Wednesday, crews were out working on the exterior of the building, but that's just a start. The entire building will be renovated for HVAC and electrical, and a sprinkler system will be installed. Haggard, who owns commercial real estate locally, said it's a big renovation that will quadruple his initial investment of $250,000.

The wooden floor with the Roller Dome logo is likely to stay along with some other interior details.

"It seemed like a big open space. With soccer fields over there and The Clyde, there's nothing out there in that area of town," Haggard said.

The new owner of the Bluebird Restaurant, almost directly next door, sees the vintage market going in as a plus for her business.

Natalie Denney bought the restaurant more than two years ago and operates a bustling business, but her restaurant could be even busier with clients filling the parking spaces next door.

"We’re just so excited to see something else come in, especially something like that," Denney told WANE 15. "It's going to bring new business to the area, and we’re just very excited to have a new business come in."

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