Landmark Bearden antiques business to close by year’s end

Betty BeanFeature, West Knoxville

Westwood Antique and Design Market, 4861 Kingston Pike, will close at the end of the year, but don’t look for owners Scott Bishop and Tim Bridges to disappear.

“First we’re going to have the retirement sale to end all retirement sales,” Bishop said. “And after that, we aren’t going to stop working. We just don’t want to do retail anymore. It was time to either renew the lease or move again, so we looked at the options and said, ‘Nah.’ I don’t want to do this until I’m 75, but we want to continue appraisal work, and continue to redo houses, and I want to make art. We’ll probably take a booth at an antique market.

“This is not about not working, it’s about not doing six-day-a-week retail.”

They plan to start by discounting their merchandise by 30 percent, and that merchandise includes furniture in a wide variety of styles – country, mid century, French, Chippendale, as well as fine china, crystal, silver, accessories and art work.

“Pretty much everything from the 1800s to this century and everything in between,” Bishop said. “We’ve got the biggest selection of lamps outside of a lamp store, and a lot of them are one of a kind, too.

“The discounts will grow. The more you buy, the better discount you’ll get. Rugs, lighting, accessories, art, furniture – it’s all got to go.”

A sampling of antiques at Westwood

And as packed full of fine furnishings and art work as the store is, there’s more at home, where the men have a warehouse full of furniture they’ve collected to refinish and repair over the years. That’s got to go, too, Bishop said.

He and Bridges opened Westwood Antique and Design Market in 1998, and this is their third location in the Bearden area (they started in the old Cas Walker’s building on Kingston Pike, then moved to Homberg Place, and finally landed in their present location, next door to Panera Bread in Bearden Village.

Before that, Bishop, who has a master’s of fine arts in painting from the University of Nebraska (his undergraduate degree is from UT), worked at Bennett Galleries for 14 years, and was a buyer, along with owner Rick Bennett, for a good part of that time.

He says his training in fine art was good preparation for a career in interior design.

“I would rather be painting than anything else, but it’s hard to make a living doing that.”

This week, amidst the kickoff of the going-out-of-business sale, they’re also working on the Alzheimer’s Tennessee Designer Home and Garden Tour at the home of Hope and Scott Davis, 1515 Ashland Springs Way, as part of a team of designers who were asked to participate. It’s a crowded calendar, but they’re used to it.

“We love supporting the arts,” Bridges said. “We’ve done 20 consecutive show houses for the symphony, and we’ve just had the best time doing all these things.”

Between now and the end of the year, customers will find them in the store. After that, they can be contacted via the Westwood Facebook page or Bishop’s personal page, where they’ll also be treated to the pithy political observations that have gained him followers all over the globe.

Bishop grew up in Norris in a house full of antiques. His mother, the late Martha Bishop, was an inveterate antique collector/hunter who managed a store in downtown Oak Ridge, won acting awards at the Oak Ridge Playhouse and wrote a column for the Oak Ridger, where Scott also worked when he was young. His father, Hugh “Bish” Bishop, was a scientist who worked in instrumentation and controls at ORNL and was a skilled craftsman who could do anything with his hands. Scott is in the process of remodeling a historic Norris house that he hopes to have ready to market soon.

Find the Westwood Antique Facebook page here.

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