The Junque Antique Shop - where history is their hobby in SW Detroit

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An antique cash register and military memorabilia are just some of the thousands of items for sale at Junque Antique Shop on Michigan Avenue near Central in southwest Detroit.

"We used 'Junque' because it's fancy junk but we didn't want to use the word 'shoppe' that's a bit pretentious," said Joe Bozich, founder. "So we just call it 'Junque Shop' and let it go at that."

Joe Bozich won't tell you his age but it's around 80. He started the antique shop 21 years ago after he retired from the Detroit Fire Department...

"It's a good way to lose money if you look around at all the things we've bought and haven't sold yet," he said.

Yet it seems - it's not about the money.
"To me it's all treasure - I love it - the research - the thrill of the hunt - there's nothing like it," said Jon Bozich.

Jon is Joe's nephew and was also with the DFD as a paramedic, until a back surgery revealed a rare cancer and left him sidelined. He's doing better and now doing - the family business.
"As you can see we're - beyond capacity," Jon said. "If we had more room we could buy furniture - we can't buy furniture right now. It's fun, you never know when a big treasure is going to hit."

"Recently we got a World War I German helmet that came in off the street and that was a pretty good find," said Jim Mandl.

Mandl is a co-owner there - a history buff - he and Jon scour estate sales and garage sales searching for an interesting find or sometimes it comes to them - and sometimes it's not an item - at all.

"We try to help the people out here - there's a lot of heartache on Michigan Avenue, a lot of bad stories," Jon said. "So we provide coffee, blankets, jackets, feminine products, whatever we get to help them out.

Jon is talking about the drug addicts and prostitutes - the depravity and poverty that can be found on this stretch of road - but - he says - they always welcome everyone into their shop.

"It's heartbreaking but if they want help we'll get them help," Jon said. "We'll take them where they want to go, but we want sincerity. They really have got to want to quit."

Nobody from the neighborhood stopped by for that cup of hot coffee while the FOX 2 cameras were there. But they did have a customer who had to shimmy down the aisle and down the stairs - because there's so much stuff there it's even upstairs and outside.

The guys say they have a lot of materials for those moving into the city and looking to restore old homes from windows to glass doorknobs to doors and the chandeliers up above.

"We have a lot of the stuff that they're looking for to rehab the home back to original form, or close to it," Jim said. "You name it, for architectural - we can supply it."

They sell to dealers, buy from collectors and they even make house calls. History is their hobby - after all, so stop by for that cup of coffee or one of Joe's homemade muffins there - you never know what you're going to find.

"We've got stuff that we don't even remember we have," Jim said.

>>FOR MORE: Go to the shop's Facebook page HERE.