Best china plates stuck into the walls next to an adult book store
By Steve Lange
The china plates embedded in the brown brick walls of Downtown Book and Video belie the building’s previous use, when it was known as China Hall, a longtime business that sold fine china and restaurant china. Three ornate examples adorn each side of the front of the building on 220 First Ave. S.W. Only one plate has been vandalized. China Hall was located on South Broadway in the late 1800s before moving to the First Avenue location in the early 1900s. It was, according to local historians, “the” place to register for one’s china patterns. They also did a thriving business with restaurants, hotels and other organizations involved in food service. The business was owned for several generations by the Winkle family. Van and Adeline Winkle sold the China Hall Restaurant Supply Co. in 1990.