What's on 2nd?
Long-time antiques dealers Steve Gilmer and Michele Wilson opened the store on May 2007 in a two-story building at 2306 2nd Avenue North, which inspired the name. The grand opening was celebrated on July 6 of that year.
The shop specializes in nostalgia items rather than decorator antiques. Along with hundreds of thousands of postcards and pop-culture items the store has a selection of advertising and architectural fragments, t-shirts, toys, model kits, comic books and other collectibles, including letter-size photocopies of a wide selection of Gilmer's postcard collection. Some furniture pieces, books and folk-art creations also find their way into the store. In later years a diverse line of vintage video game systems and cartridges was added to the store's offerings.
Gilmer fills the windows with seasonal displays, including a science-fiction theme during the OmegaCon and a political theme during the election season. The store also served as a venue for fundraisers and art shows, and as an artist site during the Artwalk festival when it was located in the Loft District.
In April 2016 What's on 2nd? downsized and moved to a smaller location at 2323 1st Avenue North in the Wooster Lofts building (the former Calder warehouse). After four years there, Gilmer's lease expired and he moved the store to its present 1,729 square-foot location.
- Buchanan, Charles (July 6, 2007) "What's on 2nd?" opens tonight." The Terminal
- Tomberlin, Michael (August 24, 2008) "On the Record with Steve Gilmer, co-owner of What's on 2nd? In downtown Birmingham." The Birmingham News
- Prickett, Sam (December 21, 2015) "What’s on Second to relocate in February." Weld for Birmingham
- Van der Bijl, Hanno (December 2, 2020) "What’s on Second to relocate to Five Points South." Birmingham Business Journal
- Adams, Jenny (n. d.) "Your childhood memories live on in this Birmingham toy shop" American Way