Hippos, horses and hockey sticks for sale in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Kelsey’s Restaurant in Thunder Bay is renovating, and getting rid of everything in a silent auction on May 5, 6 and 7. Collectors and bargain hunters alike are finding the auction a unique place to shop for essentials and mementos, including a giant hippo head, carousel horse, and vintage neon Miller Lite sign.

The restaurant, which has been on Memorial Avenue for 19 years, is doing a complete overhaul to adopt new brand standards, said owner Claudio Foresta.

The auction has more than 500 items listed, including countless pieces of memorabilia that have lined the walls of the restaurant.

“It’s all got to go,” said Monique Crago, who has worked at Kelsey’s for 13 years and is organizing the auction.

Rob Cain, Pastor at Slate River Baptist Church, said the auction was a unique opportunity to shop with his four-year old daughter Ellie.

Cain is opening up a coffee shop at the church and was on the market for some chairs, tables and bar stools, almost 100 of which are being auctioned off by Kelsey’s. Ellie, on the other hand, was drawn to the carousel horse.

“There’s a lot of good stuff here on offer,” he said, but the variety of items is tempting.

“Once you start  looking around at things you kind of want things you didn’t think you wanted when you first came in. It’s difficult to control yourself.”

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