The Steam Trunk: Hidden Gem of Akron 11-03-16

16 S Highland Ave


Michelle DeShon

The Steam Trunk, Highland Square’s men’s boutique, has antiques, clothing, cigars, and manly candles.

By Michelle DeShon, Opinion Editor

Men, this Hidden Gem is for you. And don’t bash it because it’s considered a “boutique.” This shop has some of the most manly accessories and housewear you’ll find.

The first thing I noticed here were the insanely cool skull accessories everywhere. Owner of The Steam Trunk, William Tomlinson, has a love for skulls and that is apparent as soon as you step in. There are sugar skull mugs and skull decor everywhere.

Tomlinson opened the men’s boutique in Highland Square about three months ago. He said he was drawn to the neighborhood because there is a strong sense of community. Tomlinson previously owned an antique shop but combined his two passions – antiques and men’s fashion – with his new shop. He said this shop is an “eclectic mix” of items.

This men’s boutique has vintage T-shirts, button-ups, sweaters, jeans, leather motorcycle jackets, and cool socks. I found a pair that looked this an overflowing foamy cup of beer. I’ve never seen anything more appropriate for a college gentleman.

Tomlinson gets some of the pieces at second hand shops but they are gently worn. Tomlinson said he is selective about the items he brings into the shop. There is never any need to be turned off from a gently worn item. I saw a leather jacket that was perfectly worn in with small cracks giving it that stylish, lived-in look.

“I have a good selection of stylish, up-to-date men’s clothing,” said Tomlinson. When discussing the location of the boutique, he said, “And the style I feel like is very fitting to Highland Square.”

One of my favorite items are the manly candles in scents like Bachelor Pad, Fresh Shave, Suit & Tie, 5 O’Clock Shadow, and Last Call.

There are also some gently used leather shoes for sale. The leather items Tomlinson has collected are in good condition. One treasure I found was a vintage leather Coach crossbody bag.

The prices here are reasonable, especially for college students. The vintage T-shirts are $5 and some of the coats are under $20.

Some of the other items at The Steam Trunk that need mentioned are leather journals, wallets, belts, ties, shaving accessories, cigars, vintage pipes, antique cameras, and decorative wall pieces.

I would still recommend this shop to women if you’re looking for an Akron T-shirt, a new journal, home decor, or a gift for the stylish men in your life.


Hours of operation

Monday – Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday – Thursday: 12 – 6 p.m.

Friday: 12 – 7 p.m.

Saturday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday: 12 – 5 p.m.