Perry Higgins and the Lazy Dollar

On my way back from dropping the teen at school for her last GCSE exam I took the opportunity (during a moment of calm between weddings) to indulge myself with a visit to my favourite spot for a bit of vintage browsing.

Perry Higgins in Penmaenmawr is rather a hidden gem along the North Wales coast. Lots of people travelling along the A55 expressway would easily miss it as they zoom through from central England on route to Holyhead Port and the Irish ferries. It’s a shame as its well worth a detour. Although maybe not, because I like having it almost to myself!

My main reason for dropping in was for the pleasure of uncovering countless curiosities and treasures, but it wasn’t my only reason. There was a foodie related motive to my trip and that was to look for more vintage serving bowls. Really large ones for lots of people! With three floors to browse I was in there a while.

The top and ground floors are full of beautiful artifacts, furniture, costume and kitchen ware. I easily found what I was looking for before I’d even descended to the basement which is a treasure trove of bargains, bric a brac and chairs! There are absolutely loads of cheap chairs (prefect for starting a supper club!!…This is where I bought a few of mine and at £20 for four…I haggled…I couldn’t really argue, even though they needed a sand and varnish). If you happen to come across the owner…well you can’t miss him, he’s eccentric, bordering on grumpy, especially if you have younger inquisitive children in tow..but he’s often open to a spot of bartering and he is helpful if he thinks you have a genuine interest or are a genuine buyer 🙂

As well as the items I eventually purchased I came across this

I totally fell in love with it but couldn’t justify the £37 the shop was asking. What? I hear you say, only £37 for a beautiful vintage, intact picnic hamper. Well I kicked myself the following week on a return visit when the owner told me it had sold that very morning. I was devastated. I wanted to cry.

The last little gem that makes this place a MUST visit is the cafe which adjoins the shop.

No where else in North Wales will you find as authentic an American diner. Perfect in every detail. The jukebox, the pictures on the wall, the decor. I stayed around for a coffee and pancakes (I’d yet to have breakfast) which were sadly rather disappointing. This is the one problem with the Lazy Dollar; the food doesn’t live up to the setting. Even though their cooking facilities are limited (they have no proper kitchen on site and only the means to keep food warm or cold) they could invest in some better ingredients from local suppliers. There’s no need to use Carte’D Or ice cream in their Knickerbocker glory when they could use Mon ar Lwy or Fortes or Llanfes Dairy, need I go on?

On a return visit with the kid and his 1950’s loving mate (trust me I’ve never met a nine-year old that knows more about the 1950’s than Yani…this is a boy who got a sequined Elvis all in one for Christmas!!), my boy struggled to eat his ice cream because it was too ‘artificial’! Yani on the other hand thought he’d gone to 1950’s heaven and loved every second of his after school treat.

Now that I’ve discovered the lazy dollar my mind has gone into overdrive. So many possibilities; so much potential!

….watch this space there are plans afoot.

Perry Higgins and The Lazy Dollar are open 7 days a week. The Lazy Dollar serves teas. coffees, ice cream and sundaes.

Mon-Sat: 11 til 4.30pm

Sun: 11 til 3.30pm

You will find them both on the main street; Bangor Road which runs through Penmaenmawr.




Filed under British food, eating out, Eating out with kids, North Wales restaurants, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Perry Higgins and the Lazy Dollar

  1. Mina Joshi

    So glad that I found your blog through a linkedin Group. Great article. Really enjoyed visiting it through your eyes. ..I would have loved this kind of a shop. And amazingly, I have a picnic case similar to the one who photographed!! I must take it out and give it some TLC…..



  2. lizzy

    Im so glad someone has commented on the lazy dollar finally, an all american vegetarian diner in Penmaenmawr of all places! i look forward to seeing what you would do with it!x



  3. Zachary fowler

    After stumbling upon this blog by accident, I was unaware that such a place existed hidden away within old Penmaenmawr. My first thought was how bizarre! A 1950’s American diner in the middle of a 1900’s Victorian style village, how unlikely it all sounded, almost like something from “doctor who” especially since being twined with an antique shop, but it intrigued me enough to go and visit.
    A Gem indeed! As I approached the door I was greeted by a man holding a tin of beer, who grunted as he wiped his nose with his sleeve and said “I wouldn’t bother going there mate, there’s never any staff on, you’ll be waiting forever” I felt it was a bit disappointing and rather rude but it didn’t dissuade me from entering after all I had come out of my way. Indecently I was waiting for a good ten minutes, “perhaps the man I met outside had been waiting too” the waitress obviously had been on her break because she smelt strongly of cigarettes, unfortunately as a non smoker I found this revolting. I was disappointed to find in an American diner that I could not order a beef burger or anything American at all really, so I decided to order a cheese and onion Panini with a cup of tea, a peculiar combination that seems appropriate in this mismatched situation, although disappointingly I could not finish the Panini because it also stank of strong tobacco, and rather more concerning indicated the waitress had not washed her hands before preparing my food, so for me the lazy dollar was quite disappointing.


    • Moel Faban secret supper club

      Yes, its sad that a place with such promise is so under used and badly used. It would be really great to have a proper 1950’s cafe…but they don’t even have a kitchen to cook, only to reheat!

      The space is available to rent so maybe one day a pop up fifties event will be on the cards 🙂



  4. Laura Redfern

    I have visited Perry Higgins twice in the past two years; the first visit was disappointing; I vowed never to go again. The gentleman (I assume the proprietor of the shop) lurked uncomfortably close for our whole visit around the shop – admittedly we did have older children with us, but they are mature and well behaved. The owner seemed unable to engage in conversation around any of the items for sale. Not a particularly great personality trait for his line of work. Having discovered the shop to be cold, jam-packed with tat and very few genuine antiques and unwelcoming we left after a quick look around and travelled elsewhere to locate some genuine antique items for our home. This weekend, with our children away on holiday, we wondered if maybe we had judged the place a bit harshly. Keen to source an item of furniture for our hallway on this occasion, we decided to jump in the car and give Perry Higgins a second chance. Feeling optimistic (and also hoping to grab a bite to eat in the Lazy Dollar, which had opened since our last visit), we entered the shop feeling optimistic. This did not last. Within two minutes, having had one question about a chemist’s chest answered very tersely and having been asked to hold my (small soft leather) handbag around the front for fear of damaging anything (I’m an adult, not six years old!) we had another look around, stalked all the way by Monsieur Lurkalot. For the most part, I’d say all we found was dirty, smelly and/or overpriced junk – from rusty tins of travel sweets (I kid you not, they’re hardly antique), and other items in absolutely shocking condition, I wonder this place stays in business.The old lady clothes section was particularly grim.
    Needless to say we carried on straight through the Lazy Dollar without a backwards glance.


    • Hiya Laura….I have to disagree because I love the shop, the mixture of tat and antiques makes it a fab place to browse and I have picked up some wonderful bits and bobs….but I have to agree that the proprietor can be extremely off putting. Archetypal miserable old git, with little positive in his favour. I visit quite frequently and have had several arguments with him about various things, including the sad waste of what could be a wonderfully quirky cafe. A missed opportunity in so many ways.

      Denise x


  5. jon

    Although I have to agree on some of the general negative points raised here, in its favour and not mentioned above….The Lazy Dollar is at least a vegetarian outlet…a brave choice and a very welcome one to those of us used to a limited choice from token vegetarian options on any menu..
    Therefore,personally it’s a refreshing change and a great stop off when travelling the A55.Better than any fast food outlet by far


    • Hi Jon

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment…

      Indeed. It does have many things in its favour.and it is a much better stop off than any fast food place….but it could be so much more!!

      I personally visit the shop on a frequent basis and love to browse

      Denise x


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