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Nightlife Promoters Open Vintage Costume and Antiques Shop in Astoria

 Toca NYC Store, at 14-05 31st Dr., sells an eclectic mix of antiques, furniture and vintage costumes.
Toca NYC Store Opens in Astoria
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ASTORIA — They've gone from house music to house furnishings.

A husband-and-wife team of nightclub promoters has channeled a love for antiques and collectibles into a new retail shop in Astoria.

Monica and JustinJustin Toca, who run the nightlife production company Toca NYC, are the proprietors behind the new Toca NYC Store, where they offer an eclectic mix of antique home furnishings, accessories and high-end vintage rental costumes and props.

JustinJustin, 45, is a capoeira performer and longtime nightclub promoter, while Monica, 37, is a bartender at the renowned Meatpacking District club Cielo, where the couple throws elaborate themed costume parties once a month.

They've taken that flair for the ornate to their new specialty store, the couple said.

"We like over-the-top," said Monica, saying they look for one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and decor that will define a room. "Conversation pieces."

The pair didn't initially intend to open an antiques store — they ventured into the business earlier this year after bidding on a huge inventory of costumes auctioned off by the now-bankrupt New York City Opera House.

"We used to go to auctions as a hobby," said JustinJustin, adding they had planned to eventually sell the outfits online.

They ended up with an entire U-Haul of opera costumes — ensembles from "Madame Butterfly" included, tagged with the names of the performers who wore them — but weren't sure where they would store the collection.

"You’ve got a truck full of clothes, what are you going to do with them?" he recalled thinking at the time.

They found their solution just a few days later while taking a walk through their Astoria neighborhood. There, they spotted a long-vacant storefront a few blocks from their home and decided to rent the space and turn it into a shop.

Now, their costume collection — which includes the opera items plus outfits from some of their themed nightclub parties — is available for rental, ranging in price from $60 to $150 per day.

The rest of the space is filled with furniture and collectibles the couple found while scouring antique shops and estate sales across the tri-state area.

Their finds include display cases of handpicked costume jewelry, decorative tribal masks, 19th century wooden furniture and a variety of unique home decor items, lamps and other accessories.

"Stuff that will last a long time," JustinJustin said. "Things that you can hand down to your next generation."

Toca NYC Store is located at 14-05 31st Dr. and is open 12-8 p.m.