Archive for the ‘grocery’ tag
LoopNet says this building at the corner of North Main & Summerville Avenue was a grocery and dates from the early 1940s. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been a grocery in my memory, but I can't bring to mind anything that it *was* either.
I have to say it's kind of a grim looking building. Perhaps it would look more cheerful with fresh paint, but I don't think so.
This site for the current owners of the building (note the clever URL) says it was built originally as a grocery. It was still operating as a billiard hall in the February 1997 phonebook, but by the time of the next one I have here at home (February 2007), the listing was gone. Since then it appears to have been a thrift store, and now houses a number of operations as detailed at the previous link.
I ran across this old country grocery the other day at the eastern intersection of Leesburg Road and Old Leesburg Road. I haven't been able to match the name and address in google to have any idea when it closed -- Just looking at it, it could be any time from 1970 to last week. (Although he "hours" sign on the door does look more modern than 1970). Anyway, it's the kind of place where you can imagine a barefoot kid walking in on a hot day for an RC Cola and a Moon Pie (and dropping peanuts into the soda..).
Well, the talk in the comments about Winn Dixie gives me an opening to post these pictures from North Charleston.
I forget exactly why I was in Charleston last this May, but I was struck by this run-down plaza on Rivers Avenue as I headed down into the peninsula. As you can see it was a rather gray day so the pictures aren't great, and I didn't stop to do a walkabout, but it just struck me as rather sad.
Notice that as in the Decker store the chain didn't even manage to get its branding off the building.
Holt Drive Grocery / Nu Blen Coffee Co / Nu Blen Coffee Roasters, 2028 Holt Drive: circa 1965/1971 2 comments
Commenter Sarah asked about Holt Drive Grocery a while ago, and this is what I've been able to find out. Commenter Andrew pinpointed the address at 2028 Holt Drive, and this is correct. The lot is off Rosewood at the end of South Waccamaw Avenue where it intersects Holt Drive.
The city directory for 1949 notes that 2028 is "under construction", while the city directory for 1950 just lists the name of "Dowdey, David D." for 2028. In 1951 the notation "gro" is added to the entry indicating a notation by the directory compilers that the location is a grocer's. However, the site is not listed in the business section of the directory as a named business at this point. The same goes for the 1952 directory.
In 1953, the city directory entry for 2028 expands to note "Dowdey Dave Distr Co Wholesale Groceries / Holt Drive Grocery". It also adds an entry for 2028½ (2028 1/2) as "Dowdey, David", so presumably, Mr. Dowdey lived on the premesis at the time.
There is some discrepancy between the Southern Bell phone directory listings for Holt Drive Grocery and the city directory listings. In particular, the last phonebook listing for Holt Drive Grocery is in the December 1964 book while the city directory continues to list it by name longer. I'm afraid I did not make my notes as clear as I should have on this point. In 1966 the city directory lists Holt Drive Grocery but adds the name Nu Blen Coffee Company. I believe 1966 is the last year of listing for Holt Drive Grocery, but the format I used admits the possibility that it continued to co-exist with Nu Blen. At any rate, in 1970, the name of Nu Blen changed to Nu Blen Coffee Roasters which continued for 1971. In 1972, the citry directory simply lists the address as "vacant".
Aside from the address the phonebook has little information as the business apparently never bought a Yellow Pages ad (few grocers did). However, in the November 1954 phonebook, the number for Holt Street Grocery was given as "2-8929". By the December 1961 phonebook, it had changed to "AL 6-9630", and in the last listing in December 1964, it was "256-9630".
Is the building pictured here the Holt Drive Grocery building? I can't say for sure, but I suspect that it is, as I can believe such a building was built in 1949.
This Piggly Wiggly was in the High Point Centre shopping center at the north-east corner of Lake Murray Boulevard and Columbiana Drive. As far as I can tell, it closed in 2009, and seems to have pretty well put-paid to the whole plaza in so doing. I rarely get over to Lake Murray Boulevard (as you can see here, I still haven't managed to make it to this Pig in the daytime..) so I don't know the market too well, but this closing seems a bit odd to me.
This is one of the newer, larger, Pigs, so it's not one of the tiny old stores that they are trying to transition out of, and there's certainly no lack of traffic in the Harbison area. In fact, this store sounds as though it were a flagship of sorts, at least this story from 2005 paints it as the store chosen to do the public launch for PW's new "Pay By Touch" system.
This LoopNet listing has a daytime picture of the store with Pig branding (and confirms that it was built in 1994, which still seems pretty recent to me).
UPDATE 9 March 2011: Update closing date to 2 Feb 2008 based on comments.
I hardly ever drive down this stretch of Harden Street, so sometime last summer, I saw this place for the first time. My reaction was "Huh. Had no idea that was here -- looks pretty nice."
That's because, frankly, they show all the signs of a well intentioned Bad Idea about to be put into practice. In particular:
The housing authority tried to recruit a grocery store to the area for nearly five years. It courted large grocery store chains that already had a presence in the Midlands but couldn’t find anyone interested, Walker said.
That should have been a pretty big hint right there that the commercial prospects weren't that good. There's also this:
Plus, the housing authority’s shopping plaza offers a smaller space than what most chains seek for new stores, Walker said.
“All of the big chains that we have gone to want 30,000 to 40,000 square feet,” he said. “Our whole shopping center isn’t that big.”
Little IGA-type stores can be successful in small towns and rural areas, but not, I think, a mile from a full-sized Food Lion..
The State article noting the passing of the store also mentions that the pharmacy listed on the roadside marquee is also already gone:
A drugstore in the shopping plaza closed earlier this year after the sole pharmacist moved to Louisville, Ky.,
There's also this gem
The store had been a source of pride for Columbia City Council and the Columbia Housing Authority, two public bodies that worked hard to recruit a grocery to the neighborhood near the heart of downtown Columbia.
But the store became another victim of the Great Recession and was not making a profit, said Gilbert Walker, executive director of the Columbia Housing Authority.
“The grocery store business is a tough business, especially when you don’t have a name brand,” Walker said.
Well then, perhaps it was a bad idea to open one?
I don't want to sound too testy here, so let me be clear -- I'm sorry for the people who lost their jobs, and for the nearby residents who lost a grocery store -- that doesn't mean it was a good idea.
This is a country store in the city.
I really have no idea when this place closed. Looking inside the back add-on section, it appears to have been in disrepair for a while. On the other hand, the ice company has not taken the ice lockers back yet. I wish SC would put dates on the "A" restaurant ratings stickers! Honestly, if you told me the place had closed in 1953 or that it was still open some days, I would probably believe either.
This Richland County conservation report PDF says the place was built in the 1920s and
There are nine commercial buildings in the Olympia village. Most of these date from the early twentieth century and are similar to Nix's Olympia Grocery, a one- story, gable-front building with a brick facade and stepped parapet. These small commercial buildings were community-gathering spots and supplied operatives with a place to socialize and purchase needed items.
You can see that at some point the Nix's appelation was dropped and the place became simply Olympia Grocery. The sign itself was apparently supplied by Coke, something once exceedingly common (with the Coke advertisement often as big or biger than the store name), but not seen now on new stores.
The first time I went to take pictures of the place, it was a nice sunny afternoon, but in the event, I couldn't get near Nix's since the laundry down the road was burning, and the street was blocked off by fire engines. By the time I got back out that way, it was the rather grey day you see here. (And the laundry looks like it may be salveagable)
UPDATE 28 March 2011 -- Well, it's gone:
Although I do not recall this store, I am reasonably sure from the architecture that it was at one time an A & P. The building doesn't have the classic steeple, but otherwise the look is quite similar to other old A&P buildings. If I am right, then this store would have been in the boonies when built, but the building of Spring Valley High in the 1970s proves that the population in the area was already growing.
Although Gold's Gym is a top-tier brand (or presents itself as one at any rate), it does often seem to follow the Lizard's Thicket "hermit crab" strategy of moving into existing buildings, something it did here, at the old Columbia Athletic Club, on Harbison and most recently at the old Sofa Express location at Sandhill. When Sandhill opens, they will have two locations quite close together. It would not surprise me to see this one close, though there is no indication of anything like that on their site.
UPDATE 7 April 2010: Originally (as you can tell from the text), I thought this was an A&P. I was wrong, it was a Piggly Wiggly, and I have changed the post title to reflect that.
The Kroger Sav-On at Decker Mall was the first Kroger I ever encountered. It opened while I was in high-school, and was really different from the grocery stores I was accustomed to before it arrived.
Firstly, it was quite large. This was before Wal-Mart super centers or anything like that, and I was used to stores the size of a Colonial, Piggly Wiggly or A & P. This store was noticably larger than any of those.
Secondly, it was more diverse. Some of the largeness was due to it having a built-in pharmacy, which none of the other stores did, but a good bit of it was from selling more than food. In the beginning, the place seemed almost like a mini department store to me, where you could never be sure just what you might find. For instance, I got the very first microwave oven I ever bought from the (now also closed) Kroger at Surfside Beach which also dates from this era, and I still recall how bemused I was to have found such a thing at a grocery store.
Thirdly, it was open late. I don't believe this store was ever 24 hours like the Forest & Beltline store, but it was open a good bit later than I was used to, and the idea that I could pop out at 10pm and buy something was very enticing. (Especially as I was starting to drive and then drive at night).
For a long time, this store, and Target carried Decker Mall. Then when the mall began to decline to the point that you either parked near Kroger or near Target because there was nothing interesting in-between, they locked the doors on the mall side of the store and made everyone come in the front. Finally, when the flight from the Decker corridor to Two Notch began and strengthened, both Kroger and Target moved into new stores, Kroger's in Sparkleberry Square, Target's just slightly east of that. I have never fully understood the demographic logic of that. Yes, the area is growing, and a new store there will make money, but it's not like everybody near Decker suddenly died -- the population that was there is still there. Of course, this store doesn't really fit in with Kroger's current look (which is, I admit, quite nice) and would have needed re-working at some point anyway. (I keep expecting the Forest & Beltline store to either close or remodel..)
Interestingly, and somewhat unexpectedly, Decker Mall survived the move of both anchors and continues to live on, mainly on the strength of the DMV, I suspect, but there actually are a few other ongoing operations there as well.
UPDATE 29 March 2010: The clouds were so nice today, I couldn't resist getting and adding some better shots above.
UPDATE 11 March 2011: Updated closing date due to research by commenter Andrew.