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 Post subject: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Fri 18 Dec 2009 4:55 pm 
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Going into a Goodwill today I was surprised to see some interior elements from a 70's era supermarket intact on the inside. There were different colored sections of flooring to denote different sections -- red at the back for meat, tan with black stripes for bakery I assume, and towards what used to be the center of the store was blue with black stripes for what I presume was the frozen food section. The building has been halved, however, the other half belonging to Discount Drug Mart who totally renovated their half when they moved in. (Looks like they came in some time in the 80's) The building is on Abbe Rd, just north of I-80. Anyone know what supermarket this was? Fazio's? Pick N Pay? Was Kroger still opening stores in Cleveland this late in the game?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67661849@N ... otostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67661849@N ... otostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67661849@N ... otostream/


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Sat 19 Dec 2009 7:27 pm 
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Here's some examples of Fazio's of the 1970's:

http://pleasantfamilyshopping.blogspot. ... azios.html

Fazio's often used recessed lighting rather than exposed tube fluorescent lighting, which looks more like a Kroger, but the shaker shingles were used more sparingly and the flooring looks more like the tile of a greenhouse Kroger of the early 80's, than a 1970's Kroger. Kroger stayed in the area until around 1983.

http://pleasantfamilyshopping.blogspot. ... bel/Kroger

Judging from the outside, the store likely predates the 1970's, with the interior receiving a 1970's remodel well before the 1980's exterior makeover. Toby or Rich should be able to identify the store.


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Sat 19 Dec 2009 10:36 pm 
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I was just in Cleveland and came back yesterday to beat the snow. Too bad--I would have driven over. I think it was a Kroger. It wouldn't have been a Pick-n-Pay. Their long-time location was in or near the Sheffield shopping center on Rt 254, which once had an O'Neil's (later May Co.) department store (its successor would be a May/Kaufman/Macy's at Midway Mall). There also was an Ontario discount store around there, owned by Pick-n-Pay's parent.

Kroger & Fisher Foods (Fazio's predecessor) had stores in downtown Elyria until the early 1970s, very close to each other. The Fisher was an art moderne-ish store from the 40s and the Kroger was probably from the mid-50s. My recollection is that Kroger went to Abbe Road during the superstore era. Kroger built several stores in the Cleveland area right before the superstore era--two quickly closed, but at least one became a superstore. I think they only built 2-3 ground up superstores all early in that era and then left the core Cleveland market in '76 or '77. They might have remained in Elyria after that. Kroger kept stores in places like Painesville into the early 80s which were a little beyond newspaper markets dominated by Cleveland papers. Elyria would have been similarly situated for marketing purposes. Long way of saying that given the size of the store, and Kroger's behavior, it would have been an early superstore or late non-super that was padded out to superstore size. Fazio's kept stores in Oberlin and Lorain, but I think they might have simply left Elyria proper.


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Sat 19 Dec 2009 10:52 pm 
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I don't think the floor tiling looks very Kroger-like, myself; unless this is what they were doing just before the '70s superstore era kicked in...

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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Sun 20 Dec 2009 1:22 am 
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I didn't get a good shot of it, but along this wall there were sections of tan tiling broken up with black stripes every few feet, similar to how the flooring is broken up with stripes of faux brick in those Kroger photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67661849@N ... otostream/

That, along with the color-coded flooring are what made me think of Kroger... Maybe this was a "B" tier superstore with less expensive flooring? Also, I couldn't photograph it because of the number of people coming in and out but this store did have an entrance lobby that is still intact. The dividing wall was put up on the interior of the old supermarket, and the former entrance doors lead to the Goodwill and the former exit doors lead to the Drug Mart. And it wasn't a very deep store, but it was very long!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67661849@N00/4195270747/
This is half of the exterior, the Goodwill half is a mirror image. That peaked part is over the entrance/exit doors. Those windows look original, but I'm pretty sure that metal roof and stucco are a product of the 80's. Also that shake roof awning thing appeared to have once gone across a good chunk of the back wall, but when you get closer to the dividing wall there's an abrupt ending to it and the end is kind of "filled in" with blue painted plywood. Obviously Kroger would have finished it off a little more professionally.


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Sun 20 Dec 2009 2:18 pm 
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The sign/roof area doesn't seem tall enough to have been a Fazio. They would have used a fairly large mansard/shake roof, with a somewhat extended section over the entrance. By that time, they often put the entrance in the middle and had two doors with the entry serving as a vestibule. From the mid-60s onward (the Euclid Ave. store in Wickliffe being the first), Fazio used very little glass in their fronts--usually half windows high up so that fronts could be used for display. The vestibule design also used half windows even though merchandise wasn't placed in the vestibule area. Given the cheapness of the remodel, I don't think this is could have been a Fazio.

This has too much glass in front to have been a superstore, too, and I don't see anything that looks like the brutalist/castle entry, which like the Fazio design usually included an extension out from the rest of the front. Most likely it was a pre-superstore with something else next door that was incorporated into a bigger Kroger or perhaps a store that was built during the transition to superstores and enlarged from the original planned footprint. The one pre-superstore built out to a superstore that I knew well had an entry that looks like a fancier version of what's visible in the pic. Drug Mart did a large expansion in the early 80s which would have fit with when Kroger completely left NE Ohio. They took over a number of A&Ps and that chain left the area around the same time. That also would have been the end of the era when every new or remodeled retail property seemed to have some variation on a mansard roof. The standard pre-superstore Kroger was 19K sf. Ken (aka krogerclerk) would know the dimensions of early superstores better than I, but my recollection was that they usually ran 26-32K. The conversion that was near me was built out from 19K to 30K sf, which was roughly the size of its major competitors in the area (even the local A&P was relatively big). Cleveland chains had been building new stores in excess of 30K sf for quite a while, so I'd imagine that Kroger would have erred on the high side of the superstore prototype to be competitive.


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec 2009 12:26 am 
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Most ground up superstores were 27000 s.f, though smaller and larger versions existed. More often the ones that deviated from the 27k footprint were remodel/expansions. The Belmont Hills Kroger in Smyrna, GA, a late 50's store, was expanded to almost 35k when it received its superstore remodel, not much smaller than the 42k greenhouse replacement on South Cobb Drive. Conversely, both Rome and Cartersville, GA Kroger stores of the same vintage only received a remodel to the superstore without expansion(Rome had been expanded in the mid 60's), with Cartersville getting a floor tile treatment similar to the greenhouse stores that came later. Both stores were closer to 20k. The Hinton, WV Kroger in Andrew's photostream is as close to a standard superstore prototype that is still operating without expansion as I can find.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrew-tur ... 096768101/


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Mon 28 Dec 2009 9:24 pm 
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Last time I was in Elyria, the former superstore Kroger on Abbe Road is now a Save A Lot. I would like to guess that the supermarket where the Discount Drug Mart and Goodwill are could be either Meyer Goldberg (a Lorain County grocery chain that went out of business in the late 1970's) or an independent (Sparkle, Apple's, or IGA?) I think Elyria's Fazio's was closer to the mall. Other possibilities could be a 1950's/1960's Kroger that preceded the Abbe Road superstore, or Loblaws. I know that Loblaws had stores in Berea, Sandusky, and possibly Toledo; they may have been in Lorain/Elyria as well. Next time I'm in Elyria I do plan to check out that Goodwill store.


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed 30 Dec 2009 1:13 am 
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I'd forgotten about Meyer Goldberg, which seems like the likeliest candidate. Sparkle wouuld have been getting cast-off 1950s supers in the 70s or early 80s. Most of their acquisitions in the 70s were former Loblaw-Del Farm stores, some of which had been upgraded to National Tea's superstore format.

Loblaw had a store at Ridgeview Plaza on Lorain Road in North Ridgeville, but no other stores in the area. They never had stores in Sandusky. National's Detroit Division had four stores in Toldeo for a brief time from the late 50s to the early 60s. They didn't seem to go as far afield from Youngstown as they did from Buffalo (the Buffalo Loblaw division had stores as far away as Ashtubula, and Conneaut).

There may have been a Fazio's on an outparcel of Midway Mall. They built several stores like that in the 70s: Great Lakes Mall (replaced a store in the mall) and Euclid Square.


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Sun 03 Jan 2010 7:01 pm 
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Most of this is, sadly, before my time (I always seem to miss the good stuff). I do remember shopping at Fazio's in Oberlin with my Grandma and at Kroger in Elyria with my other Grandma. The old Fazio's in Oberlin is now their public library. The Kroger store in Elyria that was on Abbe Road was a few miles south of the store in question (closer to Broad Street) and is now a Big Lots.

My parents were unsure of what had been in the Goodwill/Drug Mart location, so I am checking with my Grandparents to see if they can remember.

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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed 06 Jan 2010 11:29 am 
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I stand corrected. I have talked with several people (including some in the grocery biz at the time) that said that Drug Mart's portion of the building was built for Drug Mart (added later) and the portion where Goodwill is was in fact a Kroger. Some (but not all) of those that I talked to believe that Kroger closed this store and one in downtown Elyria when they built their superstore at South Abbe and Broad.

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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Fri 08 Jan 2010 2:14 am 
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Ah, so it WAS a Kroger? And I'm going to have to get out there once the roads are clear and check out that Superstore that's been Big-Lotted. I doubt they've left a lot of interior details intact like they have in other locations.


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan 2010 6:54 pm 
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Thanks for the clarifications. I think both Big Lots and Save A Lot took over that same Kroger building (correct me if I'm wrong...I think Big Lots is in the front and Save A Lot is in the rear.

I remember an Edwards Food Warehouse store (part of Pick-N-Pay/Finast; their answer to Kroger's Barney's stores) in Ridgeview Plaza in the early 1980's...I think that's the former Loblaws. The entire shopping center, which once had a twin cinema and an antique mall inside a former JC Penney store, has since been demolished.

As for Sandusky, there is a fairly large 1950's/1960's strip shopping center at the corner of Rt. 6 and Rt. 250. That strip is pretty much in decline now...that is where I guessed that Loblaws was. Since Loblaws was never in Sandusky, i wonder what supermarkets anchored that strip. I know that there was an IGA there for a long time; I'm now guessing that Kroger was one of the anchors, before they built their still-open superstore on Perkins Road. The strip looked like there was space for another supermarket anchor. I wonder what is was...A&P? Fisher Foods?


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan 2010 11:29 pm 
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The other anchor was Mark's Pick-n-Pay. I think there was another one someplace else in Sandusky. Mark's was a chain that Pick-n-Pay had acquired, probably in the 50s. They used "Vacationland" trading stamps instead of Eagle Stamps.

Pick-n-Pay was the other anchor at Ridgeview, besides Loblaw. There probably was a dime store there, too. Was JC Penney an original tenant, or was it a later clearance outlet. If they'd had a dry goods store there when the center opened, it would have been closed when they opened one of their nearby mall stores--this is what happened to Eastgate when Richmond Mall opened.

I don't think Fisher's got further West than Norwalk--their store there was part of Fisher's late 40s/early 50s push outside of Cleveland that included Mansfield and Geneva. I think Warren might have come a little later.

Finast briefly went as far West as Toledo. They opened an Edwards Food Warehouse in the Miracle Mile area around 1984--probably an old Rink's Bargain City. I don't know if they opened other stores. Like every other out of towner except Kroger they didn't last long in Toledo. Until Meijer came, no outside chain ever succeeded there--National, Big Bear, Packer (Wrigley), and Farmer Jack (twice) were the other casualties.


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 Post subject: Re: Former supermarket, Elyria, Ohio
PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan 2010 12:05 am 
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I am guessing that the JC Penney store at Ridgeview closed when they opened at Midway Mall, which is not far from there. I remember the twin cinema...I went to see "Top Gun" there in 1986...it was a discount-price operation. The theater also sold flavored popcorn. I stopped at the antique mall to kill time before the movie started; I remember seeing 15-inch transcription records from WWII for sale there. The antique mall looked a lot like a 1950's vintage JC Penney...similar to those that were opened before they went to the malls. I also stopped at the Edwards store. I believe now that it started out as a Pick-N-Pay. Loblaws was at the opposite end of the center, I believe...I think that store was vacant during my 1986 visit to Ridgeview Center.


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