Big Chain, Shreveport LA

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Big Chain, Shreveport LA

Postby Groceteria » 20 Jun 2007 16:24

For those of you who don't visit the main site regularly:

http://www.groceteria.com/journal/2007/06.html#062007

Anybody know anything at all about the history of this chain? Were other locations this interesting? What kind of shape are the former locations in now?

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wnetmacman
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Postby wnetmacman » 20 Jun 2007 18:00

There must have been three locations in Shreveport, then.

The last one was built in Shreve City shopping center, built in 1961. It became Brookshire's soon after (by 1966-67, when Brookshire entered Shreveport). The building is still standing today, but is a call center for Capital One (formerly Hibernia).

The location you pictured on the front page is still standing, I believe. It now houses a Family Dollar store. The Youree store burned a couple of years ago, and was fantastic as well, with a sweeping sidewalk cover.
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Postby Groceteria » 21 Jun 2007 11:01

Today, someone emailed me this link to a photo of the Youree (Broadmoor) store:

http://www.aia.org/nwsltr_hrc.cfm?pagename=hrc_a_20060118_LATech

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Postby wnetmacman » 23 Jun 2007 14:31

I found some more info. Here's a link to a book that holds it.

http://books.google.com/books?id=j5U4acPLtfkC&pg=PA107&lpg=PA107&dq=big+chain+shreveport&source=web&ots=3hQUucihoe&sig=J9cZG66Kw4G5bG-hb8MrHThCW-4

Seems that Big Chain was never more than 10 stores, all around Shreveport, except one Bossier store. They were well known for their bakeries and kosher foods. Weingarten bought several stores. I still think Brookshire had some to do with this.

Also, I found that the Youree store in the previous post did indeed burn in March of 2003. It was at one time the most significant grocery store (in terms of architecture) east of California.

One note about this. If my hunch is correct, Big Chain had some very interesting stores architecturally. Nothing I've seen shows a plain box; there was always something unique about it. I also found out that Big Chain also owned cafeterias in the area too. I'm wondering if the former Brookshire's Cafeteria in Shreve City Shopping Center wasn't a Big Chain Cafeteria. It would make sense since Brookshire also got the Grocery store in Shreve City (which served them very well). Shreve City is another interesting topic for another area of this board.
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Postby Steve Landry » 25 Jun 2007 18:50

Those 2 stores are just breath taking..................luv it!!
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Postby Groceteria » 26 Jun 2007 11:12

Thanks for all the info. Found some other great photos, including one interior and a photo of the distribution center:

Last edited by Groceteria on 26 Jun 2007 13:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby wnetmacman » 26 Jun 2007 12:48

Here are a few more pieces of the puzzle. I'm starting to see a few trends here......

As I had mentioned before, Big Chain had cafeterias. For sure, one of those was in the Shreve City shopping center. Built in 1961, and later greatly expanded, Shreve City was (and still is) over 500,000 sq. ft. Big Chain's cafeteria is pictured in this link:

http://www.shreveport.com/forums/viewphotogallery.php?mode2=photodetail&photodetail2=1897&galleryid=616&catdetail2=220&eventdetail2=220&k2=211&gid2=210

This later became Brookshire's Cafeteria. It was one of only 2 they ever opened. The Big Chain Grocery in Shreve City was definitely a Brookshires. If you look at this picture, it is near the center with a raised awning:

http://www.shreveport.com/forums/viewphotogallery.php?mode2=photodetail&photodetail2=1500&galleryid=616&catdetail2=224&eventdetail2=224&k2=128&gid2=210

The large store to the right is a Woolco, the far left on the main line of stores was a JC Penney store, and the end was Palais Royal. The grassy area eventually was filled with a Dillard's. I can't help but believe that Big Chain was a large factor in the construction of this center.

Also in Shreveport is Uptown Center on Line, whose pylon is shown here:

http://www.shreveport.com/forums/viewphotogallery.php?mode2=photodetail&photodetail2=1299&galleryid=616&catdetail2=224&eventdetail2=224&k2=194&gid2=210

Brookshire has been in this center for over 35 years, having recently expanded their store over half of the center. Brookshire claims to be the original tenant here, which would substantiate my claim that they were the death of Big Chain; a simple buyout.

Big Chain's Distribution Center is shown here:

http://www.shreveport.com/forums/viewphotogallery.php?mode2=photodetail&photodetail2=1181&galleryid=616&catdetail2=220&eventdetail2=220&k2=61&gid2=210

This site is currently a U-Haul storage center.

If you look in this next picture, although it's of a Cities Service station, it shows in the background a Big Chain store on Youree. This would be further down than the Broadmoor store that was so fantastic.

http://www.shreveport.com/forums/viewphotogallery.php?mode2=photodetail&photodetail2=1279&galleryid=616&catdetail2=220&eventdetail2=220&k2=91&gid2=210

After Big Chain, this store became K&B Drugs, which now is a Rite Aid.
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Re: Big Chain, Shreveport LA

Postby wnetmacman » 09 Nov 2017 23:48

I'm just having a really good time with this stuff. Now I've dredged a story about the rise and fall of Big Chain.

bcsport.jpg
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Re:

Postby wnetmacman » 11 Nov 2017 23:26

wnetmacman wrote:Also in Shreveport is Uptown Center on Line, whose pylon is shown here:

Brookshire has been in this center for over 35 years, having recently expanded their store over half of the center. Brookshire claims to be the original tenant here, which would substantiate my claim that they were the death of Big Chain; a simple buyout.

Big Chain's Distribution Center is shown here:

This site is currently a U-Haul storage center.

If you look in this next picture, although it's of a Cities Service station, it shows in the background a Big Chain store on Youree. This would be further down than the Broadmoor store that was so fantastic.

After Big Chain, this store became K&B Drugs, which now is a Rite Aid.


A bit more digging here....

The site that currently houses Brookshire's on Line was indeed originally Big Chain, but it didn't go directly to Brookshire. This was one of FIVE sites Kroger bought up when Big Chain folded. The others included the store on Lakeshore, the Distribution Center/Store on W. 70th, the Youree Drive store and Heart O'Bossier. Each of these five stores were later replaced with a Kroger Superstore: Lakeshore was rebuilt just down Jewella Avenue and was last a TV station; the DC store on W. 70th was part of a Woolco shopping center (and the first Superstore in Shreveport) a few blocks further west. Youree was replaced with a store in Eastgate Shopping Center and Heart O'Bossier was replaced with a store on Benton Road there.

Line avenue was combined with Youree; when that happened, the store was sold to Weingarten, who operated it until its sale to Safeway in 1983 or so. The store operated as Safeway until that chain fully departed Shreveport (and Dallas) in 1987. It has been Brookshire's ever since, with a massive expansion taking place about 15 years ago, and a full remodeling happening a few years ago.

The Youree store, as I mention above, also spent a good amount of time as Kroger before they moved down the street to Eastgate. It was then sold to K&B, who kept the store until Rite Aid closed it last year.

W. 70th and Jewella both closed in the 80's. Heart O'Bossier's Superstore replacement was relocated to the area's first Kroger Marketplace a couple of years ago. Eastgate moved across the street to a Signature-type store in 1997. I say Signature-type, because the store isn't listed as a Signature store, but has all the elements of one. A new Marketplace was built a few miles south last year.
Scott Greer


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