The A&P Comes to Greensboro

Over a period of 78 years, from 1909 to 1987, a total of 42 A&P-owned stores opened (and closed) in Greensboro, North Carolina. Of those, 24 are still standing as of 2018. This article (inspired by this one) will trace the history of all 42 locations and include photos from the 24 remaining buildings. Click any photo to enlarge.

Part 1: 1909-1928

Greensboro News & Record

As reported in the Greensboro Daily News, the first A&P store in Greensboro opened on 22 November 1909, at 326 South Elm Street. The store operated at this location (now a parking lot) until approximately 1913, when it moved a block north to a new store at 217 South Elm. City records show that the current structure at 217 was constructed in 1938, but I am not 100% certain I agree. This location remained an A&P until approximately 1923.

526 South Elm Street

By 1925, the Elm Street store had relocated to the south end of downtown at 526 South Elm. This building, now the earliest documented A&P site still standing in Greensboro, is in a rapidly gentrifying area. It is currently occupied by an upscale barber shop serving craft beer.

900 Spring Garden Street

The only other remaining A&P building from the “Class of 1925” is located at Spring Garden and Mendenhall Streets, near The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). A&P was not in this building for more than five years, but the chain had two subsequent locations in the area, the first at 1301 Spring Garden (late 1920s) and its replacement at 1214 Spring Garden (late 1920s through early 1940s). Both these buildings had fallen victim to UNCG expansion by the 1970s. 900 Spring Garden now houses College Hill Sundries, a popular neighborhood bar.

The Elm and Spring Garden Street stores had also been joined by four additional locations by 1925, none of which is still standing:

  • 600 Ashe Street (now approximately 600 South Eugene Street), on the edge of the Warnersville community. This store would remain open until sometime between 1947 and 1950.
  • 810 East Market Street, in Greensboro’s primary African-American business district prior to desegregation. This store would relocate by 1930 to 823 East Market Street and would operate there until the early 1950s. Both buildings are now gone, victims of “urban renewal” and the expansion of nearby North Carolina A&T State University.
  • 115 West Market Street. This store had relocated a few doors down by 1930 and this new store was also closed by 1935. The building was probably torn down in the 1960s.
  • 209 Paisley Street. Just northwest of downtown, this store briefly had a Pender’s as its next-door neighbor. The A&P lasted until the late 1930s and the building is no longer standing.

747 West Gate City Boulevard

This small store at what was then 747 West Lee Street opened between 1925 and 1928, closed by 1930, replaced by a new store two blocks west.

1310 Glenwood Avenue

This store at Glenwood Avenue and Grove Street would relocate (or expand) to the adjacent 1320 Glenwood Avenue by 1930 and would close by 1935. The building, significantly remodeled, later housed one of the first locations of the local Bi-Rite chain.

710 West Market Street

Located in a small streetcar strip, where it was joined by Pender’s and the Ivory Store, this location operated from the late 1920s to the late 1930s. It is currently occupied by a beauty salon, while the former Pender’s has housed a succession of bars, and is now a gay club.

221 Summit Avenue

Adjacent to a recently restored triangular apartment building, this location opened in the late 1920s  and quickly relocated several doors down to 235 Summit Avenue by 1930. The second location is no longer standing, lost to street construction that connected Church Street with the former Forbis Street.

In addition, A&P had added several more locations by 1928, none of which are still standing:

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