This one’s an interesting specimen. It obviously dates from the late 1950s or early 1960s, and was given some sort of “superstore” retrofit in the 1970s. But the original sign stayed, and then the whole building was eventually painted a nice, bland beige. The interior is the slightly cheesy teal “millenium” package that every Kroger in West Virginia seems to have. I think the layout has been altered from the original as well.

It amazes me how many of these smaller and older stores are still operating in parts of West Virginia and Ohio. I’m travelling I-77, I-79, and US 19 a lot these days, since I’m sort of living in Pittsburgh part time now, and I’m seeing a lot of these as I try to vary my commutes between Winston-Salem and da ‘Burgh. I may be posting a few more examples this week.


Wow. What happened to November?

Anyway, the semester from hell is now pretty much officially over (I submitted my last two papers today), and I’m hoping to be a little more active here in the coming weeks. For now, I’ll leave you with this nice shot of the former Food Fair store at Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey. You don’t often see supermarkets as a part of enclosed malls. In fact, it’s an obscure enough topic to have its own thread on the message board.


From Heather David at SV Modern comes this sketch by architect John Bolles for a proposed Safeway at the Cupertino Crossroads Shopping Center northwest of San Jose. The store was mentioned in the June 1960 issue of Chain Store Age. The photo below is of the store as built, from a shopping center guide published by the San Jose Mercury News. I’d love to have seen this one.


A&P, 1121 Linwood, Kansas City MO, 1940. Unknown source.

I can’t remember wher I came up with this photo several years ago, but I’ve always loved it. It’s a beautiful store, with its glass brick, its neon, and the structural entrance to the parking lot. It’s a building I’d hoped to seek out next time I was in Kansas City.

Yesterday, while editing some video of my 1997 trip to KC, the image below jumped out at me, and I was almost sure that it was this same store. You can see the brick pattern across the front, the glass brick in the tower, and even th residue from where they tore down the parking entrance. A little research using Google Maps and based on some surrounding structures that were also visible on the tape confirmed it.

Former A&P, 1121 Linwood, Kansas City MO, 1997.

Unfortunately, the same Google Maps research also revealed that this store is no longer standing. In fact, it looks like rather large chunks of the surrounding neighborhood are gone, including the multistory building to the right of the A&P in the 1940 photo. Looks like the years have not been kind to that area, as it seems to be all vacant lots now. I really regret never having gotten a better look at that building.

Dominick’s, 3333 Central Street, Evanston IL. From Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding New Super Markets, 1969.

This groovy Dominick’s (just look at that streetlight) was featured as one of Progressive Grocer’s best new supermarkets of 1969 in a great book I found at the UNC library last week. I’ll be adding lots more stuff from this book (as well as interior photos from this store) soon. For those who care about such things, this location is now a CVS Pharmacy, and Google’s Street View gives a pretty good current photo from almost the same angle, with a little manipulation:


The book also features interiors and exteriors from the Century City Mayfair Market in Los Angeles, the Glendale CA Crawford’s Market, a Loray store in San Leandro CA, a Fazio’s in Ohio, a Straub’s in St. Louis, and a Lund’s in Minnesota, among others. More to come.

I also came across Shopping at Giant Foods: Chinese American Supermarkets in Northern California, which gives a great history of chains in the Sacramento and Stockton areas, including Farmers, Centromart, Jumbo, and more. I’ll be adding some of that information to the appropriate sections soon as well.

Random stuff for Friday afternoon:

First, for those of you who are feeling particularly upper midwestern today, here’s a site full of Red Owl photos.


Second, this beautiful Safeway on Pioneer Avenue in Cheyenne WY comes courtesy of Bobby Magill. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Safeway quite like it. Maybe we’ll call this prototype “Safeway Ranch”.


And last but not least, there’s this interior shot of a former Co-op Market in Ridgefield NJ, courtesy of Mike. I crave to be in this (apparently very well-preserved) store.


Just because the chain is now being discussed on my Message Board, and because I recently dug up these photos I shot during a 2001 visit, here is the former Jenkins’ Red & White store in downtown Zebulon NC.

Red & White, like IGA, was a franchise/co-op chain dating back to at least the 1920s. Its independently-owned member stores nationwide joined in an attempt to compete more efficiently against traditional chains like Safeway and A&P. Eventually, its stores were more likely to be found in small towns, where they were often the only supermarket around.


I have my suspicions that this store may have started out as an A&P location. I have absolutely no evidence to back this up, only a vague feeling about the sign. I haven’t revisited the area, but I’m told the store closed shortly after I took these pictures.