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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.

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Behold the groovy, modern Mayfair Market at LA’s Century City, circa 1968. These photos come from a Progressive Grocer study of new stores published that year. This one is partcularly interesting because it was part of a high-rise office and residential complex, which made it somewhat ahead of its time in those days. Note the interesting column treatment below. I have no idea where in the complex this store was located, nor what is there now.

Discuss of this store in the Groceteria Message Board

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This is the Big Star I remember from my childhood. This photo was taken in Augusta GA in 1978, and was sent to me by Groceteria reader Terry in Oklahoma. He’s in the process of sending me an absolutely amazing archive of photos he’s taken over the years, including this Colonial store in Atlanta from 1978:

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More to come…

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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.

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Microfilm is a wonderful thing. I’m working on a volunteer project at the Greensboro library that involves digitizing portions of the archives of the local newspapers so they can be placed online. Of course, I’m finding lost of interesting stuff along the way, like the 1960 ad above for the High Point-based Big Bear chain, which is not to be confused with several other chains of the same name around the country.

And then, there’s this: the 1947grand opening ad from the famed A&P that began my obsession with odl supermarkets:

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Memco, anyone? Through other research, I’ve determined that Lucky‘s Lady Lee branded items were sold in esat coast memco stores, at least during the 1970s. Memco came to Greensbor in 1980 and lasted less than three years. It was close to my house that I could actually walk there during high school; I bought most of my musc there or at the Peaches Records and Tape across the street.

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And, last but not least, here’s a 1984 ad for A&P‘s Family Mart chain. It was in Family Mart that your humble host, at age 15, was illegally purchasing several six-packs of beer when he turned around to see his (not at all amused) mother standing in line behind him:

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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.

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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.

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So is that vaguely phallic or what?

The ad is from 1968, again courtesy Pat Richardson (whose site you really should visit). These are actually fairly sophisticated image ads for a smallish regional chain in late 1960s North Carolina, although some might question the “Chinese lady” image of the second ad.

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I’ve been incredibly busy with school and work the past few weeks, so the updates have been slow. But it seems I won’t be taking any classes this summer, so that should be good news for the site, if not for my anticipated graduation date.

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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:

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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.

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Winn-Dixie, 3830 East Independence Boulevard, Charlotte. Photo courtesy Pat Richardson.

The Winn-Dixie at Charlotte‘s Amity Gardens Shopping Center opened in November of 1958, right in the middle of the most thriving retail strip in the city. The center also included Woolworth’s and a Barclay Cafeteria. By 1961, it also included Charlotte’s first (and only) branch of Clark’s, an early “supercenter” with both general merchandise and groceries.

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Amity Gardens Shopping Center, 2007.

By the 1980s, the center was already in significant decline, and the conversion of Independence Boulevard into a freeway sealed the fate not only of Amity Gardens, but of the entire retail strip from downtown to Albemarle Road. The old center is still standing today, more or less completely abandoned. Plans to demolish it and construct a Wal-Mart Supercenter are on hold. The years have not been kind to this once booming area.

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