Denver Chain Grocery/Supermarket Locations, 1927-1979

This is a list of all known chain grocery addresses in Denver between 1927 and 1979, compiled from city directories, telephone books, and other sources. It is generated through a live Google Spreadsheet so it reflects the latest information I have.

Notes:

  • The original Piggly Wiggly Grimes locations were absorbed into Safeway by 1938, but many seem to have been re-sold to a new operator by 1945, resulting in several stores that were converted to the Safeway banner and then back into Piggly Wiggly stores.
  • Miller’s Groceteria/supermarkets were sold to National Tea in 1957. Most were converted to the Del Farm banner in the 1970s, but some seem to have used the National name before closing for good late in the decade.
  • Big Top and U-Tote-M were basically convenience store chains and will probably be removed from the database soon.
  • Denver avenues divide east and west at Broadway. Streets divide at Ellsworth but those north of Ellsworth bear no directional indication while those south of Ellsworth are labeled as “south.” Numbered streets run diagonally downtown, while numbered avenues run east and west north of Ellsworth. Street names and numbers generally continue into the suburbs rather than changing at limit lines.

Access and download the location spreadsheet via Google Sheets.

Store tags:

  • Albertsons
  • King Soopers
  • MacMarr
  • Miller’s
  • National/Del Farm
  • Piggly Wiggly
  • Red Owl
  • Red & White
  • Safeway
  • Thriftway

One thought on “Denver Chain Grocery/Supermarket Locations, 1927-1979

  1. Jack MacLennan

    April 16, 2021 at 11:21pm

    Dear Mister Gwynn.

    What a fantastic work! Research project! Great history here. Soooo much fun to have found this! ((Located thru the Denver Public Library site, btw.)
    I’m a Denver native (1945). My folks were raised in South Denver. As a family we lived in South Denver, then in Barnum, then Athmar Park, then Ruby Hill neighborhood.

    I remember many many supermarkets from all my growing up years — in those neighborhoods above. Then I started work — first job — at the brand spanking new FURRS’ supermarket on West Mississippi Ave for it’s Grand Opening. Somewhere around 1957 or maybe ’58. Later, I began working at Red Owl store in Brentwood Shopping Center. Then on to several other Red Owl stores, too. Mom shopped at the Save a Nickel on West 8th Ave and at the (first in Denver, apparently) King Soopers at First and Knox Ct. when I was a kindergartner.
    Have always had a keen interest in the grocery business in Denver, and this spread sheet is a FIND!!

    Question: When Red Owl first came into the Denver Market, they started by buying out the existing chain of Busley’s Supermarkets. Then converted them all to Red Owls. I don’t see any Busley’s on your sheet. ???? And….furthermore…if memory serves, Red Owl’s first ever foothold in Denver was in the GoLo Discount store on W. Santa Fe Drive (near Mississippi), but is that one listed?? I started in for Red Owl stores at their Brentwood location (as mentioned).
    I used to shop at the ‘Save a Nickel’ store at 66 So, Logan with my grandmother — she lived just across the street — on Penn. Then that store eventually became a Busley’s supermarket — I remember that well. And THEN it was bought up by Red Owl as part of their ‘entrance into the Denver market’ ‘(that also included a store in Boulder, btw) and converted to a Red Owl. It has always been my understanding that all the Save a Nickel stores in Denver were bought up/converted to Busley’s. sometime in the 1940’s (maybe early 1950s). Yes?

    Sounds like you are also a Denver native, right? So what about Busleys””. Surely those stores show up in the Denver City Directories that you must have researched. ??

    Thank you for this Treasure!

    Jack MacLennan
    Boulder

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Groceteria

      April 22, 2021 at 7:35pm

      Thanks for the note. I’m actually not a Denver native. I’ve only even visited twice. Beautiful city, though, and thanks for sharing your memories!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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