This interesting snippet from a 1968 Colonial Stores grand opening ad from Atlanta comes to me from Robby Delius. It’s particularly noteworthy because it makes such use of the “Big Star” motif that would ultimately be applied to all Colonial Stores by the mid-1970s.


Also from 1968 (and from the same source) is this grand opening ad for a Safeway store in Richmond. There’s nothing really remarkable about this one, I guess. It’s just, as the ad says, really ultra-modern. And the cartoon shoppers look so darned happy

More reader submissions to come.


This is just sort of a cool postcard view I found on eBay. The store in question was at Wadsworth and Jewel in Denver, and it’s still standing, although (of course) the one direction that Live Local doesn’t have is the one that matches the view in the postcard.

This sort of looks like it might have started out as a Safeway-Super S supermarket and drug store combo.


Safeway, Kensington MD, circa 1949. This store was replaced in 1964 with an arch-roofed Marina prototype store, which was demolished last year to construct a third store at the same site. Obviously, some 1940s employee of Safeway’s real estate department made a really good call on this one.


A 1972 Safeway prototype in Federal Way WA, courtesy of Tim Babcock. Several of these were apparently built in the area, but this is the only one with an intact exterior. It’s rumored to be closing soon.

Two photos, grabbed long ago from some Virginia Tech website (I think) that show amazing early 1950s interiors from an Safeway store somewhere in Virginia. Actually, I’m betting the store itself dates from the 1940s. This pair really excites me.



Two photos, grabbed long ago from some Virginia Tech website (I think) that show amazing early 1950s interiors from an Safeway store somewhere in Virginia. Actually, I’m betting the store itself dates from the 1940s. This pair really excites me.


One of my favorite Safeway locations in San Francisco apparently closed last night. The small-scale Marina-type store on Seventh Avenue is to be torn down and replaced with a new “lifestyle” format store with rooftop parking.

This location opened in 1959, and was probably less than 12,000 square feet. The prototype was designed for smaller lots in residential areas and smaller towns that couldn’t support a full-sized store. It always amazed me how much stuff they managed to pack into the place, and how many customers it managed to accommodate.

It’s been rumored to be closing for several years, and the time has apparently come just shy of its fiftieth birthday. I’ll miss this one.

This is a video capture from a 1974 episode of “The Streets of San Francisco” featuring the location with its signs camouflaged:


A 1999 night shot of the exterior:


Interior photos, circa 2004:







Sent to me several years ago by Daniel, who participates on the Groceteria Message Board, this 1982 video capture is from a TV news story on the closing of a Marina Safeway in Visalia, California, just south of Fresno. It’s a nice shot of a then-intact interior from the middle to late 1960s.


One of Safeway’s planned 1958 store prototypes, from “The New Way at Safeway”, a Progressive Grocer study of the chain. I’d love to have seen one of these if any were actually built.

Sorry for the delay. The last few weeks became a bit hectic, with lots of freelance work, a death in the family, and my Thanksgiving trek to the west coast to visit the in-laws.

I’m ready to continue on with those road trip photos now:

Let’s start with Indianapolis:


This Preston Safeway store at 5040 East 16th was most likely a former Standard Store. Preston Safeway is an odd little chain in Indianapolis that has successfully managed to use the Safeway name without trademark issues for quite some time. There is no connection to the more well-known chain other than the fact that Preston Safeway seems to be using the “Ingredients for Life” typeface on some of its banners.

On to Chicago:


Despite its somewhat modernized appearance, the Jewel-Osco above, located at 3531 Broadway, is in an ancient building which I suspect may have been something else to begin with — perhaps a garage, a car dealership, or even a garden variety warehouse. The store is at ground level and the second level is enclosed parking.


I suspect this was originally a Kroger. It’s at 7620 North Western.


This gorgeous former Jewel store is at 4335 West Oakton in Skokie.

And now, the Detroit suburbs:


I found this 1950s-era Kroger interesting because it had obviously been remodeled and expanded into an early 1970s superstore. There’s a 1990s version still open in the same center.

And finally, Toronto:

It’s interesting that the grocery industry is so completely consolidated in the hands of three companies (Loblaw, A&P/Metro, and Sobey’s) but still operates under so many different banners. Loblaw owns Zehr’s and No Frills, while A&P owns Dominion and Food Basics. Sobey’s also operates as Price Chopper, IGA, and more.

I was unable to find the one documented former Safeway location I’d been given in Toronto, but I found other good stuff:


A Loblaws from the 1950s at 301 Moore is still open and in relatively good repair. It seems larger than average for its era.


Probably a former Loblaws at 2187 West Bloor.


Also a probable former Loblaws, this one at 1450 East Lawrence.


The Dominion store above, at 425 West Bloor may or may now have been an A&P. It probably dates from the early 1950s. The late 1940s/early 1950s model below, at 3142 Yonge, was definitely an A&P in a previous life, if its parking signs are to be trusted.


I may try to post one or two more at some point.

Input solicited: I’m leaving Saturday on a two-week road trip which will give me several days each in Chicago, Detroit, and Toronto. Anyone have ideas about old chain stores and vintage shopping centers I should see?

I’m particularly interested in old National Tea, Jewel, A&P, and Kroger stores. I’ve also been told that Safeway had a Toronto division for a time. Location pointers would be much appreciated.