I’m testing a new way of generating the location lists on the site using Google Sheets. The biggest benefits are that this approach should be more tablet- and mobile-friendly, and also will make it easier for me to have the most updated data I have on the site without having to do manual updates. It will also allow users to download the spreadsheets or add them to your own Google Drive.

I’m also in the process of updating the¬†rest of the location lists so they generate automatic links to a current site view in Google¬†Maps.

I started with San Francisco as a test. Let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks!

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More precisely, happy birthday to Groceteria.com, which was born fifteen years ago today as a post on another site. It was part of some of the earliest research that eventually became Groceteria.com. The post noted that this storefront on Irving Street in San Francisco was originally one of the earlier Safeway stores in the city and also mentioned that there had been Piggly Wiggly stores in San Francisco. Further, it suggested that there would be more to come on this subject.

Back in 1999, there was very little information online about the history of supermarkets in the US and Canada. To say that interest has grown would be an understatement. I like to think this site had some part in all that. Things have been a little less active here the past few years due to work pressures and a lot of family issues for me, but I’ve been working on things a lot more lately, adding features and content, and I hope there will be ever more new stuff in the coming months.

Thanks for stopping by.

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228 East Seventh Street SE, Washington DC (1987, Washington Post).

Opened in 1940, this Safeway store at 228 Seventh Street SE in Washington DC managed to hang on until 1986. It was still profitable until the end; the need for expensive renovations was cited as the reason for its closing. The surrounding neighborhood was not happy about the closing and the city council tried unsuccessfully to delay it through legislation.

It’s a classic 1940s store, modernized probably in the mid 1960s. The Noe Valley store in San Francisco, closed in the mid 1970s and pictured below, was probably a fairly similar renovation. I’d love to have seen the interiors of these stores. It’s amazing they lasted as long as they did.

The SF location, by the way, managed to hang on for another fifteen years as a Bell Market after Safeway moved out. It’s now an unrecognizable Walgreens. I don’t know the fate of the DC store.

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1333 Castro Street, San Francisco (1973, The Streets of San Francisco).

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For my Christmas vacation, I visited a Lucky store and finally saw in person one of those murals I helped their ad agency assemble. Appropriately, the first “new Lucky” I visited was also the very first “old Lucky” I ever visited, way back in 1992: the Lakeshore Plaza store in San Francisco.

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Photo by Mark Winston.

Finally, a picture of the historic mural in the new/old Lucky Stores of Northern California. I’ve been itching to see this, because I supplied their ad agency with three of the six photos they used. Once again, my betrothed has come to the rescue.

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Now here’s a site that warms my heart. Another San Francisco store (one that was originally designed as a Lucky but opened as an Albertsons) reclaims its rightful and historically significant brand name. Photo courtesy of my betrothed who’s working in San Francisco this week.

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Lest anyone worry, my favorite Cala Foods location in San Francisco (previously featured here and here) is apparently still a Cala Foods location, per this recent photo snapped by the photographer I love. This store was one of the only ones not sold by Kroger a few months back. Therefore it has not been converted into a Delano’s IGA. And I’m very glad, although I’m not exactly certain what the future holds for 1095 Hyde Street.

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The photo above was emailed to be by my husband, who’s working in San Francisco this week. So it happens on Monday. After more than sixty years as one of the most recognized names in San Francisco grocery retailing, most Cala Foods and Bell Market stores will become Delano’s IGA. Sounds vaguely like the name of a feed store, doesn’t it?

When I first moved to San Francisco, Cala stores were exactly how I’d always imagined “urban” supermarkets would be: small, old, and almost comically overpriced. Despite the fact that shopping there regularly would have bankrupted me, I always liked visiting their stores. In fact, the Cala store at 1095 Hyde Street (featured earlier here and here) was the first supermarket I ever visited in California, and it remains one of my favorite stores ever.

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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:

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A 1999 night shot of the exterior:

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Interior photos, circa 2004:

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