New York area: Billy Blake? Food Parade?

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Jeffrey55
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New York area: Billy Blake? Food Parade?

Post by Jeffrey55 » 10 Dec 2005 23:32

When I first moved to Queens, NY in 1963, there was a large, whitewashed building off of Queens Boulevard at about 60th Drive in the Elmhurst/Rego Park area. I remember it being an odd mix of general merchandise and food in a warehouse-type atmosphere (very high unadorned ceiling, hanging flourescents, etc.). It seems to me that a sizable portion of the interior was, in fact, empty. My memory is that at one point it was called Billy Blake's, and that there were ads indicating they had at least one other store on Long Island -- if not more. But for some reason I have a vague memory that it had another name when we first moved there, and that the merchandise mix changed over time. By the late 60's the name had become Food Parade, and it was strictly a discount supermarket. (I have a photo I took around that time that I think shows a FoodTown trailer outside -- I know that FoodTown is, even today, a regional wholesaler that has some stores operating under its name.) By 1971 the building was demolished, as it was on the site of the Queens Center Mall.

Does ANYBODY ELSE have even the vaguest notion of what I'm talking about, or any knowledge of either Billy Blake's, Food Parade, or the other mysterious barely-remembered name?

turbocsx
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billy blakes

Post by turbocsx » 08 Aug 2006 23:08

they are before my time, but i know of 2 that used to be on long island. 1 in middle island, which after it closed, it remained empty for years. in 1 section-anchor bank had a branch, and next to it the public library was located. the 2 stores took up maybe 20% of the whole place. the store was demolished in the early 90's. Today, there is a walmart on the site.


the other location was in riverhead. it still stands today and is home to Suffolk Life Newspapers. they have done nothing to update the site at all.

I am not 100 percent sure that these were Billy Blakes, but that is what i remember my grandmother telling me.

John Michael
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Re: billy blakes

Post by John Michael » 28 Aug 2006 23:20

turbocsx wrote:they are before my time, but i know of 2 that used to be on long island. 1 in middle island, which after it closed, it remained empty for years. in 1 section-anchor bank had a branch, and next to it the public library was located. the 2 stores took up maybe 20% of the whole place. the store was demolished in the early 90's. Today, there is a walmart on the site.


the other location was in riverhead. it still stands today and is home to Suffolk Life Newspapers. they have done nothing to update the site at all.

I am not 100 percent sure that these were Billy Blakes, but that is what i remember my grandmother telling me.
Oh my God! I thought that I was the only one to remember Billy Blakes Department Store. You are correct in your memory of Billy Blakes Department Store being in Riverhead on #58. Then it was connected to a Food Fair Supermarket. However, now that I saw the name Food Parade, I seem to remember a supermarket by that name but it was not in Riverhead nor on Eastern Long Island. Route # 58 also had an A & P and a King Kullen right at the circle by the hospital. And I thought that I was crazy.
Michael

turbocsx
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Post by turbocsx » 29 Aug 2006 11:56

the king kullen still stands. the a&p is gone though, it's a tj maxx now. the waldbaums that was built in the mid 80's as they closed the a&p is also gone. staples moved in there with a pool supply store. waldbaums built a new store in a new shopping center about 2 miles west of that site. (diagonal from the old billy blakes) Funny thing is, i read last week that the deal between suffolk life (current billy blake building owner) and Ahold is alive again. So, there is supposed to be a stop and shop coming there.
if i can manage to remember, i will take pics before it happens.

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Post by John Michael » 29 Aug 2006 22:24

Dear Turbocsx:
Greetings from Cleveland. The Food Fair building was the smaller of the two. It may still have that escalloped awning which served as its entrance. Billy Blakes was left of the Food Fair building. I believe that it became a church or something. Good luck with the photos.
Michael

turbocsx
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photo of old billy blakes

Post by turbocsx » 05 Sep 2006 20:42

here is some pics of the billy blakes store i was talking about. sorry about the sizing. this was my 1st attempt of posting pics.

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Jeffrey55
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Post by Jeffrey55 » 05 Sep 2006 22:44

Great pics, turbo. Pretty scary looking place actually, with the huge empty lot and gray skies! Wish I could decipher what it used to say on that sign, but my connect-the-dots skills have slipped...
Thanks!

turbocsx
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BILLY BLAKES

Post by turbocsx » 12 Sep 2006 21:23

I was actually considering writing to the paper that owns the building now. They are supposed to be moving out and Lowes will be moving in, which i am almost certain will mean the building will be demolished. I was going to write them and ask if they had any history on the building. But i didn't want them to think i was some sort of wacko. Has anyone ever done something like that?

turbocsx
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BILLY BLAKES

Post by turbocsx » 12 Sep 2006 21:23

I was actually considering writing to the paper that owns the building now. They are supposed to be moving out and Lowes will be moving in, which i am almost certain will mean the building will be demolished. I was going to write them and ask if they had any history on the building. But i didn't want them to think i was some sort of wacko. Has anyone ever done something like that?

Jeffrey55
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Post by Jeffrey55 » 12 Sep 2006 21:43

Do you really care if they consider you a wacko? More to the point, if a newspaper owns it, they have undoubtedly dealt with a lot more genuine wackos.
On the other hand, it's more likely that the local Buildings Department would have information in their files -- possibly documents showing previous owners, site plans, construction permits, etc.

John Michael
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Post by John Michael » 13 Sep 2006 23:32

Jeffrey55 wrote:Do you really care if they consider you a wacko? More to the point, if a newspaper owns it, they have undoubtedly dealt with a lot more genuine wackos.
On the other hand, it's more likely that the local Buildings Department would have information in their files -- possibly documents showing previous owners, site plans, construction permits, etc.
Great photos, especially for your first attempt. It is just as I remember it back in the 1970's. The Billy Blakes' Store was located in the present Suffolk Like building. Food Fair Supermarket was next to it - to the right. The sign that you mentioned I believe was put there by Great Eastern Department Store that replaced the Billy Blakes. But I am not sure. I remember the Billy Blakes sign to be in bright yellow/gold neon. Great Easters was in red. Food Fair's neon logo was above the doors in orange. Oh my God, why worry about being a wacko. I also belong to a Kirby Vacuum Club on Yahoo. Write about being wacko! Next time I hit my home of Southampton we'll need to get some group support - what the Hamptons are known for and may be the reason I left. We will call this new group "Dead Stores Walking." Again, thanks for the photos. Any of the King Kullen at the circle of 58?
Michael

Jeffrey55
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Post by Jeffrey55 » 13 Sep 2006 23:57

Wow -- that building was a Great Eastern after it was Billy Blakes? That is some history! I can still remember when Great Eastern was called Great Eastern Mills. I definitely recall one in New Jersey, and possibly one in Brooklyn -- though I may have that confused with Bargain Town USA -- or western Nassau County. But that would be another thread. Or another website.

Edric Floyd
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Are we wacko?

Post by Edric Floyd » 14 Sep 2006 00:01

John Michael wrote:
Jeffrey55 wrote:Do you really care if they consider you a wacko? More to the point, if a newspaper owns it, they have undoubtedly dealt with a lot more genuine wackos.
On the other hand, it's more likely that the local Buildings Department would have information in their files -- possibly documents showing previous owners, site plans, construction permits, etc.
Great photos, especially for your first attempt. It is just as I remember it back in the 1970's. The Billy Blakes' Store was located in the present Suffolk Like building. Food Fair Supermarket was next to it - to the right. The sign that you mentioned I believe was put there by Great Eastern Department Store that replaced the Billy Blakes. But I am not sure. I remember the Billy Blakes sign to be in bright yellow/gold neon. Great Easters was in red. Food Fair's neon logo was above the doors in orange. Oh my God, why worry about being a wacko. I also belong to a Kirby Vacuum Club on Yahoo. Write about being wacko! Next time I hit my home of Southampton we'll need to get some group support - what the Hamptons are known for and may be the reason I left. We will call this new group "Dead Stores Walking." Again, thanks for the photos. Any of the King Kullen at the circle of 58?
Michael
Wacko? What us?

Me Wacko? The one that recently gave one of our fellow posters here a grand tour of old supermarkets in Macon, Ga just in time for our beautiful Cherry Blossom trees were in great bloom INCLUDING having us meet for lunch at a restaurant located in a 1950's vintage Colonial Foods Supermarket building.

Wacko, no dedicated (and creative) yes.

Wacko declaration subject to review after I decide to dress up as the Colonial Foods chicken for halloween.

John Michael
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Post by John Michael » 15 Sep 2006 00:23

Edrick - you made my day. I am beginning to think that between you, me Turbo, and Jeffrey55 we all need help. However, yes, I clearly remember it being a Great Eastern Store.

turbocsx
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king kullen pics

Post by turbocsx » 16 Sep 2006 19:26

I can definately get pics of the king kullen on 58. But that isnt on the traffic circle. On the traffic circle (the south side) is a shopping center with an auto parts store that could have definately been a supermarket. Back in the early 80's (possibly even before) it was a Harrows pool store, then it was a Newmark and Lewis (defunct appliance and electronics chain) After newmark and lewis closed, the auto parts store moved in. Now, the reason i say that it might have been a supermarket is that the store is certainly big enough for a 60's to 70's supermarket. In fact, if i had to guess, i would say it was a Finast. The only reason i think it was a finast is because on top of the roof is a 10ft by like 40ft high wall that had a neon sign on it. I remember a Finast in patchogue that had the same thing on top of it. That finast is now a blockbuster video. I will have to ask my friends at work if it was ever a finast. Now, back to the king kullen, that is on rt 58, east of the circle by about a mile or so. It recently was renovated. Although, the renovation was pretty lame when you compare it to the current trend in supermarket architecture. Just west of the circle, before the auto parts store and suspected Finast was a Waldbaums. It was built in the early 80's. The whole shopping center was woods, but they were knocked down to make the stores. That waldbaums closed up withing the past 2-3 years when they opened their new modern store about 1-1/2 miles west of the site. Since it closed, the store was renovated and there is a Harrows pool store in one part (harrows returning to riverhead after a 20+ year absence) and the other half is a Staples office supply.

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