South Main Street, Danville VA

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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Groceteria
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South Main Street, Danville VA

Post by Groceteria » 10 Sep 2006 22:31

Thoughts?

I'm inclined to guess Kroger, but I'm definitely not certain.

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krogerclerk
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Post by krogerclerk » 11 Sep 2006 00:46

Kroger is a good guess, but I'm not sure the pylon tower is rare for Kroger.
Colonial is a possibility as is Winn-Dixie or one of its predecessors. A&P could have had a pre-centennial store there, but they usually lacked the pylon tower.. I'm not sure if Food Fair/Pantry Pride was ever that far west in Virginia.

Since the NC Triad is close by, did Food World or Big Bear ever operate that far out?

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Post by rich » 11 Sep 2006 09:11

Kroger stores of that era usually didn't have a pylon. Sometimes, they used a raised rectangular metal sign on top of a store (other chains did something like this, too, including A&P). Colonial sometimes used pylons, but there's no evidence of their corrugated metal, plus the entry is different from the usual Colonial set-up (which had wider distance between entry & exit. Pre-colonial A&Ps would have emphasized width (usually the A&P medallion and then tapering "wings". Stores from the 40s often used metal sign. Whatever was heredoesn't seem to have left much in the way of scars.

What independents or coops operated in this area?

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Post by Dave » 11 Sep 2006 09:46

All I've found out so far is that the building is a little over 11,000 sf, built in 1958, and the street address is 714 S. Main Street.

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Post by Groceteria » 11 Sep 2006 11:00

I agree that it doesn't really feel like an A&P, due to the side entrance and the lack of angled windows. Doesn't much look like any Colonial prototypes of that era either, although I guess it could be one. I'm not sure whether or not Big Bear went that far north that early.

Winn-Dixie is one I hadn't thought about, and seems pretty reasonable. I know they had one store in Greensboro built of similarly-colored brick, although it had a front entrance. The side entrance is what had led me to guess Kroger earlier.

Of course, it could just be an independent or a small local chain, as much as I hate to admit such things...
Last edited by Groceteria on 11 Sep 2006 13:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Steve Landry » 11 Sep 2006 11:27

I doubt it was a Food Fair, mainly because they were not building or buying stores of that size in the late 50's. Food Fairs in that era were mostly above 25,000 sq ft.

Of all the major chains of that time, Food Fair had the highest average square footage and the highest sales per square foot.
The Food Fair Empire

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Post by rich » 12 Sep 2006 09:29

Most chains were building 15,000 sf stores in the mid/late-50s, including Kroger. A&Ps were sometimes smaller, esp. in urban neighborhoods. A Kroger would probably have left label scars from neon-lit lettering on one side and a big rectangular metal sign on another--freestanding Krogers from that era typically had that kind signage. A small store like that in '58 would more likely be an independent.

Other possibilities, besides independents: a drug store---large, full line stores that sold everything imaginable were becoming common, a hardware store.

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Post by krogerclerk » 14 Sep 2006 18:14

The exterior has a vague feel of Colonial, though the corrugated metal is missing. The shingle roofing is not original and may cover more telling evidence. It definitely feels and looks like a grocery store and not a drug store or hardware store. A 5&10 is possible, but the design is supermarket like for the era-store positioned against the street with the parking on the side, common for free standing grocery stores in small towns, as downtown was the primary shopping district and most southern cities the size of Danville did not have modern suburban shopping center constructed until the 1960's. Ketner-Milner and Dixie Home Stores were the predecessors to Winn-Dixie in North Carolina and could have been across the Virginia border.
An independent is possible, but the store is large and elaborate for and independent of the era in the South. Most nicer indy's tend to be in former chain locations.

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Post by Groceteria » 15 Sep 2006 10:51

I thought Colonial briefly as well, but the pylon doesn't feel right. Most Colonial stores in the last 1950s had non-structural tower signs, and most had front entrances even if there was a side parking lot.

Maybe at some point, I'll hit the library up there. There's just too much ahead of it right now, though...

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Post by Dave » 15 Sep 2006 18:23

Groceteria wrote:I thought Colonial briefly as well, but the pylon doesn't feel right. Most Colonial stores in the last 1950s had non-structural tower signs, and most had front entrances even if there was a side parking lot.

Maybe at some point, I'll hit the library up there. There's just too much ahead of it right now, though...
There is a 1957 vintage Colonial in Richmond (Highland Springs) with a pylon, though most of them had the steel lattice-work pylons. The pylon is wider though. Here's a picture:
Image

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Post by krogerclerk » 30 Oct 2007 12:23

Kroger closed its West Main Street location in Danville in 2003, its proximity making it more likely it was Kroger , which I think by the 60's had two, maybe three, locations in Danville. A&P, Colonial and Winn-Dixie were also in Danville in the same time frame and Colonial and Kroger built stores closest to that design. There doesn't appear to be room for Colonial and the Rooster logo, but the Kroger oval logo would fit, but it was more common for Kroger use individual lettering on store signage in the era the store was open.

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Post by Groceteria » 24 Nov 2007 21:48

I'm told by an email correspondent that this address was occupied by a local chain called Cat and Fiddle starting in 1961. It later became part of the still-extant Old Dutch chain, which is now a Galaxy Foods (MDI) affiliate. So apparently it was never a major chain location.

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Re: South Main Street, Danville VA

Post by jthackworth2000 » 26 Aug 2013 14:52

This building was originally a A&P Grocery Store and after that it become Cat N' The Fiddle Grocery. Once that closed it was purchased by my great-uncle and operated as a local chain known as Old Dutch Galaxie Food Center up through the 1970's.

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Re:

Post by NoVa Grocery Buff » 08 Aug 2018 18:45

krogerclerk wrote:
30 Oct 2007 12:23
Kroger closed its West Main Street location in Danville in 2003, its proximity making it more likely it was Kroger , which I think by the 60's had two, maybe three, locations in Danville. A&P, Colonial and Winn-Dixie were also in Danville in the same time frame and Colonial and Kroger built stores closest to that design. There doesn't appear to be room for Colonial and the Rooster logo, but the Kroger oval logo would fit, but it was more common for Kroger use individual lettering on store signage in the era the store was open.
Came across a photo of an old Kroger on Main Street in Danville. You can only see the Kroger sign, however, it's about halfway down on the right side. The view is looking E-NE on Main Street, looking at the street view (500 block of Main Street), you can still see the front of the store and perspective of the picture. The actual store looks to have been roughly at 519 S Main Street, Danville, VA, 24541. Ironically came across this while looking for stores in the Shenandoah Valley.

http://image.lva.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/p ... 010016-000
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Post by Groceteria » 08 Aug 2018 22:23

NoVa Grocery Buff wrote:
08 Aug 2018 18:45
The actual store looks to have been roughly at 519 S Main Street, Danville, VA, 24541.
I think you nailed the address. Good find. Thanks!

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