Detroit Area Stores

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Speedway79
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Location: Trenton, Mich.

Detroit Area Stores

Post by Speedway79 » 07 Apr 2007 11:20

<<Note from moderator: I've split these posts off from another thread where they were veering off-topic.>>

Excellent point you brought up about the K missing from the sign. I was thought sure I included that, but I guess it slipped my mind. Anyway a few more thoughts on the store. i remember the News-Herald did a story for either the second front or the business section about 5 or so years ago stating the intentions to do one of two things here- A. Vacate store/ erect new store on the frontage later occupied by the new south end of the strip where home goods is now. B. remodel store ala' the Grosse Ile location, ie. small but modern. Maybe its the end of the line for this store and they've given up basic maintanance to let it rot. Sort of like the orange walled stalwart k-mart in melvindale that lasted up until the mid 90's until the LP super k opened.

Let me ask you this- Have you visited the grosse pointe kroger on mack recently. That was one of my stops back during the circa 2000/ 2001 tour. Wonder how she's holding up these days.

Also when you get a chance, visit the trentwood farm market down the street on west, its a relatively intact pre-colonial former a&p- it'll give you an idea of 1950's size and meat counter layouts.

Also I hear there are a few colonials with completely intact original decor within the detroit city limit, you hear any stories?

Anyway, sorry for the rambling, poorly worded messages, i'm spending the weekend at washtenaw community college, and get a few minutes here and there to put down my thoughts, so its not always well planned or concise.

Speedway79
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Location: Trenton, Mich.

Kroger Continued

Post by Speedway79 » 07 Apr 2007 11:30

Come to think about it too, I have a story to share about the old monroe, mich. superstore as well. back in late 1999 I found myself on a unusually smowy night at this store and noticed a few things.

1. The lighting had an irresdescent quality to it, you felt instantly different when you walked into the store.

2. Completely intact superstore with ALL original signage in original colors, aisle markers, checkstands, wall colors.

3. Original shelves and cases throughout.

This was 100% like stepping back into 1979 and at the same time I had a strange feeling and tightness in my chest and the realization that nothing was quite right here, the whole place was a little askew. Everyone either sported a scowl or was dressed in polyester. Shortly thereafter the store was shuttered after kroger very temporarily escaped monroe.

Rimes
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Post by Rimes » 07 Apr 2007 18:13

This was 100% like stepping back into 1979 and at the same time I had a strange feeling and tightness in my chest and the realization that nothing was quite right here, the whole place was a little askew. Everyone either sported a scowl or was dressed in polyester.
Hey, maybe you did step back in time! :-)

I've never been to the Grosse Point or Monroe "Kroger" stores. I've only gotten interested in retail history last summer, and I think the only Kroger stores that I've been to were the ones in Woodhaven, Southgate (on Eureka, former K-Mart) and possibly once to the Lincoln Park one (Dix & Southfield) years ago. I went to the Southgate one a few days ago, and the comments in this thread helped me notice things that I wouldn't have noticed before, like the style of the signage, etc. The Southgate Kroger was built in the mid-to-late 1990s.
(The Woodhaven Kroger) Store was erected about the same time as the k-mart across the street during the first retail boom in the area.
The Woodhaven K-Mart at 19800 West Road opened in March 1971. I don't know exactly when the Kroger opened, but I think it was probably a bit later than that, more like the late 1970s. I could be wrong, though. I remember there being a bookstore around where the Grand Buffet, etc. is located now, and I bought some comics there which were published around July 1979.

Here's a photo of the Woodhaven Kroger that I took on March 9th, showing how the Kroger lettering is now missing the K:

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j254/ ... im1426.jpg
Also when you get a chance, visit the trentwood farm market down the street on west, its a relatively intact pre-colonial former a&p- it'll give you an idea of 1950's size and meat counter layouts.
I went briefly to the Trentwood Farm Market a few months ago when I took a walk to the Woodhaven Kroger to check it out. Here's a photo of the exterior:

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j254/ ... ntwood.jpg

I knew that location had been an A&P for many years, but I don't remember it (before my time). It didn't look like anything special to me, but I admittedly don't know much about this stuff. I seem to recall the farm market opening in either the mid or late 1980s. Blockbuster (at the east end) opened around 1989, I believe. I think that area used to be a drugstore called Grove Drugs.

Apparently the address number of the A&P was 16125 West Road. The Farm Market's address is 16135 West. (Currently 16125 West is the Cottage Inn Pizza, the one with the blue canopy in the middle.) This makes me wonder if that Cottage Inn location was originally the entrance to the A&P.

However, complicating this is the fact that the current phonebook lists Blockbuster (east end) being at 16125 West (A&P's old address). However, when you actually go to the Blockbuster, you see that their address number is 16075 West. So it's possible my old address number for A&P could be wrong just like the phonebook's address number for Blockbuster today is wrong. Anyway, the A&P was there since at least 1958, maybe earlier. I don't know when it went out of business, either the 1970s or 1980s I guess.

Speedway79
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Location: Trenton, Mich.

Gorve Drugs/ A & P/ Wrigley's and others

Post by Speedway79 » 14 Apr 2007 10:43

Completely forgot about the Grove Drugs store in that shooping center. And as far as the A & P I can't recall all that much except that for a period of time circa 1973 or so it was being repeatedly held up. This store possibly closed around the time the Trafford Square location opened on Fort and Van Horn.

You mentioned the Wrigley store at the West Grange address, I have only seen one very poor quality photo of this location on a historical photo card posted inside the now closed family market/ food town store which opened in '97 in the old Trafford Square A & P. I believe most, if not all of these historic trenton images currently reside in the Secretary of State's office in the same shopping center.

West Grange Plaza was heavily renovated late 90's, I believe the foot doctor or chiropractor next to the sportland store was the original entry vesibule for the wrigley's and it encompassed the mr. bulky bulk foods store next door and then the entire west grange drug store. Also any idea what the Murray's discount auto originally housed? it was a larger, almost grocery like space in its own right.

One final thing, does anyone have a picture of the Farmer Jack at King and Fort when the entire strip housed the Yankee Stadium Discount Department Store?

Rimes
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Post by Rimes » 14 Apr 2007 12:12

Completely forgot about the Grove Drugs store in that shooping center.
I believe that Grove Drugs got it start at the Fort-Grove strip mall at the corner of Fort & Grove in Wyandotte, which also had an A&P as its anchor, and which opened in the mid-1950s. Both strip malls also had a Mister Music store in the early 1970s. The A&P at Fort Grove became Danny's Foods sometime in the 1970s, then by 2002 had become a Save-a-Lot, similar to Aldi's where the prices are low but you have to bag your own groceries with random empty boxes in the store.
This (A&P) store possibly closed around the time the Trafford Square location opened on Fort and Van Horn.
I don't know of an A&P in Trafford Square; that anchor store was a Chatham's in the 1970s-80s, I believe. Recently the vacant grocery store building has become home to Metro South Church.
You mentioned the Wrigley store at the West Grange address, I have only seen one very poor quality photo of this location on a historical photo card
For more info on Wrigley's (and a fuzzy photo still of the West Grange one) see my thread at
http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtopic.php?p=6070
I believe the foot doctor or chiropractor next to the sportland store was the original entry vesibule for the wrigley's
I think you are correct. All this was before my time (although I do vaguely remember when West Grange occupied the area that Sportsland is at now, since I bought comics there as a kid), but I do have some extremely brief home movie footage which shows Wrigley's in the background, and from which the aforementioned fuzzy photo still came from).
I believe most, if not all of these historic trenton images currently reside in the Secretary of State's office in the same shopping center.
A friend of mine was mentioning those photos to me just yesterday; I'll have to go there and check 'em out sometime.
Also any idea what the Murray's discount auto originally housed? it was a larger, almost grocery like space in its own right.
It was originally a Ben Franklin's dime store. (Fort-Grove also had a Ben Franklin. I see the West Grange and Fort-Grove strip malls as being similar ideas: a grocery store for anchor, a drugstore named after the intersection, and both had Ben Franklin dimestores. But today West Grange is doing a lot better than Fort-Grove. The Fort-Grove strip mall was designed by Louis G. Redstone circa 1957 according to this PDF file:

http://bentley.umich.edu/bhl/mhchome/re ... DSTONE.pdf

You can view a few photos of West Grange Plaza, showing where Murray's was shortly after it closed, but before Family Dollar moved in, at

http://www.landmarkcres.com/prop_details.cfm?id=205

(click the link that says "Additional Photographs")
One final thing, does anyone have a picture of the Farmer Jack at King and Fort when the entire strip housed the Yankee Stadium Discount Department Store?
I would love to see a photo of Yankee myself; I'm very interested in the history of that Farmer Jack location -- see my post at

http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtop ... ight=#4287
Last edited by Rimes on 15 Apr 2007 01:05, edited 1 time in total.

Rimes
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Post by Rimes » 15 Apr 2007 01:04

I might as well post this link here, since now it's on topic... a website which I've been working on for the past 8 months or so, at

http://rimes12.tripod.com

which is a compilation of addresses in Downriver through the years, both commercial and residential.

I started the page after seeing Groceteria's spreadsheet for grocery stores in Charlotte, NC back in August on this site's main page. I was inspired to do something similar for my own area, but eventually abandoned the spreadsheet format so I could give some entries more space and also add photos, etc. It's still a work in progress with likely some mistakes, big gaps, omissions, etc. Right now all the photos on the page were ones I've taken since June 2006.

Anyway, the page might be useful for anyone wanting info about what was located where, and when.

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Groceteria
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Post by Groceteria » 15 Apr 2007 13:11

Rimes wrote:I might as well post this link here, since now it's on topic... a website which I've been working on for the past 8 months or so, at

http://rimes12.tripod.com

which is a compilation of addresses in Downriver through the years, both commercial and residential.
Interesting stuff. I am impressed, and I'm sure this will stimulate much interesting discussion. All I ask is that any discussion of non-grocers take place in the non-grocery forum rather than here. Otherwise, have at it. Again, great stuff. Thanks.

Rimes
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Post by Rimes » 15 Apr 2007 23:47

Here's a story about how it's good to take a photo of a grocery store while you can...

Late last year, I was walking up Fort Street in Lincoln Park, MI, taking down current address numbers for my website, when I saw a Food Mart grocery store at the NW corner of Fort & Champaign that I hadn't noticed before in my previous visits to the area. It was a large grocery store with a striking green exterior. Unfortunately, I hadn't brought a camera along for the walk, so I couldn't take a picture of it. And I was on the other side of the busy street, and didn't bother to go in. I made a note to take a photo of the store at a later date when it was more convenient.

It turned out that the same location (not sure if it was the exact same building) had been an A&P in the 1970s, then a Farmer Jack supermarket in the 1990s, then became a Food Basics in March 2004, and finally became Food Mart in June 2005. An article about the opening of the Food Basics store can be read at
http://www.thenewsherald.com/stories/04 ... 5019.shtml

The history of that location goes back much further. A hundred years ago, the Joseph Brondie family farm was there. In 1918, a large brick schoolhouse, the Goodell School, was built on that corner. (At that time, Fort Street was the only paved road in Lincoln Park.) The school closed in 1971 and was demolished. This info comes from the book Images of America: Lincoln Park (Arcadia Publishing, 2005).

Anyway, on January 10, 2007, I happened to be in the area, with a camera, and took a photo of the Food Mart from across the street. But I only bothered to take a single photo:

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j254/ ... odmart.jpg

As you can see from the pic, the sun was making the picture dark, so it didn't turn out well. I figured that I would have another chance later to take a better one, sometime in the future. But that dark pic would have to do for now.

I happened to pass by there on March 9, again without a camera, and noticed to my surprise that the Food Mart had closed. So I never did get a chance to go inside.

Around April 1, I noticed a thread titled "Food Mart is Gone" on a local message board at
http://lincolnparkforums.com/showthread.php?t=12458
Apparently demolition on the building began on March 29.

On April 13, I again happened to be in the area, with a camera, and took a few photos of the now demolished area, including this photo:

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j254/ ... -in-LP.jpg

(This pic happened to be taken in almost the same spot as I took the other one. Notice the lamppost and fire hydrant next to it in both photos.)

Well, at least the sun was not making the area look dark this time! Word is that the plan is to build a CVS Pharmacy here, which is probably why it was demolished so quickly.

Anyway, the moral of this story is... take a photo of the place when you get the chance, because a few months later you could be taking a picture of an empty lot instead.

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