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Former Fisher Foods - 117th St. Lakewood, OH

Posted: 08 Sep 2007 22:01
by Daniel
I was told by a friend that lived nearby that this store was originally a Finast. The interior has been remodeled, as you can see from the picture, and there is no trace of a former chain interior left. Incidentally, this store was shown in a recent Ohio Lottery commercial. Anyone know what time period it operated as Finast? I would guess it opened in the 60's judging by the size.



Posted: 09 Sep 2007 12:10
by rich
What's the address? The only supermarket I remember on W 117th would have been a Fisher Foods which opened in the early 60s. I think it was somewhere near Detroit or Madison. It had a long life under the subsequent Fazio's banner. I think it did become Sapell's. The adjacent stores may have come after the Fisher store was built.

Posted: 09 Sep 2007 19:37
by Daniel
The address is 1314 W. 117th. It's *almost* at the intersection of 117th and Clifton. And you are right in thinking it was a Fisher, as this photo from the 50's confirms. It must've been remodeled, as the entrance isn't on the corner anymore, it now is closer to the parking lot. (Underneath the "State Liquor Agency" signage in the photo.) ... =271&REC=2

Posted: 09 Sep 2007 23:48
by rich
The Fisher's in the picture is the prototype they used from the mid 30s until shortly after WWII. The early post-war stores had somewhat different signage and other details and usually lacked the cornered entrance, but had the neon pylon. Many of these stores are still in use as retail (a very few are still groceries) and, to varying degrees, you can see the original architecture.

It probably was replaced by the early 60s store that I remember, which was one of the last stores Fisher opened before being bought out by Fazio's. Fisher rarely replaced these old stores and often kept them going even if a newer, bigger one was nearby. This store had the rarely seen "disc" shaped Fisher's logo that they used in the early 60s. The old store in the pic is right at the street, which was typical for for those stores--(parking was usually to the side with the doors if there was parking). The one in your pic is clearly something different.

Posted: 10 Sep 2007 09:29
by Toby Radloff
There are at least two surviving examples of that style of Fisher Foods architecture...a Family Dollar store at West 73rd and Detroit Avenue (after Fisher closed there, was the longtime location of Detroit Auto Parts); and a supermarket (I think a Savmor) at East 105th and St. Clair. The pylon signs on both of these buildings, as well as the rounded corners above the doors, still remain, although painted over.

Posted: 11 Sep 2007 21:30
by rich
Fisher/Fazio kept a number of these very old stores running into the early 80s. I think the last one was on E 185th Street and it was destroyed by fire. I seem to recall that Gray Drug or Friendly Drug (a small chain and long time neighbor) had taken over the space.

The short lived Nitti's chain bought a number of these 30s/40s stores in the mid-60s and then they went on to other lives. These include the current India Community Center on Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights,
a store on Detroit Ave, around 73rd, one on Lorain a little before Kamms Corners, one on Ridge near Snow in Parma, and another in Downtown Willoughby (now vacant after housing Marino Bros furniture and later, Sheraton Furniture; Marino incorporated a former Woolworth store. nextd oor). There was another one on W. 25th near Clark that was a barber college for many years, and one Broadview in Old Brooklyn that was an independent for many years---I think it eventually became a Gray Drug and would probably be a Rite Aid now. Another at E. 146th & St. Clair had a number of different tenants and I think has been torn down. The W 25th Store was near a very cool A&P that had art deco lettering and a black tile front--very rare.

Forest Hills Plaza had one of these old Fisher stores, too, with a somewhat different front (pylon, but not the green & gold lettering or the rounded entrance). It may be one of the two groceries in that plaza (haven't been by there in years). The other started as an A&P. For many years the old Fisher's was operated by a former Fazio partner as Fana's.

Posted: 23 Oct 2007 13:42
by Daniel
Here's a better picture of the exterior of this store taken this afternoon. It looks to date from the 60's, with the roof part of the building being a more recent remodel effort.