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The Great Midwestern Road Trip of 2006

Posted: 21 Sep 2006 18:43
by Groceteria
Hi all.

In a couple of weeks, my betrothed and I will be taking off on a two-week road trip to Chicago, Detroit, and Toronto. I'm hoping some of you might have some recommendations on things I should see.

As always, I'm not terribly interested in new stores (unless they're really spectacular) but in older (pre-1980) chain prototypes, vintage shopping centers from the 1950s and 1960s, etc. I'm especially interested in Kroger, National Tea, Jewel, and A&P locations, but other old chain prototypes (Wrigley? Dominion? Farmer Jack?) could be fun too.

I'm not going to have a lot of time to stray too far off our primary path, so I'd appreciate recommendations that are pretty close to the three cities mentioned (and to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, where we'll be making brief stops).

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Posted: 21 Sep 2006 23:30
by krogerclerk
Safeway had a Toronto division until the 80's, so some marinas may be scattered throughout southern Ontario. Ontario still has some Safeways in the western region, Thunder Bay I think has 2, as part of the Winnipeg division.

P.S. you're also in this months issue of Supermarket News regarding Dark Stores. Interesting read.

Posted: 22 Sep 2006 11:11
by rich
Stop off in Cleveland to see Shaker Square, one of several complexes that share the claim to be the first planned shopping center. There is a 40s supermarket on Van Aken Road in the newer section of the complex. Cedar Center (Cedar & Warrensville Center Road), which began pre-WWII is undergoing renovation, but some of the 1940s strip is still visible. The Marc's was a long running Bi-Rite store. Forest Hills Plaza (Forest Hills Blvd at Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland) is in fairly rough area, but is another pre-WWII strip of interest. Randall Mall (Northfield, Warrensville Center, & Emery Roads near I-480 is a classic dead mall and once the largest mall in the US. An early 1930s supermarket that ran into the 80s and then spent 20 years as a drug store is on Coventry Road between Mayfield and Euclid Heights in Cleveland Heights. As of a few months ago, the store was empty. A Giant Eagle that began as a 20s storefront is at Cedar and Fairmount in the same suburb (a mile or so away). Near that Giant Eagle is the India Community Center, which was an early Fisher Foods "Master Market" from the 1930s. Fisher was the pioneer supermarket operator in Cleveland. Another early Fisher that still operates as a grocery is in teh Tremont area on Professor Avenue--it was used in "The Deer Hunter".

In Chicago, see Lake Forest's shopping center, which is a Shaker Square contemporary that had an early Marshall Field's branch. The classic ceramic-clad Jewels of the 50s are gone, but an interesting store is at Broadway near Addison, with rooftop parking. It was a an early Jewel-Osco combo w/o the separate Osco--a small store that adapted the combo store format to an urban setting. The Walgreen that's almost across the street was a 50s National. The Walgreen at Diversey & Halstead (about a mile away) also was a National. The Dominick's on Broadway near Oakdale was probably the last Kroger to open in Chicago. It recently had a fire, so I'm not sure of its status. There is debate as to the 1st National Tea store, but one contender is in the row of storefronts on Belmont Avenue, W of the North-South EL in the 1300 block.

Posted: 09 Oct 2006 22:51
by Groceteria
Thanks. Any others? I leave on Saturday.

Are any other Dominick's stores old and worthy of a look?

Any neighborhood commercial strips I shouldn't miss? And what parts of Chicago should I flat out avoid? I've spent some time there in the past, but it's been almost ten years and I'm not usre how much I remember.

I'm also fantasizing about 1970s Kroger superstores around Detroit.

Thanks again.

Posted: 10 Oct 2006 13:17
by Jeff
Visit whats left of the old Jewel at the Dixie Square Mall.

Posted: 12 Oct 2006 20:12
by mikeparkridge
rich wrote:Stop off in Cleveland to see Shaker Square, one of several complexes that share the claim to be the first planned shopping center. There is a 40s supermarket on Van Aken Road in the newer section of the complex. Cedar Center (Cedar & Warrensville Center Road), which began pre-WWII is undergoing renovation, but some of the 1940s strip is still visible. The Marc's was a long running Bi-Rite store. Forest Hills Plaza (Forest Hills Blvd at Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland) is in fairly rough area, but is another pre-WWII strip of interest. Randall Mall (Northfield, Warrensville Center, & Emery Roads near I-480 is a classic dead mall and once the largest mall in the US. An early 1930s supermarket that ran into the 80s and then spent 20 years as a drug store is on Coventry Road between Mayfield and Euclid Heights in Cleveland Heights. As of a few months ago, the store was empty. A Giant Eagle that began as a 20s storefront is at Cedar and Fairmount in the same suburb (a mile or so away). Near that Giant Eagle is the India Community Center, which was an early Fisher Foods "Master Market" from the 1930s. Fisher was the pioneer supermarket operator in Cleveland. Another early Fisher that still operates as a grocery is in teh Tremont area on Professor Avenue--it was used in "The Deer Hunter".

In Chicago, see Lake Forest's shopping center, which is a Shaker Square contemporary that had an early Marshall Field's branch. The classic ceramic-clad Jewels of the 50s are gone, but an interesting store is at Broadway near Addison, with rooftop parking. It was a an early Jewel-Osco combo w/o the separate Osco--a small store that adapted the combo store format to an urban setting. The Walgreen that's almost across the street was a 50s National. The Walgreen at Diversey & Halstead (about a mile away) also was a National. The Dominick's on Broadway near Oakdale was probably the last Kroger to open in Chicago. It recently had a fire, so I'm not sure of its status. There is debate as to the 1st National Tea store, but one contender is in the row of storefronts on Belmont Avenue, W of the North-South EL in the 1300 block.
In Winnetka Il. there's a mini market called Lakeside Foods on Elm St. in the downtown area. http://winnetkaillinois.net/lakesidefoods.html I don't know how long it's been there for all I know it could been a chain store. As I'm sure many of us here know, in the pre WW II era, this was your standard size supermarket.

Another market in Winnetka is The Grand Food Center. http://winnetkaillinois.net/grandfoodcenter.html you don't see large chain stores using these size store anymore either. Too bad they don't have their own websites I'm always curious on how long they've existed and whether or not they were constructed as a chain store or not?

Posted: 12 Oct 2006 21:12
by Groceteria
mikeparkridge wrote:Another market in Winnetka is The Grand Food Center. http://winnetkaillinois.net/grandfoodcenter.html you don't see large chain stores using these size store anymore either. Too bad they don't have their own websites I'm always curious on how long they've existed and whether or not they were constructed as a chain store or not?
I don't know about the other one, but this is quite clearly a former A&P. That was their dominant store type all over the eastern half of the country during most of the 1960s; there are literally hundreds of them scattered around.

Thanks for the pointers.

Posted: 06 Sep 2007 23:25
by Toby Radloff
rich wrote:Stop off in Cleveland to see Shaker Square, one of several complexes that share the claim to be the first planned shopping center. There is a 40s supermarket on Van Aken Road in the newer section of the complex. Cedar Center (Cedar & Warrensville Center Road), which began pre-WWII is undergoing renovation, but some of the 1940s strip is still visible. The Marc's was a long running Bi-Rite store. Forest Hills Plaza (Forest Hills Blvd at Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland) is in fairly rough area, but is another pre-WWII strip of interest. Randall Mall (Northfield, Warrensville Center, & Emery Roads near I-480 is a classic dead mall and once the largest mall in the US. An early 1930s supermarket that ran into the 80s and then spent 20 years as a drug store is on Coventry Road between Mayfield and Euclid Heights in Cleveland Heights. As of a few months ago, the store was empty. A Giant Eagle that began as a 20s storefront is at Cedar and Fairmount in the same suburb (a mile or so away). Near that Giant Eagle is the India Community Center, which was an early Fisher Foods "Master Market" from the 1930s. Fisher was the pioneer supermarket operator in Cleveland. Another early Fisher that still operates as a grocery is in teh Tremont area on Professor Avenue--it was used in "The Deer Hunter".

The former Pick-N-Pay (later Medic Drug) location on Coventry Road is now a Marc's. Dave's recently took over the Giant Eagle that was formerly Russo's Stop-N-Shop on Cedar Road. The former Heinen's/Market On The Square on Van Aken Boulevard is currently vacant. I think the grocery that was in "The Deer Hunter" is on Starkweather Avenue, next door to St. Theodosius Church-I think it is called "Brown's Food Market". Fisher had a store on Professor, which I think is vacant now. I don't recall if there was a food store in that building in the 1970's. Forest Hills Plaza still has two operating supermarkets (Konni's and another independent)...a rarity today.

Posted: 07 Sep 2007 01:06
by submariner
Groceteria wrote: I'm also fantasizing about 1970s Kroger superstores around Detroit.

Thanks again.
In Flat Rock, Michigan (about 30 minutes south of Detroit right off I-75), there's a perfect example, it's even a three-fer... On Telegraph Road between Gibraltar Road and Vreeland Road, there's a nearly abandoned center, With a former Kmart, Kroger (superstore style?), and Perry Drugs. The Kmart was the last major one to go, The Kroger became a Family Foodland, and later Food Town, before it closed. My Grandmother worked there when it was a Foodland from the mid-80's until shortly before her passing in 1998. Then there's Perry Drugs next door, which of course became a Rite Aid before closing. Also of note, south of the center, just on the south side of the railroad tracks, you'll see an auto repair shop, behind that is (was?) a barrel-roofed building that last I knew was a location for a St Vincent DePaul thrift shop. This was the Kroger location even before the 70's era store further up the road.

Moreso in the Flat Rock area , just slightly south of the older Kroger on Telegraph, you'll see an old Kinney Shoes on the east side of the street. If you go down Gibraltar road (with the new Rite Aid on the corner) you'll see plenty of old buildings, a defunct bowling alley, and past the old High School on the intersection of Gibraltar and Van Riper, there's a CVS/pharmacy (actually I think it's a Dollar General now) that is an old Arbor Drugs, and something even before that, and I forgot the name of the drugstore)

Flat Rock has a lot of history, and the Detroit area in particular is absolutely littered with Centennial A&P's, Kmarts, and countless other victims of the Michigan economic decline.

Also, there are two exceptional examples of greenhouse-style Krogers in Southgate, MI (Eureka & Trenton Rd. as well as Lincoln Park (Dix Hwy & Champaign Ave., this is right off the I-75 offramp) as well as the Superstore(?) type Kroger that's still a Kroger in Woodhaven, MI at Allen Rd. and West Rd.

Enjoy Michigan! If you need any help finding things, I'd be happy to help, since you'll be in my former backyard!

Posted: 07 Sep 2007 09:11
by Groceteria
submariner wrote:Enjoy Michigan! If you need any help finding things, I'd be happy to help, since you'll be in my former backyard!
Thanks. Unfortunately, the road trip was a year ago, but maybe there will be another one soon...

Posted: 07 Sep 2007 09:36
by submariner
Groceteria wrote:
submariner wrote:Enjoy Michigan! If you need any help finding things, I'd be happy to help, since you'll be in my former backyard!
Thanks. Unfortunately, the road trip was a year ago, but maybe there will be another one soon...
ah, should've seen trhat. Oh well, there's some ideas for next time!

Re: Flat Rock Kroger

Posted: 19 Oct 2007 13:26
by Rimes
In Flat Rock, Michigan (about 30 minutes south of Detroit right off I-75), there's a perfect example, it's even a three-fer... On Telegraph Road between Gibraltar Road and Vreeland Road, there's a nearly abandoned center, With a former Kmart, Kroger (superstore style?), and Perry Drugs. The Kmart was the last major one to go, The Kroger became a Family Foodland, and later Food Town, before it closed.
I took this photo going up Telegraph last month... I think this is the Kroger you mentioned, located next to a vacant K-Mart:

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j254/ ... IM4573.jpg

Re: Flat Rock Kroger

Posted: 20 Oct 2007 16:38
by submariner
Rimes wrote:
I took this photo going up Telegraph last month... I think this is the Kroger you mentioned, located next to a vacant K-Mart:

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j254/ ... IM4573.jpg
That's the one!