Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

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buckhead
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Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by buckhead » 14 Feb 2009 02:48

I'm curious how many Publix Markets with the exterior front "wings" on the façade still operate as grocery stores (Publix or other) or as other uses. For those unfamiliar with the design, it was quite distinctive and recognizable at a distance. On many of the stores the wings, and to some extent other architectural elements, often incorporated neon lights that at the very least operated in a static form and better yet sometimes operated with various forms of animation. I left Florida many years ago, and the number of this type store was already rather diminished. The last ones I recall were on Merritt Island, College Park neighborhood of Orlando, Winter Park, and a few others in Central Florida. Of course there were others in different marketing areas, but I can't say for sure where or how many. I'm not even sure if this design was used much (if at all) in the northern parts of the state or other areas representing new expansion. The design was a product of its time and rather classic.

As an example, here is a link to a photo of one such store in Sarasota from c. 1967:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrensnow/2800699821/


Here is another example from around 1969

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleasantfa ... 408951368/


Here is a current example of one on Dade Boulevard in Miami Beach:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ponceypix/1506853523/


Here is an abandoned one in Margate, Florida:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/danthewebm ... 811786235/


Here are photos of the streetside signage and storefront of the College Park Publix (which is actually a fairly recent replacement of the original vintage "wings" store):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kajjers/2389013811/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigcrouton/3081815112/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/72899503@N00/2326598381/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hyku/157686827

http://www.flickr.com/photos/flakedoves/2267474599/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/devilina07/1009029306/


Here are some NON-WING Publix stores with retro exteriors (some vintage, some recent builds) that I thought others might enjoy seeing:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/retrojason/2304838898/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dubsyuhs/97746751/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/retrojason/2730220258/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/flarchfan/2837309780

http://www.flickr.com/photos/asurroca/59756602/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joelmann/34925276/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/retrojason/2581260352/

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by Groceteria » 14 Feb 2009 11:32

Great stuff, and I'd be vet interested to hear about any older stores that are still operating as well.

This one was particularly interesting since the photo looks relatively recent, and all I can tell from the tags is that it's in Tampa. Any one able to pin it down?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/flarchfan/2837309780

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by dooneyt63 » 15 Feb 2009 17:56

I believe the store at 6001 N. Nebraska Avenue (U.S. 41) in Tampa, FL, is an example of a 1940's store still in use as a Publix today. The last time I was by there, it had been updated,but the building was still original, similar to the one in Orlando now a camera shop. The wings (or the earlier center tower) were such a part of Publix, it is hard to believe they just stopped using them. Some were removed due to new, more stringent sign ordinances...a real plague to historic signage and architecture in the Sunshine State. An intact Publix with wings (long gone) on the North Trail in Sarasota was completely denuded as a result of such senseless legislation. Not long after, the store was closed and replaced with a much larger, more modern facility several blocks away.

The wings were so ubiquitous in the 1950's and 1960's that they were even incorporated into the shape of the door handles on the entry and exit doors. These may still be spotted occasionally. A Staples on Silver Springs Boulevard in Ocala in a former Publix still had the original doors the last time I was there.

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by Groceteria » 15 Feb 2009 18:40

dooneyt63 wrote:I believe the store at 6001 N. Nebraska Avenue (U.S. 41) in Tampa, FL, is an example of a 1940's store still in use as a Publix today.
Looks like that might be the very store in the picture I mention above:

Googe Maps Link

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by jimbobga » 16 Feb 2009 01:32

These pictures are wonderful and are bringing back some great memories.

I shopped at this Publix on North Nebraska Avenue when I was a student at the University of South Florida. I believe this is a rebuild rather than an re-do of the original store. Originally, this store had a more suburban look to it than the store from Orlando that is now the camera shop, but it still had definite deco features as well as quite of bit of the Publix black-and-green marble that was used on below the windows. This store has a side entrance, and the original store had two sets of doors in the center. The corners of the building were rounded. If this is the same building, it looks nothing like the original.

The original post referred to a store on Merritt Island. There were two older Publix stores on Merritt Island. The first store, opened in 1963, was on North Courtney Pike and was a small winged-front store. This store closed in the late seventies, and a long period sat unchanged [and abandoned]. It may still be there for all I know. In 1969, Publix opened a store in the parking lot of Merritt Square. What is unique about this store, which may have been about the last of the stores to be built with the wings, was that the wings were located on the left of the fascia rather than being directly in the center.

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by buckhead » 16 Feb 2009 05:49

jimbobga wrote: The original post referred to a store on Merritt Island. There were two older Publix stores on Merritt Island. The first store, opened in 1963, was on North Courtney Pike and was a small winged-front store. This store closed in the late seventies, and a long period sat unchanged [and abandoned]. It may still be there for all I know. In 1969, Publix opened a store in the parking lot of Merritt Square. What is unique about this store, which may have been about the last of the stores to be built with the wings, was that the wings were located on the left of the fascia rather than being directly in the center.
The store I was referencing was indeed the location in the parking lot of Merritt Square. It was convenient stop on the way to Cocoa Beach.

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by dooneyt63 » 16 Feb 2009 19:12

I agree that the Nebraska Avenue store in Tampa, FL is a rebuild and not a re-do. I, too, remember its having the center doors and more of the Publix black marble. It is definitely the location I was remembering, but I haven't been by there in a number of years. It had been redone at the time, but it was smallish for the stores Publix was beginning to build (late 1990's). The doors were still in the center at the time, and the store sported its original terrazzo floor. This building, like the College Park (Orlando) store, was probably built to increase the sales floor. The food offerings at Publix, especially their GreenWise line, have added a number of SKU's to their line. Though they still don't go far with general merchandise, I'm sure these older sized stores just weren't getting it.

After leaving their store base stuck in the 1960's through most of the 1980's and even into the early 1990's, Publix rapidly erased the wing-studded landscape of the Florida peninsula once they started enlarging and updating their store base. As has been noted, their stores are now the generic Florida stucco affairs of every other Sunshine State retailer with the exception of the few "heritage" rebuilds like Nebraska Avenue and College Park. The original Palm Beach store may still be in use as well, but it was more of a Spanish design to harmonize with the island's architecture. Another casualty of this updating was the loss of the many separate Danish Bakery stores which used to accompany strip center Publix stores.

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by Groceteria » 17 Feb 2009 10:17

dooneyt63 wrote:I agree that the Nebraska Avenue store in Tampa, FL is a rebuild and not a re-do. I, too, remember its having the center doors and more of the Publix black marble.
Agreed, now that I've looked at it from overhead and paid more attention to the size. I knew it wasn't the original prototype, but originally thought it might have been some later mutation. But it looks way too big to be very old.

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by jimbobga » 18 Feb 2009 00:45

A couple more Publix thoughts, however:

As for Tampa, the Nebraska Avenue store was probably the first store of that type to be built in that area, although nearby Lakeland had two, I believe, by that time. George Jenkins had purchased a Tampa chain, American Stores, in the late thirties and renamed them Publix over a period of time. There probably are some earlier purpose-built Publix stores in that area that fit in the time period between the street-front American/Publix stores and the Nebraska Avenue store, but not being a resident of Tampa but for six months during college, I didn't know that I was interested in that sort of thing then.

Most of the wings did have a column of white cascading neon lights in the middle of the wings. They were supposed to be exemplifying waterfalls, and they did a good job of that. Strangely enough, on West Colonial Drive in Pine Hills Shopping Center, the neon was orange.

On either side of the wings would be, of course, the words Publix Market, with "Where Shopping Is a Pleasure" beneath. The lighting of Publix Market varied from store to store. While all having characteristically green neon, many were simply that: green neon. Others had white lights inside the letters that would either stay white, or alternate between static and flashing at about ten-second intervals. "Where Shopping Is a Pleasure" was always green neon, and just stayed that way.

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by Nutball Gazette » 07 Mar 2009 21:16

jimbobga wrote: As for Tampa, the Nebraska Avenue store was probably the first store of that type to be built in that area, although nearby Lakeland had two, I believe, by that time. George Jenkins had purchased a Tampa chain, American Stores, in the late thirties and renamed them Publix over a period of time. There probably are some earlier purpose-built Publix stores in that area that fit in the time period between the street-front American/Publix stores and the Nebraska Avenue store, but not being a resident of Tampa but for six months during college, I didn't know that I was interested in that sort of thing then.

Most of the wings did have a column of white cascading neon lights in the middle of the wings. They were supposed to be exemplifying waterfalls, and they did a good job of that. Strangely enough, on West Colonial Drive in Pine Hills Shopping Center, the neon was orange.

On either side of the wings would be, of course, the words Publix Market, with "Where Shopping Is a Pleasure" beneath. The lighting of Publix Market varied from store to store. While all having characteristically green neon, many were simply that: green neon. Others had white lights inside the letters that would either stay white, or alternate between static and flashing at about ten-second intervals. "Where Shopping Is a Pleasure" was always green neon, and just stayed that way.
Publix also operated a Cheaper Food Chain, (Don't remember the name) They did not give out sS & H Green Stamps like Publix Did.

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by jimbobga » 08 Mar 2009 01:17

To clear up any of these dangling details...

1] Publix discount stores were called "Food World." Most were in former Publix stores that had been either closed, or "moved," with the older stores having the wings stripped off and a rotating globe placed in the center between the words 'Food' and 'World". Some of them were not former Publix stores, however. One in Melbourne on Babcock Street was built in the Zayre Shopping Center and was to be a Shell City store [an outlet from whatever that chain really was in the Miami area]. It never opened, and Publix opened Food World there. The basic difference was that there were no stamps given, and prices were supposed to be discounted. If it was an original Publix store, the interiors were not changed. These stores came along at about the same type as A&P started its WEO stores.
2] The Orlando-based chain that was mentioned would have been Gooding's. They expanded briefly into areas east of Orlando, with stores in Melbourne and Rockledge. The Rockledge store closed after about five years and I do not believe anything replaced it.

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by Groceteria » 08 Mar 2009 01:33

I've split the A&P/Merritt Island posts into a separate topic here:
http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewto ... =14&t=2625

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by Swifty » 10 Mar 2009 20:10

I'm semi-positive that Food World was owned by Bruno's, not Publix. I'm not aware of any other name Publix has ever used (aside from their current subbrands of Sabor and Greenwise).

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by DanG » 10 Mar 2009 22:58

Publix did have food world stores in Florida. I think they closed them in the early to mid 80's if I remember correctly. They used the Food World brand as second private label on bread and I think a few other Items for a long time after they closed the stores. The packaging looked almost exactly like the Publix label except they used a blue label and had the Food World Logo instead of Publix.
I restocked many trays of the the bread when I worked for Publix. From what I have been told Brunos did also operate some Food World stores of there own in other states, but not related to Publix. At the time Publix only had stores in Florida.

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Re: Publix Markets with "wings" in Florida

Post by buckhead » 10 Mar 2009 23:25

DanG wrote:Publix did have food world stores in Florida. I think they closed them in the early to mid 80's if I remember correctly. They used the Food World brand as second private label on bread and I think a few other Items for a long time after they closed the stores. The packaging looked almost exactly like the Publix label except they used a blue label and had the Food World Logo instead of Publix.
I restocked many trays of the the bread when I worked for Publix. From what I have been told Brunos did also operate some Food World stores of there own in other states, but not related to Publix. At the time Publix only had stores in Florida.
Yes, Publix definitely ran stores under the Food World name in Florida. I don't recall seeing any that were conversions from stores that had the wings, though, but I'm sure they existed. As mentioned elsewhere, if the stores were former locations of Publix with wings, that feature was removed. In any event the resulting stores had a huge revolving globe affixed to the the store above the front...some of the stores were locations that never opened as Publix stores originally. I remember several in Orlando as well as some in Lakeland...the one that comes to mind first was on East Colonial Drive a bit east of Semoran Boulevard in a shopping center that later also had The Home Depot and a salvage store as tenants, too. That store was later converted to Publix (again?), but no wings were put (back) on it.

And yes, Food World stores carried some items with the Food World name on them, things like standard white bread, sanwich and hot dog buns, and maybe some dairy products. Even after Food World was killed off as a separate store operation, I know that bread at the very least continued to sport that name in Publix stores. I don't know if it was second-tier branding/marketing, an attempt to use up old packaging stock, because bread was still being produced for some Food World stores that possibly remained open elsewhere, or just to protect the trademark rights to the name against potential competitors that might have designs on entering Florida marketing areas.

Bruno's did operate a number of stores under the Food World name in Alabama and Georgia. One example is the former Big Apple Warehouse Foods on Gray Highway just outside of Macon Geogia. That store was sold, and I'm not sure if I have the order right, and was next a Bi Lo and then I think a Food World. Again it might have been Food World and then Bi Lo. So Bruno's had stores under the Bruno's, Food Max, Food World, and even Piggly Wiggly name ater acquired Piggly Wiggly Southern in Middle and North Georgia, but that is another topic for another thread.

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