One of the store concepts whose time has come and gone is the five-and-dime store.
I remember quite fondly from my childhood the trips to Woolworths and G.C. Murphy. Both of these places weren’t very large and, in fact, were in the same plaza near my house. Murphy’s had two levels. The top floor featured a small arcade, a diner (with a long bar only), and various departments. The lower level was where the action was though: this was the toy department, plus, arts and crafts and seasonal goods. The floors were a strange brown checkerboard, and the toy selection was never great. But you could always get a drink upstairs at the bar if you wanted to.
Woolworths was a tad more conventional. Everything was on one floor, and the dining area had booths – along with surprisingly good food. There was a large pet department and a sizable clothing department, but Woolworths was most famous to me for its candy department.
The idea of eating at a store is fading away. While Wal-Marts have McDonald’s in some cases, and K-Marts still have cafes, it’s not the same as having a greasy spoon next to a row of fishtanks. Also of note is that the Walgreens in that same plaza used to have a full sit-down restaurant, too.
Today, the space that was Murphy’s is an Office Depot – bland as any other office store, and one level only. Woolworths went empty for years before a half-baked Foot Locker took its place. And the Walgreens restaurant long ago became the Walgreens liquor department. -pm
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