Store and restaurants you miss...

Anglophilia

I was talking to a dog club woman I know who lives in the Washington DC suburbs. I lived in DC as a newly wed from 1966-68. I mentioned one of my favorites stores in Georgetown - Little Caledonia. She had not heard of it. I had last visited it when I visited my son who was working there about 18 years ago. I actually went to it - not quite as great as it had been but still a very unique store where one could find most anything. I Googled it and alas, when one of the owner/sisters died, the shop was closed for good. It was such a special place!

So, I got to thinking about other stores and restaurants I had loved that are now gone forever. Here is my list.

NYC - all the wonderful small Italian shoe/purse shops that used to be on Lexington Ave - also small custom made tweed shops and small antique shops - all long gone.

Susan Prince - a wonderful restaurant that was right across the street from the Barbizon Hotel for Women where I was required to live while in retailing school in the early 1960's. All the food was wonderful, but oh, those baskets of hot popovers! Be still my heart!

Schrafts - always a great place for lunch, tea or an ice-cream treat.

Washington DC

Little Caledonia

Georgetown University Shop

The French Market - I still have my wonderful knives I bought there as a newly wed. Yes, they are carbon steel and will rust if not cared for properly, but oh, those rosewood handles and the sharp edge one can get.

A french butcher shop - can't remember the name. It was also in Georgetown and all the meat was cut in the french manner - very different than US cuts. And oh so good! It was a place I'd buy a wonderful piece of meat instead of going out for a birthday/anniversary dinner.

St Louis

The bakeries!!! Lake Forest - everything was fabulous but I particularly loved their German Gooey Butter coffee cake. A few bakeries claim to use the same recipe for Gooey Butter coffee cake, but no one makes the German Gooey Butter. Pfeiffers - right down the street - their bread/rolls were exceptional as were their Hot Cross Buns during Lent. And Andres! Swiss pastries that were TDF!!! There is still an Andres in Kansas City and DD brought me a few treats recently. Just wonderful. All three of these were within 1/2 mile of one another. All gone...

The original Bissingers Chocolate store on Macpherson. Going into this place was just a very special experience. One could smell the chocolate being made in the back room, and the wonderful old mahogany glass-fronted cabinets were so unique. They are now on display at the Missouri Historical Society. Yes, Bissingers still exists and still makes exceptional chocolate. Their dark chocolate molasses lollypops are a special treat that my children and now grandchildren adore.

Spicer's. This was a "variety store" next to the grocery store where I shopped. It had a bit of everything, but one of the best things was their toy selection. If I had forgotten to buy a toy as a present for a child's birthday party, I could run into Spicer's, quickly find something and they would quickly gift wrap it at no charge. My children adored going there - when they were old enough, they rode their bikes to Spicer's and bought candy.

Straub's restaurant - both in the Central West End and in Clayton. If one wanted a good family meal at a reasonable price, this was the place to go - also for lunch. Their Strauburger Basic was one of the best hamburgers I've ever eaten. And their milk shakes! SO good.

Kansas City

What a shame that Harzfeld's and Woolf Bros (the motherlode for Lanz dresses!) are gone forever. I loved their downtown stores - Harzfeld's was on Petty Coat Lane (wind would blow up ones skirt, showing ones petty coat (yes, there was such a thing in my lifetime!). And Swanson's and Hall's on the CC Plaza. Such lovely clothes and gift items at Halls (owned by Hallmark).

Putsches 210 restaurant on the Plaza and their Coffee House. It made the most amazing french toast that was 2" high! Also, the old Fred Harvey restaurant at the Union Station - such great food. And then there was the Golden Ox in the stockyards - best beef ever! And Jack Frost Donuts - never had a donut as good.

And who could forget Wolferman's - yes the English muffins used to have a home. Their balcony in their downtown store was a perfect place for a great lunch. And their Rum Cream Pie!! Oh my! Fortunately, they were very generous with their recipes and I have several, including the one for the Rum Cream Pie.

Los Angeles

We discovered the Westwood Ship's restaurant our first morning in LA when we moved there. We loved that place - food was SO good, and every booth had a toaster on it so one actually had HOT toast with breakfast.

Carnation Restaurant - another great place for simple family dining on Wiltshire. My father loved that place.

And Landis Dept Store on Larchmont. It had just about everything one could want or need. It was an institution for 50 years. Someone has opened a modern version but I understand it's really just a nostalgic gift shop.

Larchmont also had a great children's shoe store. In fact, Larchmont had everything I could possibly need in LA - a Safeway, great deli, lovely florist that also carried interesting antiques, various nice gift shops, a barber shop, a great hardware store...and my pediatrician's office at the end. It made living and shopping in LA SO easy! Now, it's all restaurants etc.

And the old Farmer's Market before it became all fancy and upscale. I could buy fresh game there, great fresh fish, wonderful produce and the best dried fruit for my fruitcake I've ever been able to find.

Louisville

My beloved Doll's Market. It was at the end of my street and had everything I needed. It had great produce, a wonderful butcher shop, good fresh fish, and a bakery. I now have to go to 3-4 places to get what I could get in one place close enough to ride my bike. NOT progress...

Baer's Fabrics - think Moods in NYC but less crowded and with more salespeople. It was wonderful! Now, I'm reduced to Joanne's Fabrics - a real comedown.

Burger's Mkt - another small local store. They had tons of specialty items - always bought my MIL's marrons in syrup there for Christmas. They also had a great butcher shop and fortunately, the butchers have teamed up with my beloved Paul's Mkt and now carry their meat as well as the best produce in town and some grocery items as well.

I'm sure I will think of ones I've forgotten, but these top my list. What are yours?

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Anglophilia

How could I forget Edgartown! I really miss the lovely store Tashtego - so many lovely things and I adored their annual poster.

Then there was the Fligors. Oh my! Wonderful men's women's and children's clothes, lovely gift items and household goods, and a huge selection of Madame Alexander dolls. Their Geiger trunk show was not to be missed.

Also loved the Irish Tweed Shop, the Macadoo rugs at the Granery, and the wonderful needlepoint shop in Edgartown.

Among the most missed is the Edgartown Mkt right on Main Street, with the Post Office behind it. Now a trip to the grocery or the PO involves the car, and lots of traffic. No home mail delivery in Edgartown so for full time residents, it's a huge burden.

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Janie

Horn and Hardart Automat in NYC Times Square. Used to go with my girlfriend on spring break (when we'd go to the rock and roll show at The Paramount) and we'd get baked beans and a cup of tea and a piece of pie. Here I am on spring break in 1966, my senior year.


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Elizabeth

Isn't that Doris Day? Photo by J. Baylor Roberts?

ETA: The movie was That Touch Of Mink.

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ritaweeda

We used to have a Ben Franklin and a Craft Depot back years ago in Tampa, loved both of them. The Ben Franklin also had an outdoor garden center with all kinds of plants and the biggest source of perennials ever. The only restaurant I miss was a Tampa local one called the Mullet Inn, right on Tampa bay. smoked mullet dinners, also other seafood.

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Sherry

I miss real fabric stores. You walked in and it seemed like acres of fabric and notions. Everything now is just a craft store.

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Janie

Didn't fool you, did I Elizabeth A :)

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Lindsey_CA

Restaurants

  • Hamburger Hamlet - all locations
  • Rusty Duck (on the river) in Sacramento
  • Memphis Barbecue in Sacramento
  • Fuddruckers in Sacramento

Stores

  • Price-Less in Charmichael and in Roseville
  • Home Express - Citrus Heights
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lukkiirish

Hmmm...good question.

Fountain Valley, CA used to have a pizza place called the Back Alley, they had the best pizza and the entire restaurant was designed so you felt like you were sitting in a back alley too.

I sure miss the old stores like Gemco, TG&Y and Zody’s. Ed Tunks produce in Westminster was our farmers market.

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javiwa

lukkiirish : You really brought me back with your list! When Sherry mentioned fabric stores, I immediately thought of TG&Y: it was walking distance from our house, and I used to accompany my mom (who didn't/doesn't drive). She would shop for fabrics while I happily milled about. Gemco was our standard weekend grocery trip, and I still have a several towels purchased from Zody's: quality is far better than what I've purchased since.

ETA: Purchased my very first set of paperbacks at TGY (Lord of the Rings trilogy), and I still have those, too.

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DawnInCal

Lindsey, I didn't know the Rusty Duck was gone. Had many a lunch there back when the office where I worked was in that area.

One of the best meals I ever had was at Ondines in Vancouver, BC. It's no longer there - torn down to make way for progress, but the food and the service was exceptional.

Rico's Pizza was a Sacramento pizza chain - killer pizza and huge with wall to wall toppings.

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Fun2BHere

Teriyaki Taro in Tustin, California...best sesame chicken ever.

Tall Mouse craft stores in Orange County, California

Baxter's, all locations, yummy Electric Lemonade and Indian Fry Bread.

My local Gold Crown Hallmark store which carried all the types of gifts I like to buy. The other two in my vicinity are nothing like that one was.

Crown Books, all locations. Current fiction at discount prices...a weekly stop for me until they went out of business.

Diedrich's Coffee, so much better than Starbucks...not dark roasted and featured baked goods from local bakeries.

Security Pacific Bank

Stat's Floral Supply in Dana Point, California. I think they still have a shop in Pasadena, but that's a trek for me.

Stroud's Linens...always had beautiful bedding collections that weren't seen everywhere else.



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Anglophilia

I'd forgotten about Hamburger Hamlet! Loved the one in Brentwood - they had a burger with filed oysters and a peanut sauce - yummy!

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Fun2BHere

Hamburger Hamlet has reopened in Sherman Oaks with new owners.

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mamapinky0

The old Woolworths and the five and dime. Back in the day they sold 100% long staple cotton percale sheets for 2 bucks...those sheets were better quality than todays very very expensive sheets.

I miss the family owned corner market where everyone was treated as a valued customer. I also miss real grocery stores. Walmart moved into my town and the two grocery stores closed their doors.

I miss the big bakery in my town where breads and rolls were baked and sent out onto store shelves. Nothing tasted better than stopping by on a bitterly cold evening and buying a fresh hot bun straight from the ovens. Watching the hot steam roll off of it outside and smelling the yeasty ffragrance. It wasn't a store but for a nickle they treated kids to a lovely treat

The Victory Lunch...where you could get a great lunch at a great price. Everything was homemade The pies were out of this world.

So much I miss in my little dairy town that closed their doors years ago.



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jemdandy

Up until about 15 yrs ago, there was an old time hardware store near downtown Milwaukee. It was in an old hulking building that covered a quarter of a city block. It had modern parts for sale, but if you asked, do you have a plow bolt, a co-owner might reply, "I think we have some from 50 yrs ago. We never throw that sort of thing out. What size do you want? I'll go in back to see what we have." It was that kind of store.

The owners had aged out and closed the store. They are missed.

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Lindsey_CA

Dawn, The Rusty Duck closed in 2008. The building was recently sold, but the Rusty Duck name belongs to Landry Restaurants, so whatever new restaurant opens there will have a different name.

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watchmelol

Mervyns, Woolworths, Montgomery Wards with their catalog, Emporium/Capwell and Liberty House. I also miss little dress shops owned by suburban neighborhood women. No worries of ending up wearing the same dress to the dance. Each strove to carry their own line of unique fashions. None of this rack after rack of identical dresses in all sizes.

I miss old fashioned creameries and ice cream parlours. I miss A&W Drive-ins before they were bought out by large conglomerates. I miss family steak houses like The Rare Steer and privately owned steak houses like the Steak Block which would cut your steak to order, Italian Village which served multi coursed family style meals and later Banchero's which did the same.

I miss the the all night coffee shops with their own in house bakeries like Prings in the East Bay. I miss Sheffield's and Chuck's also. I miss the Doggie Diner in Hayward, CA most of all. Open 24/7 and had the best burgers, pastrami sandwiches and milkshakes. My stomping ground during my coming of age years. I miss the Corner House restaurants too. Another all night family owned diner that set the bar high for patty melts and chili burgers. I haven't found any that come near. I miss the bakeries and delis of my earliest childhood in San Francisco.

I miss the luncheonettes at Woolworths, K-Mart,Grant's and the like.

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mushcreek

My wife worked at Schraft's in NYC many years ago. It was one of her first jobs, or maybe her first.

I miss the 'real' hardware stores and lumber yards from the old days. Odds were, you were served by the guy whose name, or family name was on the sign, and they really knew their stuff.

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thankurnmo

I remember Schraft's on 34th st in NYC. I remember going with my mom and she ordered a turkey sandwich. When it came it had a mystery sauce on it that we could not imagine what it was. The waitress explained it was melted butter....... I still remember that to this day.

I also can't recall if it was B. Altman or Lord and Taylor (maybe it was both?) that had a nice restaurant to go for lunch.


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nickel_kg

Back in the 80's when I was entering the workforce, I could walk into any "Casual Corner" and find all sorts of attractive 'business casual' clothes. Not as cheap as some, but generally a good value. Decades later: today's clothing stores of any type just aren't aimed at me -- oh well, they aren't losing much, LOL.

Were any of you science fiction or mystery fans in DC in the 70s/80s? Did you find "Moonstone Bookcellars", just a few blocks down from the White House? Many a weekend, dear husband and I would drive to the city outskirts, take the metro to the Mall, walk through a museum or two, grab a bite in the Old Post Office, then stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue to see the latest books at Moonstone. They had all the paperbacks and most of the special edition hardbacks. So sad when they closed shop (early 90s?) -- on our last visit, the man gave us one of their ornaments: a little green winged dragon.


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sprtphntc7a

Gimbels, Lit Brothers, Strawbridge and Clothier, Franks Nursery, Clover., Woolworths, Wanamakers....

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OutsidePlaying

We had a locally owned clothing store here for years in the 60’s-70’s called Rutenberg’s. Maybe even before that. They had a smaller spinoff called Rutie’s in another location. I bought most of my college wardrobe there, and a lot of Villager skirts and sweaters at another localstore in my town back in the 60’s. Miss those places.

Nickel, I remember Casual Corner. I shopped there some too!

We’ve had a lot of local restaurants come and go that I miss. Too many to list that wouldn’t mean much to any of you. A couple in particular though...one was Eunice’s, which was a small breakfast only place that had the best biscuits. She was a legend in town, serving coffee to her patrons. The Liar’s Table was well-known.

Another of our favorites was Chef’s Table, which was a tapas restaurant. Very good food, small portions, and nice atmosphere.

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DawnInCal

Geeeez, Lindsey...it's been a way lot longer than I thought since I was last at the Rusty Duck!

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lukkiirish

Oh! Naugles and their smaller sized taco salad cups, sooooo good. The original Farrell’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor, Tower Records in Buena Park, Circuit City and I completely forgot about Mervyns, it was sad when they closed.

Fun2Bhere, I didn’t know Tall Mouse and Stats closed. Stats was pricey but they had some of the best Christmas ornaments. :c(

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crw201

Rusty Duck for sure... but I miss Froggy's and Western Rib house the most from that area. Froggys had THE best potato skins... I have never found another place that makes them the same way. And the Rib house??? OHGOSH>..... the ribs were soooo good and no sauce needed. Tender fall off the bones soooooo good.

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Anglophilia

We're very lucky in my town to still have a small, locally-owned hardware store. You know - the kind where one can buy two screws and not a package of 2000 and hope the two one wants are in there someplace! My DGS2 now works there part-time - after school and on weekends. He puts together all the Weber and Big Green Egg grills they sell. It's just a great place - has a Post Office in it as well!

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Elmer J Fudd

I don't have the same nostalgia for yesteryear that some of you do. I'm sorry there are so few bookstores around to go into to browse but I wouldn't trade today's world of Amazon (for books and EVERYTHING else) and audio books for anything.

In LA, we'd go to Carnation on Wilshire Blvd for ice cream, not so much the food. In Westwood, I preferred Tiny Naylor's to Ship's, ever try it? TN's had several other locations around town too. Like Dupars, the one in Studio City recently closed. There were a lot of restaurants that are no longer around, including along Restaurant Row on La Cienega. I'm not sure if any of the old ones are left there, besides Lawry's Prime Rib. Trader Vic's corny Tiki Bar restaurant with good food in BH, Chuck's Steakhouse, the many great grungy Mexican and Asian restaurants, all memorable and most gone. My favorite "hot dog stands" - Pink's and Tommy's, are still around. So too Philippe's French Dip downtown , been there since 1908 (checked the website). I was never much of a Hamburger H fan.


Restaurants today, in LA and in most places, are more numerous, more capable, more varied, and overall much better. I think the emotions of nostalgia masks that.



For clothes shopping in LA, for us it was the large departments stores. Mostly the ones in Hollywood, Mid-Wilshre, Century City and downtown. There were a lot in shopping centers in the Valley too, we rarely went out there. I don't miss them. There are still good department stores around (like Nordstrom's) but I rarely go, I'm not much of a clothes horse.

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Sherry

Outsideplaying, Remember Belks when it was Belk Hudson. Parsarian"s and CasterKnott's? Duffy's Deli? We never ate at Eunice's. My husband doesn't like breakfast.

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OutsidePlaying

Oh yes, Sherry! I hated when Parisian became Belk, although I kinda liked the old Belk-Hudson store when we had one in the 70’s. And Dunnavants and Castner Knott too. And Yielding! Remember that?

We loved Duffy’s deli! That was my DD’s nickname so she thought of it as ‘her’ restaurant when she was little.

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Sherry

I had forgot about Dunnavants and Yielding.

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artemis_ma

Anglophilia, I was born in Louisville. We left before I tried any of those eating venues, as far as I know (I was two). I am sorry about missing any tasty food-related things.

In NYC I think I was at a Horn and Hardart's once, and don't recall being impressed, nor being involved in any event that could be later seen as iconic. It was there, it didn't impress, I moved on.

I have to admit, I never really enjoyed ANY shoe shop. Ever, then or now. When I was young, I was a tomboy, and just wanted stuff to crawl around the woods in. Currently, I am size 10.5 wide, Men's. So maybe you can guess why I want shoes at this point solely for function. If they look great, fine, but I no longer have the option to care. They probably won't.

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nickel_kg

Elmer, I enjoy thinking about yesteryear, but I absolutely agree with you that I don't want to give up the ease and variety of on-line book buying for anything! And apart from a small sub shop in college, and a bitty pool hall dive in early working years that had THE.best.chili.cheese.burgers.EVER, today's food is a huge step better than at any time in my past. So, fun to reminisce, sure, but want to go back, nope, nothankyou.

Well, except for Moonstone.

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marilyn_c

The restaurant I miss is a local one....well, local to League City and Pearland. It was a Mexican restaurant named Mely's. They had the absolute best green sauce and pork tamales, full of shredded pork and not all ground up. And their Sopa Poblano....loved it.

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Sherry

The thing was long ago when all the fast food got their start, they were just little Mom and Pop restaurants. Kentucky Fried Chicken (not KFC) was very good. Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy's, even McDonald's. Their food is NOT the same. It has more salt and more grease and less real meat.

I really don't like the pretentious so called upscale food of today. I do not want my food balanced into a tower and surrounded by dots of whatever. Many of the good Mom and Pop restaurants have cut so many corners that they are not good.

I cook at home, because I like to eat. I would much rather eat out, but even my favorite restaurants seem to be cutting corners.

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Elmer J Fudd

nickel, if you find yourself in Los Angeles, get to Pink's for the world's best chili dog. Or chili burger if you must, but the dog is a better choice. Put cheese on either if you have to but the flavor of the meat and the chili is stunning. Make an appointment with your cardiologist for when you get back home, you don't want to think about how much saturated fat you've eaten. I've been going there since I was a pre-teen (early 1960s). The only thing that's changed is that the line is longer as is the wait. Celebrities are often seen there too.

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Anglophilia

We used to have a marvelous independent book store in Louisville - Hawley -Cooke. It was huge and had everything, including a fabulous section with out of town/country newspapers, regional and foreign magazines. They had a huge selection of travel books and sold UK Ordenance maps. Their children's section was without equal. One could lose ones self in there for hours. They sold it to Borders. The two stores did re- open as Borders but the weren't the same. The Borders went belly- up and closed all their stores. We still have Carmichael's but it's not Hawley-Cooke.

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marylmi

I remember one restaurant in particular called "Thunderbird Inn". It was a popular place to go if you were all dressed up and food was excellent. A popular place for the "upper crust". They built an addition for a smaller more informal version called "The Birds Nest" which had its own entrance and open for lunches and early dinner . Food was great as coming from the same kitchen but smaller portions. Atmosphere was super great in both places. The Birds Nest reminded me of a little French Bistro. I forget the year but the establishment caught fire and they never rebuilt. Miss that place!

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mushcreek

I remember the old lunch counters in the five and dime stores. In our town, the Rexall drug store had a little lunch counter in the back. Us kids would sit down and order water as we didn't have any money, and flirt with the girls working there.

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Anglophilia

The lunch counter at Schroeder Drug store in Charlevoix MI made the most incredible shakes called a "Jeff"; if it included malt powder, it was called a "Concrete". It was nearly a pint of vanilla ice cream put in a big tall milk shake tin, a couple of scoops of their secret recipe marshmallow sauce, and a scoop or two of their secret recipe chocolate sauce made from Dutch cocoa. Then the girl (it was always girls that worked the counter in the summer), took a big wooden spoon, and mixed it by hand - no milk added, no blender. The marshmallow sauce froze up in little tiny chewy bits - it was very stiff and it was delicious. I gained 8 pounds in 3 weeks when we were up there when I was newly pregnant with my first born!!! I went and got one "to go" every evening at cocktail hour and had that instead of a Gin & Tonic. Much preferred it to the booze!!!

Alas, long gone as is Juilleretes in Harbor Springs which made something similar, called a "Velvet".

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watchmelol

Foghorn Fish and Chips in the Haight Ashbury of the 60s.

Wrapped in newspaper, soaked with malt vinegar. You got a load of fish in irregular sized pieces, non of this two, weighed out strips stuff they do these days, and the chips were thick, hot and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.


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Sylvia Gordon

Casual Corner! I had forgotten Casual Corner. I loved that store.

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thankurnmo

Oh my yes Casual Corner. Reasonably priced- and I think I recently got rid of a cotton sweater from there. The stuff wore like iron and I continued to get compliments on that stuff. Let;s agree if anyone finds a brand (not optimistic enough to ask for a store but if you find that by all means ) similar to theirs to PLEASE share it on here. Deal? thanks

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diane_nj 6b/7a

sprtphntc7a

Gimbels, Lit Brothers, Strawbridge and Clothier, Franks Nursery, Clover., Woolworths, Wanamakers....

All of these! Plus Hanscom's bakery, Linton's, and Gino's, "Home of the Gino Giant"! The Commissary restaurant downtown (Philly). In my neighborhood, there was Mr. G's for women's clothing, and Annette's for accessories, and the little hosiery store packed full of boxes where you could get any kind of stocking or undergarment.

In the town where I live now, Prowns, one of those "hardware" stores that had everything.



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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I remember Casual Corner! We had a little home town restaurant called the Busy Bee, they had great plate lunches and burgers. Across the street was the 5 and dime, loved to go there when I was a kid. There was a drive in restaurant called the Comey, no idea why, awesome burgers and the best shrimp burgers and crab burgers. Good shakes too. The very first original Landrys was right down the road. The food was fantastic. True real down home Cajun food by True downhome Friendly Cajuns. Not quite the same thing today but the Landrys here is good.

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always1stepbehind

Bakers Square. Loved their skillet breakfasts.

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Hareball

The only older places I kind of miss are Drug Emporium, Wyatt's Cafeteria (in the mall) and Solo Serve lol So 80's haha I also miss the Hickory Farms store they had in the mall and the Sara Lee shop they had in the outlet mall.

If there is something I like it's likely to get shut down or discontinued. :( There was a cute clothing store in Austin that I liked but it closed shortly after I found in. It was called Blackbird. There was also a sushi place I'd go to in Austin called How Do You Roll? It was like a Subway type sushi place. Go down the line and let them know what you wanted and they'd make it. Some of the good thrift shops where I live have closed down.

In New York there was a jewelry shop called So Good Jewelry and they were closed the last time I went. Also I'll miss FAO Schwartz.

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Jakkom Katsu

For the OP, if you can get to a Neiman Marcus, all their restaurants offer their hot popovers with fresh strawberry butter. Killer good!

In the SF Bay Area, Northern CA. For us it's all about the food, LOL:

- Max's Diner/SF. Not the current one, which bought the name and is mediocre, but the original from the 1980's. Massive Reuben's in the inimitable NY style.

- Yank Sing Dim Sum/SF when it was still on Broadway and owned by Alice Chan. She was there every day. Talk about missed opportunities - she fell in love with my DH when he was 12 and wanted to adopt him. His parents refused, the idiots (LOL - DH was all for it, figuring he'd finally get all the har gow dumplings he could eat!).

Kansai/SF. Amazing kaiseki dinners; we went 3x and every one was spectacular.

Golden Pavilion/SF. A special banquet dinner, sometime in the mid 1980's, introduced me to the most amazing Spicy Lamb I've ever had. Nothing else has ever come close. Dry-fried with layer upon layer of complex flavor, all distinctly separate yet beautifully melded: spicy, salty, bitter, numbing, sweet, aromatic. Probably why I'm not a fan of virtually all Sichuan restaurants; hot and spicy but no depth or complexity.

Square One/SF. The first Mediterranean restaurant, opened by the great Joyce Goldstein. I would walk a mile from my office to get one of those individual, artisanal, thin-crust Margarita pizza for lunch. It was as far from Pizzeria Uno schlock as one could get.

Kong's/SF. My in-laws and DH were forever telling me about "real" Hong Kong style chow mein. But it didn't exist in SF until 1982 when Kong's, a hole-in-the-wall dive, opened on Kearny St. near Columbus. In no time word spread and the Chinese (and us) were lined up out the door and down the street. The only restaurant that made the 'noodle pillow' correctly - it takes 30 min minimum on a commercial griddle, and 45 min is better - and yes, my in-laws were absolutely right. You can find it at a lot of places these days, but never properly made. It just takes too long, and unless a restaurant is going to sell an awful lot of chow mein in a short period (the 'pillow' doesn't reheat), it isn't worth their effort to do it the traditional way.

La Bourgoyne/SF. Dover Sole (the Real Thing) in Champagne beurre blanc. Fresh langoustines in garlic butter. Heaven!

Metropole/Berkeley. For a short time, there was a wild game ranch in Northern CA. Metropole's red deer filet was sublime; heaven for this beef lover from Chicago who despises CA beef.

Cocolat Bakery. I'm not a chocoholic altho most of my friends are. But Cocolat's Triple Chocolate Mousse cake was luscious. Much imitated, but cheaply and poorly. The recipe is in their cookbook, and it is a major production, sigh.

Venezia/Berkeley. For two dishes only: a classic Carbonara, perfectly executed. And the booziest, richest, creamiest tiramisu around. I'm pretty sure it was a combination of rum, bourbon, and Frangelico. Definitely packed a punch!

More recently:

Etoile @Domaine Chandon Vineyards/Yountville. Perry Hoffman is a very fine chef. The Shed/Healdsburg, where he works now, is okay but nothing compared to the complex dishes he balanced so beautifully at the more upscale Etoile.

Andre's Bouchee/Carmel. When Andre Lemaire took this restaurant over, renamed it and was cooking in the kitchen, we adored it. It reminded us of La Bourgoyne but a bit more bistro style. None of the young chefs who took over after he died, were as disciplined and skilled. We still have a cherished memory of a lobster salad: sliced poached lobster, sweet butter lettuce, and a drizzle of truffle oil. That's all, zip. The best ingredients, beautifully prepared, nothing extraneous. Perfection.



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Elmer J Fudd

When a formerly popular place closes without relocating, it's usually for a good reason. Often it's a major fall off in business because of a chef change or other major reason or catastrophe. For those special places, it happens all too frequently. Enjoy your favorites when they're still around!

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Sherry

Here, several places, the original owner got old and retired. The best places are never chains.

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Elmer J Fudd

I avoid chains to the greatest possible extent though I have no affection for mediocre local places either. If that's the only choice, the chain wins.

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LucyStar1

Laura Ashley stores. It may not be the style any more, but it is still my style. I bought a yellow comforter and draperies set in the 90's and I still use it. There is still an online store and the name is licensed so the products are still out there, but the quality isn't the same. I just bought a Laura Ashley hand-painted jug in the Goodwill store for 99 cents. It was made in England, not China.

Pierre Deux stores and the catalog. I loved and still love the bright Country French colors. I'm still using what I bought.

Country Curtains. The quality, range of sizes, and custom length were wonderful. Most everything I see nowadays is either 84 or 96 inches and I prefer 63 or 72 inches.

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sableincal

Surprised that I have not seen mentioned the greatest department store ever to exist in the States. Marshall Field's, in Chicago, the downtown main store. Although Field's closed 12 or so years ago, it remains unequaled as an American institution. Ten glorious floors of fashions, furniture (including antiques), housewares, toys, books, and restaurants, all excellent quality, and the service was polite and attentive. Christmas at Field's was a Chicago experience - the exterior store windows decorated to delight children, the seven floor interior tree, the gorgeous interior decorations - the attention to detail was perfection.

I was a salesgirl in Fields for a few months when I was in college. The training for salespeople was three days long, and you had to dress nicely - skirts, hose and low-heeled pumps for women, ties and jackets for men - for the training classes as well as on the job. We were taught, over and over, the store's motto: The Customer Is Always Right. We had to enact scenarios of managing difficult customers. We understood that it was an honor to serve this store and its customers!

Fields was eventually bought by Macy's, a pale imitation. Macy's came in, removed all the beautiful oak and mahogany cases and woodwork, threw dry-wall over everything, closed the famous restaurants except for one and installed a giant food-court, lost the specialty shops, and infuriated Chicagoans, who actually ran a campaign to Save Field's! (futile) and swore never to shop at Macy's.

Field's set a certain tone for the Chicago Loop, and that is gone. Even the tone and style of Michigan Blvd. is gone, along with its charm and uniqueness.

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Jakkom Katsu

OMG, I had NO idea Field's had closed! Such a wonderful store, I loved wandering through the store. Their window displays at Christmas were so beautiful. Aarrrgggggh, what a tragedy.

I was doing some research on the history of department store restaurants and learned that at one time, Field's had 11 restaurants and cafes inside the main store. Department store restaurants were considered "safe and respectable" public places for women to gather outside the home, in the late 19th/early 20th centuries - hence the tradition of Neiman Marcus' popovers.

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blubird

As Diane mentioned, Prowns had everything, including Lionel trains. I think they only deal with remodeling these days. From NY we miss the sundaes from McCrory's and A&S in downtown Brooklyn, along with all the wonderful Appetizing stores where you could get fruits out of season and nuts and smoked fishes and....(I can still smell the place in my mind, it was very distinctive)

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Elmer J Fudd

"the greatest department store ever to exist in the States. Marshall Field's"


No doubt that's just one person's nostalgic favorite in a horse race with no clear winner. Notable upmarket department stores with lots of special features? Seattle had Nordstrom's, San Francisco I Magnin, Dallas had Neiman-Marcus, New York and LA several each, etc.

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Anglophilia

Fields was such a wonderful store! When I was 10, my parents sent me to Chicago to stay with my aunt for a week - had such a good time, I stayed nearly a month! My aunt was a great shopper. Several days each week, we'd drive to Oak Park and take the EL into Chicago and go to Marshall Field's. I do believe in those 4 weeks, I saw every single counter on every single floor!!! Oh, those wonderful old mahogany cabinets! It was just magic to me. We often ate lunch in their tea room. Over the years, I learned to love their "Special Sandwich" - oh my but that was delicious. And I've always adored their Frango Mints.

What an enormous loss for Chicago.

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Louiseab Ibbotson

Mr. mikes. Loved their Mike burger.

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watchmelol

Not so much a specific store but what I really miss is what department stores used to be. They actually had departments. Yes actual departments that had merchandise that matched their titles. You didn't not have wander through mazes and mirrors and loud music areas to find the items you were seeking. You needed a blouse you went to the women's or juniors or whatever and there would be racks of blouses to choose from. Just blouses. Not a mish mash of tops, tunics, and tees. People understood what a blouse was. The knits were with knits and the cottons and linens lived together. Dresses lived together. Sportswear lived together. They were organized and easy to look through. The racks were round and everything within reach. Not of this clothes hung (crammed) front to back on tiers of rods sticking out of walls or twelve feet over one's head needing poles to reach them with no sales staff in sight. None of the horrid disorganization that makes most dept. stores today look like they are running a rummage sale. You didn't have to go through men's children's or sporting goods to get from juniors, to misses to women's either. It was all there in women's clothing. No confusion.

It was easy to recognize sales people also. Never had to view someone down on the floor stacking towels with his/her/it's? plumber's crack and tramp stamp on display.

People didn't wander around with food and drinks in hand. Many stores had restaurants and snack bars and candy counters but people stopped and ate or drank there instead of wandering around with dripping cups and sticky fingers handling the merchandise. Had they tried that someone would have politely directed them back to the appropriate eating area.

That's what I miss. That is why I do most of my shopping shop online.

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arkansas girl

Nothing fancy, just common folk restaurants but we have lost our Cici's Pizza, our Golden Corral and our Hometown Buffet all were favorite dining spots for us. BOOHOO! OH and my sisters are always mentioning how they miss Mervyn's Department store, they had nice clothing that wasn't real trendy for mature women.

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bleusblue2

Anglophilla -- you've lived everywhere! St. Louis? Well, you probably aren't as old as I am but there will never ever be another Miss Hullings -- the best cafeteria that ever existed, no question. And it had to close because the Misses Hullings didn't live forever. Cafeteria? It was fine dining on a tray.

And while I'm at it, my sister and I are on a permanent quest to find somebody who knows the location of the long gone hamburger Drive-in "Hoppies" in St. Louis.

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sableincal

Jakkom & Anglophilia - Glad that someone else understands and has had the Field's experience - all those delightful memories!

Coincidentally I lived outside Dallas for a few years and sometimes I went to Neiman's for browsing and lunch in their Zodiac Room. Now we're in the Bay Area and we've been once or twice to Magnin's. And at least once a year we visit family in Seattle, so have shopped in Nordstrom also. They are nice stores with lovely fashions, but there is no comparison, lol.

Anglophilia - did you know that Frango mints are originally from Seattle? I only learned that a few years ago. You can still order them from the Chicago Macy's, though.

For anyone interested in why Chicago women so loved this store, here are some places to learn more: the shopper's delight, which shows every floor and department (scroll down a bit),https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Field , about the store's history and innovations, and fieldsfanschicago.org/, as there were public protests when the store closed.

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Anglophilia

sable, I had no idea! I thought they were a Field's "exclusive"!

bluesbleu, I have lived a lot of places! Born in Kansas City, moved to Topeka KS, then to St Louis, then married and to Washington DC, then back to St Louis, then to Los Angeles, and then to Louisville. Also spent a year in NYC when I was in retailing school in the mid 1960's. Yes, I remember Miss Hulling's. It was good but I liked Putsches in Kansas City better. My father loved it - he worked at Southwestern Bell at 1010 Pine St and if he wasn't eating at the Men's Grill at the old Scruggs, Vandervoot & Barney's, he ate lunch at Miss Hulling's.

I lived in St Louis from 1962 until 1981, and until the past few years, visited it often. Don't remember "Hoppies" - just Steak & Shake and the old A&W root beer stand near Clayton Rd and Brentwood. My favorite "fancy" burgers were from the "Flaming Pit" near across from Westroads Shopping Cntr - loved their flame-grilled burgers and their special sauce - SO good. And, of course, Straub's "Strauburger Basic".

Lots of good eating in St Louis in the old days!!! It's still my favorite city of any place I've ever lived.

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Elmer J Fudd

"They are nice stores with lovely fashions, but there is no comparison, lol."

That may be because it's now today and stores face today's retail realities, Those who didn't change aren't around anymore. Those who are are different than they were.

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Anglophilia

I think that some of the big changes have caused retail's decline! If I need to go buy a white blouse, I much preferred in the past to either go to the misses sportswear dept or the budget misses dept where I could see all the white blouses together, not in different areas of a huge floor, by brand. It simply takes too long to shop that way. So, I now look at them online.

I was trained in retailing and before the huge national chain stores, buyers were local and could be on the floor and learn what their customers wanted. One could see if the customer was having trouble finding something, and immediately grab a salesperson and move the floor around a bit so it was more apparent to the customer. Now, everyone above a sales person (perhaps a dept manager) is in a corporate office, often thousands of miles from the selling floor and the customer.

Old Morton D May, one of the early Presidents of the May Co, told me when I was an executive trainee, I must spend time on the floor everyday so I could "smell the customer". It was excellent advice...advice that was not taken by others in his own company after his death. It's one reason small boutiques do survive.

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sleeperblues

Thank you for mentioning Marshall Field's, and in particular the State Street store. I guess I am not nostalgic by nature, but that mention hit home. I would literally salivate when I went into that store, ha ha. Floor upon floor of beautiful women's fashions, beautiful cases on the first floor where treasures were stored, and of course the Christmas windows outside. I loved that store so, and boycotted Macy's when they took them over. I never shopped at a Macy's, never will. As I have recently cleaned out my Mom's closet I put everything aside with a MF label, to be treasured because it was Mom's and was from that store. Quality always.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Y'know how you try and try and can't remember something? Well this one's been bothering me for years now. Mom and I used to go to a chain store that was a home improvement place in the 80s, well before home depot. It was one of the very early stores of its type and it was here in the Northeast. I'll be dipped if I can remember the name of the place. And Mom has passed away so I can't ask here. We used to go there and look at paint chips and browse wallpaper books and they used to hold workshops on home improvement things and the like. Anyone have any ideas?

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Anyone remember Fortnight at Neiman Marcus in Dallas?

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sjerin

For my family and me, I think we enjoyed Frederick and Nelson's in Seattle the most. This is the spot where we visited Santa, as well.

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nickel_kg

Annie: was it Hechingers? that was an early home improvement chain, haven't seen one in years.

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Melodee Currier

Anglophilia, I, too, lived at The Barbizon Hotel for Women in the mid 60s and visited Susan Prince often. I loved their popovers too. She had a "special table" for singles. It was a little awkward, but interesting.

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Lars

I remember going to Marshall Fields at the Galleria in Houston when I was in college at Rice in the early 1970s. As a student, I could not afford anything there, but I did buy some psychedelic overall short-shorts at Neiman-Marcus.

When I moved to Culver City, I lived 1-1/2 blocks from Ships on Overland in Culver Center Shopping Center, and I went there often. I did like having the toaster on the table and would always take visitors there for breakfast. Now it is a Starbucks, and I never shop there or even go inside - mainly because I do not drink coffee.

I now live close to Pann's Restaurant, which used to be open for dinner, but now is only breakfast and lunch. It has Googie style architecture and will probably be preserved as an historical landmark, like Randy's Donuts, also close to my house.

It would be difficult to name all the stores and restaurants that I miss, but here are a few department stores:

The Broadway Dept Store (L.A.)
Sakowitz Dept Store (Houston)
Foley's Dept Store (Houston)
Bullocks Dept Store (L.A.)
Restaurants tend to come and go faster than stores, but I did miss Alfred's Delicassen in Houston after it closed. Fortunately, Three Brothers Bakery is still open.

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marilyn_c

Lars, did you ever go to The Bowery, which was sort of a NY style deli....I guess. I used to go there in early '70s. It was down town, around the corner from Stelzig's Saddlery. My best friend and I used to dress up and go to lunch at Sakowitz Sky Terrace. Her mother would give her, her credit card. They were wealthy...a far cry from my own circumstances.

I miss Foley's.

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marilyn_c

I also remember the movie theaters down town that were so deluxe. Lowe's and the Metropolitan.

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Lars

I did go to The Bowery in Houston, and I also used to go to Love Street at Allen's Landing in Houston for psychedelic concerts! I never thought Alfred's would close (they had at least three locations), and I used to go to the one in The Village (West University Place) when I was at Rice quite frequently. I went to The Bowery mostly when I was going to downtown to Jones Hall or The Alley Theater.

Los Angeles has preserved a lot of old movie theaters downtown and in Hollywood - probably more than most cities - mostly because of urban sprawl and the lack of need to tear anything down because new things were being built further out.

One of my best friends at Rice worked part time at Sakowitz, and I think he got the job because the owners were his uncles, or something like that. Anyway, he was related to the Sakowitz family.

Foley's downtown on Main Street was a great store - Houston's equivalent to Macy's in Manhattan. Since Rice was also on Main Street, I could take a city bus to get there very easily.

As for theaters in downtown Houston, I remember the MiniArt Theater that I think may have shown X-rated (for the 70s) movies, but at midnight (when I went there) showed psychedelic underground movies, mostly made in Berkeley and San Francisco. If we got there too early, we had to sit through portions of a short serial movie, Sea Dog (or something like that) starring Ronald Reagan, which was really bad. It was sort of like the Flash Gordon series, but not nearly as good, and the acting was so bad that the audience laughed through most of it, even though it was not a comedy but instead a WWII serial.

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marilyn_c

I think the mini art theater was one my friends and I went to a porno film one afternoon. My friend talked them into giving us a student discount. Not sure if that was it....it was a hole in the wall. (No pun intended). ;)

In the summer there was a film festival at the Alley. Lots of hokey fims...first time I saw Grey Gardens and I believe some Jon Waters films..like one about giant man eating plants.

I used to love going to Houston...I could get home in about 45 minutes, but I avoid it now. Was a lot different in the early '70s. I was going to school to be a vet tech.

My daughter graduated from University of St Thomas, and lives in Montrose. She loves the city, but even Montrose isn't as cool as it used to be. I had a lot of gay friends...used to o with them to a little bar named Mary's.

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sealavender

OMG! Prowns, in my mother's NJ home town! I used to go there with my parents as a child. They did have everything in there; it was so fun to explore. I remember something about sequins on a roll.

In DC's Georgetown, the restaurants Aux Fruits de Mer and Au Pied de Cochon. Oh, and the Biograph and Key movie theaters.

In LA, i remember Hamburger Hamlet as having a good Manhattan clam chowder served with sherry. I also miss Gerald's hardware store in Westchester. Helpful staff, had everything. I went in there to get a new shower valve; whey they saw the old one, the guy in plumbing knew the street on which I lived.

I remember my parents taking me to the Automat in NY. They thought I'd be impressed, but I thought it was strange. I still remember it, though!


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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Interesting the impressions some have :-) There is a big difference between a department store......of which very few exist these days.....and large clothing stores.

Nordstroms has never been a department store!! It started as a shoe store.....period! I remember shopping there in my late teenage years, as they were one of the few places around that sold Capezio shoes (which I loved and had a vast collection :-)) It wasn't until it combined with a woman's apparel store (Best's Apparel) that it became a clothing store, known as Nordstrom-Best and finally just Nordstroms. But it only sold shoes and clothes. That is NOT a department store!!

Back in the day, Seattle had two, semi-upscale department stores - The Bon Marche and Frederick and Nelsons. The sold everything from soup to nuts....clothes, toys, furniture and antiques, appliances, kitchenware, fine china and crystal, linens, fine art, etc. And food.....both already prepared food, imported goods, a bakery and several restaurants. The Bon was acquired by Macy's in 2003 but still remains as the largest department store in the area.

Frederick and Nelsons was even larger than The Bon and a step or two up in both quality and price. And F&N was where Frango's originated. F&N was acquired by Marshall Fields in 1929 but always operated under the F&N name. It was a huge store...12 storeys and occupied a full city block. It had multiple restaurants, a fantastic bakery, a candy kitchen (where Frangos and other candies were made), a post office, beauty salon, infirmary, a daycare facility and a reading room. It was known for its fabulous, animated Christmas windows and was where all the best Santa photos were taken :-) It was a Seattle institution!

It closed with the demise of Marshall Fields in the early 90's. But that massive store is still there in the heart of downtown Seattle and is now the Nordstrom flagship store and corporate office.

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sjerin

Gardengal, you bring up nice memories! I spent my earliest years in Seattle and remember all you've mentioned here. Going to F&N's at Christmastime was one the highlights of the year, and nothing beats Frangos. My mom used to look forward with glee to the month-end sales at The Bon and got some really good bargains, including furniture.

It's funny, my sister was just here for my dd's wedding, and was reminding me of how Nordstrom started out; I hadn't thought of the "Best" addition in such a long time! Thanks for the happy memories. Well, except for the one of being left in the F&N daycare while Mom could Christmas shop---I was such a mama's girl and didn't like to leave her.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Forgot to add that Macy's acquired the Frango franchise when F&N and Marshall Fields closed.

And I remember some very memorable lunches in the F&N Tea Room when I was growing up :-) Back in the day, it was quite posh!!

sjerin, do you remember Jay Jacobs? On the corner of 5th and Pine, it was directly across the street from F&N and was the go-to place for hip, stylish young women's clothing. Best's and then Nordstrom-Best's was on the opposite corner and I. Magnin's just a door or two up the street from Jay Jacob's. That was "fashion central" in Seattle when I was growing up and as a young adult :-))

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