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Wednesday · October 25 2006

Eric Zorn has a post collecting gone but not quite forgotten Chicago businesses. There's alot of childhood shopping memories on that list, particularly from the Harlem-Irving/Norridge area where I grew up.

  • Madigan's - the source of so many horrible shirts I wore in high school
  • Venture & Zayre - Target pre-cursors
  • Wieboldt's - department store space is now Carson's at the HIP
  • Service Merchandise - kinda like a Sears; this place had the weirdest product delivery system. No stock was on the shelves. If you wanted to buy a toaster, for example, you took the ticket for the toaster off the shelf and paid for it at the register. Then you went over to the gigantic convery belt from the sky and waited for your toaster to come down to you. Good fun as a kid.
  • Eagle Foods - one of these was at Cumberland and Montrose. My mom refused to shop there and I couldn't really tell you why.
  • Bresler's 33 Flavors Ice Cream - 2 more flavors than Baskin Robbins! What are they?
  • Rodeway Drug Store - The source of nearly every Wiffle ball and bat I ever bought.
  • Holiday Bowl, Corral Bowl, Axle Roller Rink

I could go on for quite a long time re-creating the far NW side in my head.

Archived: Around town » October 2006
What you had to say:
October 25 2006

We had Service Merchandise in Colorado Springs when I was growing up ... but I somehow don't remember what must have been the best part, that conveyor belt!!

October 25 2006

Interesting to know there was an Eagle foods, because there is, of course, a large chain called Giant and there was, at least at some time, a chain called Giant Eagle. I wonder what the relationship is.

I know this because Giant Eagle were the sponsors of the Giant Eagle Homerun Sweepstakes on all Pirates TV broadcasts on WTAJ. For a particular inning, if your name was pulled from the hat and a Pirate hit a home run, you got some great prize. But they didn't do it more than once or twice a game and it seemed like nobody every won. Maybe they'd only do it if the pitcher was coming up to bat.

I'm not sure what the point of that anecdote was.

October 26 2006

Actually, Service Merchandise was around until not too long ago (1998-99?) because that was one of the first accounts I worked on. I think I only did a couple studies before they closed down.

Speaking of things closing down, did you hear about the Zephyr? Bummer!

October 31 2006

Wow - Venture. My ma liked that store. In fact, I think we would go to the one on Golf - maybe near Milwaukee?

And we would not shop at Eagle either. ha - Eagle. they were never as good as Jewel, duh.

I mainly miss Showbiz Pizza. Where a kid could be a kid.

November 01 2006

I think Chuck E. Cheese bought-out Showbiz, but I could be wrong.

November 01 2006

If I read the following quote from wikipedia correctly, Showbiz actually bought out Chuck E. Cheese, but they eventually went with the Chuck E. Cheese name.

"In 1984, the company's parent, Pizza Time Theatre, Inc, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was purchased by competitor ShowBiz Pizza, which also featured pizza, video games, and singing animatronic characters. It was at this time that Richard M. Frank became the CEO and decided to change the target audience from the 10 to 17 years age group to the 0 to 12 years range they have today. Both the Chuck E. Cheese's and ShowBiz names continued to be used until 1992, when Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza became the name for all of the restaurants."

November 02 2006

That makes sense. Thanks for looking that up.

There was a Showbiz not far from where my grandparents lived in Cincinnati. I thought it was the greatest place ever. I remember I played a lot of "Joust."

November 06 2006

Skee ball at Showbiz!!!! Fond summer memories.
And I think the Showbiz was in a strip mall not far from Service Merchandise.

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