View Full Version : NW OKC grocery store landscape in the 60's and 70's



terryinokc
03-30-2017, 03:45 PM
I've lived in NW OKC pretty much all my life. Possibly out of boredom-- but I was just thinking how different the grocery shopping environment is now than in the 60's and 70's.

I chose the area bound by MacArthur on the west, Pennsylvania on the east, Britton Road on the north and NW 30 on the south.

These were the shopping options available then:

NW Expressway & MacArthur: Skaggs--vacant
Just a block north on Macarthur: Whittakers--then various IGA stores--now a pawn shop

NW 63 and MacArthur: Safeway-then Homeland-then Drapers Market (independent)--demolished
Whittakers---then various IGA stores--antique mall
Wal Mart Market (current)

NW 50 & MacArthur: Red Bud--Mini Max--Kennards (independent)--now Goodwill
Sanders Foods--independent--now a paint store

NW 42 & MacArthur: Gibsons--now Victory Church

NW 39 & MacArthur (area) : Safeway--divided space--in the center with Family Dollar and City Bites
Whittakers--now Auto Zone

NW 36 & MacArthur: Buy For Less (current)

NW Expressway & 63rd: Ken's Red and White--then Bestyet---was Pratts for a short period of time after the 39th Street store fire--now Academy

NW 63 and Portland: Kimberlings IGA then Consumers IGA--demolished

NW 50 & Meridian: Safeway--then Homeland--now Bingo

Portland & NW EXP: Megamarket--then Bakers--now Buy For Less

NW 50 & Portland: Fredrick's Foods (very short lived independent)--now a shoe or paint store I think

NW 39 & Portland: Hagees Discount Foods--then Winn Dixie/Foodway---then Pratts--now Locke Supply

NW 30 & May: Humpty Dumpty--then Bestyet--then Eleys (current)

NW 50 & May : Humpty Dumpty--then Puddin Lane IGA (now Michaels)
Stone's IGA--then a couple of other IGA's--then Mayfair Market (demolished for CVS)
Thrif-T-Wise--local OK chain--where Eckerd and old CVS was--(used to have a neon owl sign that flashed off and on at night--creeped me out when I was a
kid)

NW 51 or NW 52 & May: Arlans Supermarket--then Humpty Dumpty--then Target Supermarket--now all Target

NW 59 & May: Shopper's World--then Founders Fare--then Trade Mart--demolished

NW 63 & May: Safeway--then Homeland---now Sprouts (current)
Puddin Lane IGA--then Consumers IGA--now divided space
Winn Dixie---now where the fitness center is next to Big Lots

NW 72 & May: Humpty Dumpty--now Freddie's

Britton & May: Safeway--back corner north of Lubys (divided space--Tuesday Morning?)
Puddin Lane IGA--where paint store is now
Skaggs--now divided space
Albertsons--now Homeland


Britton & Penn: Humpty Dumpty--then Safeway--then Homeland--demolished for Wal Mart Market
Humpty Dumpty--on west side of Casady Square--(divided space)--Humpty built new store across Penn

Penn Square Mall Humpty Dumpty (nice store--way ahead of it's time)

This is a total of 34 stores that were open in that time frame--only 7 are current grocery store locations. I'm sure this is a similar ratio to other parts of OKC and other US cities.
Grocery shopping then was a neighborhood thing....definitely now more of a destination.
Plus you got trading stamps!

Pete
03-30-2017, 03:52 PM
Thanks for this!

And yes, at that time there seemed to be a grocery store or two on ever intersection of section-line roads.

They also tended to be smaller than modern stores.

bchris02
03-30-2017, 05:59 PM
Oklahoma City has fewer grocery stores per-capita today than most other cities. I am not certain if this is solely due to Wal-Mart's dominance here or other factors. It is true though that 40 years ago, there were many more grocery stores but they tended to be smaller and more plain jane than modern stores. Think the 18th and Classen Homeland. That store is very out of date and small by today's standards but it's what the average grocery store was in 1980.

The upscale, modern grocery stores (the new Uptown at Britton and May is one of the few that OKC has) began to appear in the late 90s and early 2000s in most cities, mostly as a response to Wal-Mart's onslaught. Yes, you might pay more at a Kroger than at Wal-Mart, but it's a superior shopping experience all around.

Pete
03-30-2017, 06:11 PM
Where are you getting the info that OKC has fewer than average grocery stores per capita?

I live near 50th & Penn and my options have improved and increased drastically recently: Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Sprouts, new Sam's Club and very soon Aldi and Winco.

The Buy 4 Less at Portland and NW Expressway is a good option as is Target and Walmart (although I don't shop there).

Also, there is a Braum's very close which has a decent selection of staples and even On Cue isn't bad in a pinch.

Once Aldi and Winco open I'll have much better options in closer proximity than I had in California.

bchris02
03-30-2017, 06:33 PM
I'm not going to argue. However, the urban core is still in sad shape concerning grocery stores. Driving to NW Expressway is not, in my opinion, a convenient option for people living downtown. No fear though. Homeland remodeling 18th and Classen will be a huge boost. SQ 792 also has potential to transform the grocery market here being that it will make the sector significantly more profitable.

oklip955
03-30-2017, 11:29 PM
I'll be a bit off topic. Now you say the urban core is in sad shape as far as grocery shopping. Let back up to when the urban core was the urban core and lots of people lived there. Say 40's/50s. Anyone know what the shopping was like back then. Was there "markets" and supermarkets. Thinking Kamp's. Now what else. there was a Safeway around the 10th st area where Brown's bakery is. I think that was 60's vintage. Now where did people shop in the downtown/uptown and east sides in the 40's and 50's?

terryinokc
03-31-2017, 08:13 AM
I'll be a bit off topic. Now you say the urban core is in sad shape as far as grocery shopping. Let back up to when the urban core was the urban core and lots of people lived there. Say 40's/50s. Anyone know what the shopping was like back then. Was there "markets" and supermarkets. Thinking Kamp's. Now what else. there was a Safeway around the 10th st area where Brown's bakery is. I think that was 60's vintage. Now where did people shop in the downtown/uptown and east sides in the 40's and 50's?

There was a Safeway at NW 13 and Robinson---just south of the intersection on the east side of the street. It was a tag agency for several years and it may be a law office now.
It was Clyde's Market and a TG&Y where Brown's bakery is.

Roger S
03-31-2017, 08:42 AM
We have some Asian and Mexican super markets here that I rarely ever see mentioned in these threads about grocery stores in OKC that are awesome in my opinion... I don't know if most shoppers are just afraid to go in them, or what, but if you've never been in one I highly recommend giving one a try and expand your culinary options.

Every one I have been in have large meat counters, and fruits and vegetables you will not find in our traditional grocery stores as well as many other items you've probably never seen before..... You won't find prime cuts of meat at most of their meat counters but lower quality meat can be overcome with skilled cooking techniques..... One only has to look at the history of American BBQ to understand that.

Jim Kyle
03-31-2017, 12:50 PM
Now where did people shop in the downtown/uptown and east sides in the 40's and 50's?Until the mid-60s there was a "City Market" on Main Street just a short way west of Western. My wife's grandparents, who both worked, would phone in an order and the market would deliver it to their home in the evening, COD. Crescent Market was in Plaza Court at that time, and the "big" supermarket atop the hill just northeast of the traffic circle also served the midtown/uptown area. And these are just the initial ones that pop into my mind. In 1958, my young family bought quite a bit of our grocery needs at a mon-and-pop hole in the wall on NW 8 a block or so west of Blackwelder. We also used the Safeway stores at NW 6 and Western and also NW 10 and Linwood/Virginia.

whorton
04-16-2017, 02:49 AM
Yes, you might pay more at a Kroger than at Wal-Mart, but it's a superior shopping experience all around.

Dare I say, that for the most part, getting "mugged" is a better shopping experience than Wal Mart. If you are like me, and a creature of the night, its a great time as the store is mostly empty save for employees. . .On the bad side, only one of them can operate a check out stand. .

Anyone else remember the days when the store pledged, if there were more than 3 people in line, they would open another check stand?" They seemed to have forgotten that faster than traffic moves on 44 between 3 and 5!