Thursday, September 8, 2016


Mall Convergence
JCPenney has since left.
As more people shop online and the economy can be uneasy it seems dead malls are becoming more common in the US and Canada.  Shoppingtown in deWitt is a blatant example of such a lost cause.  In my day it had almost everything but as the years went by society changed but the developers' mindsets didn't so it became a modern day Tumbleweed Connection!  TGI Fridays and JCPenney (in the back above) have just closed shop.  The library will go next year.  Trying to fill it all up at this point would be fruitless so maybe once the row between the town council and Moonbeam is sorted perhaps the wrecking ball could swing like Miley and they could cut their losses.  A lifestyle center like Township 5 across town in Camillus or Legacy Place in Boston suburb Dedham, MA could be the next step.  Whole Foods, IKEA, Stein Mart, Ross Stores, 99 Pub and Toppers to name a few could take over returning the place to its roots as a plaza bringing it full circle.  There are several other centers in CNY alone and across North America that make Pompeii look like Hong Kong but this could be part of the solution.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Former IGA locations

Former Hannibal store
Hannibal (now Tops)
Syracuse - Peters (now Tops, Kohls, cornershops, etc.)
Liverpool - Nichols (now a Shurfine)
Lafayette - US 11 (now Dollar General)
Homer - Foodliner (not on IGA site)
Corfu - NY 77 (now vacant)
Clifton - now indie
Bridgeton, NJ - Tri-State Area (now C-Town)
Akwesasne - NY 37 (now St Regis Mohawk First Nation entertainment complex)
Red Hook - US 9 (now Hannaford or CVS?)
Malone - now Country Market
Greenwich - NY 29 (now a farmers market)
Brushton - now Country Store
Star Lake - Padgetts (now Great American)
Stephentown - now vacant
Bingham Park - Hawley (now vacant)
The Bronx - now Scavellos City Island

Tops in Hannibal

Made with Microsoft Paint, poor mans Photoshop!
Tops' latest location on NY 3 just past NY 104 in Hannibal is now open.  I went just a few days before as the old guard IGA were clearing out as much as possible.  It's listed on Tops' site but no article there or the local papers about the soft opening has been released yet.  Previously a Big M to boot, the family who owned it were now in their fourth or fifth generation in this country and were ready to move on.  I have yet to see the place so the fa├žade may have changed or like some former Shurfine or Grand Unions they bought out in recent memory they just retrofit the old sign instead like my cheap rendering shows (gotta make do!).  Now I hope the old Price Chopper in Oswego by Fort Ontario halfway across the county is store #600 (IRS regulations make them count former stores too) but some towards and in New England acquired from ex-sister chain Stop & Shop and their new one Hannaford are next in line.  As for the other Great Lakes chain, you have to go to Potsdam or Old Forge now but it's not the same.  A post about them is next.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Eyemart Express

Image result for Eyemart Express
Couldn't find a freely licenced image this time around.
Now to switch gears, Eyemart Express I only just heard of the other week in Rochester with a couple new locations in the suburbs.  One in the DFW is where this chain are based and there will always be a market for eyewear.  Here's where they should look into so to speak:

deWitt - former Pearle Vision or Shoppingtown
Syracuse (Eastwood/Lyncourt) - former Blockbuster Video (even though rival Visionworks are already nearby)
Clay - Great Northern Mall
Fairmount - Fairmount Fair
Oswego - NY 104
Fulton - former Fay's Drugs
Cortland - Riverside Plaza or Cortlandville
Syracuse (north side) - Destiny USA
Auburn - former Walgreens

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Former Tops locations

Bolton Landing GU which was Tops before and again
Syracuse (Eastwood) - Burnet Ave near NY 635; original Tops stores left Onondaga County in 1986; later P&C and now Bill Rapp Nissan
Mattydale - US 11; later P&C until 1994 and is now Big Lots
New Hartford (Kellogg Mall in Washington Mills and NY 5A) - now Hannaford
Utica (east side) - now Hannaford
Whitehall - Grand Union became Tops in 2001, then closed; now Dollar General
Oneida - NY 5; now Price Chopper
Oswego - NY 104; now Tractor Supply
Warrensburg, Bolton Landing (pictured) et al (mainly Adirondack Park) - were GU at first, then Tops, then back to GU and Tops once again (see earlier GU post for more details)
Fulton - now Price Chopper; with Tops now in former Strupplers Big M/Shurfine down NY 48
Hamilton - NY 12A; was Grand Union, then Tops, then back to GU but is now Hacketts
Cleveland, OH area - were briefly in Cuyahoga County; Erie, PA have the closest ones to them now
Buffalo area - Tops' backyard; given the nature of the business, many have come and gone over the decades but even Ani diFranco herself wouldn't know them all yet she'd like them going indie!  The current count is over 140 yet they count almost 400 total as they include all past locations for tax purposes as one of the smaller stores ultimately absorbed into Tops told me when they still existed.
North Syracuse - US 11 in village; later Salvation Army, now an estate agent
Rome - NY 49; was later P&C but changed back with buyout

Wilson Farms and Sugarcreek Stores were a division of Tops until they spun off into a separate company and were sold to 7 Eleven (I discussed them before and some Wilson Farms became other things).  Tops returned to Syracuse in 2010 when they purchased the lions share of Penn Traffic after their third and final administration (bankruptcy!).

Arthur Treachers

Arthur Treacher's DC
Newer Washington, DC location.
I meant to put Arthur Treachers here earlier but it must have been the one that got away!  They were formerly in Liverpool (Bayberry and Galeville) and Syracuse (east side).  Monroe County have the closest ones to me right now but I wanna change all that:

Liverpool (7th North St) - former Tim Hortons (across Buckley Road from old location)
East Syracuse - former JDs Fish 'n Grill/Dougs Fish Fry (as of 23/8/16)
Oneida - former Tim Hortons on NY 5 (a mile from competitor Long John Silvers)
Clay - Great Northern Mall (food court as there's plenty of room)
Baldwinsville - Moyers Corners on NY 31 & Co Rt 57 (former Hardees/Tim Hortons/JDs/Dougs) and/or former Burger King (NY 31 & 370)
Liverpool (Bayberry) - former Arbys (up the street from old location that is now a Chinese takeaway)
Oswego - former Tim Hortons (NY 481) or Arbys (NY 104)
Fulton - former Jreck Subs (downtown)
Cortland - former Tim Hortons (NY 13)
Auburn - former Tim Hortons (NY 5 and/or Genesee St)
Cicero - former McDonalds (E Circle Dr)
North Syracuse - former Tim Hortons (US 11 by W Taft Rd)
deWitt - Shoppingtown Mall (NY 5)
Chittenango - former Kinney Drugs (NY 5 & 13)
Bridgeport - former Kinney Drugs (NY 31)
Utica - former Tim Hortons (Genesee St)
Rome - former Staples (tear down of course)
Canastota - former Jreck Subs (NY 5 & 13)
Syracuse - Armory Square (although the property owner may only want upscale indies to apply) or former SU Hill Breuggers Bagels
Wappinger Falls - former Sonic Drive-In (US 9)

For towns with more than one vacancy LJS can get the other.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bus or bust

Fung wah stops at McDs
I'd bring them back for day trips downstate and to casinos and such!
The travel industry is certainly retail so it fits here.  There doesn't seem to be enough buses to where I wanna go from my area.  The Chinatown bus going downstate only leaves at all hours from Galeville (part of Liverpool) just a mile from the bus and railway station.  The infamous Fung Wah went the way of Syracuse & Oswego Bus just last year.  If I could get founder Pei Lin Liang to revive the company and get back in good graces with Albany and Boston for an operating licence.  For casino runs that mainly attract pensioners I'd have him go to Gananoque, ONT and Niagara Falls, NY/ONT in the border community, both Mohegan Sun casinos, Sands in the Allentown-Bethlehem, PA area, Vernon Downs and Yellow Brick Road in the Central Leatherstocking (he could go to the latters sister Turning Stone from communities that Birnie, Yankee Trails, Wade and others won't service).  In the summer months I'd have runs to Sylvan and Verona Beaches on NY 13, Southwick Beach and Sacketts Harbour in the North Country, and Green Lakes in Fayetteville.  Meanwhile, I'd get Liang to go to NYC in broad daylight without eating into Greyhounds runs too much but they always get long queues and only occasionally do they provide an extra bus for people just going to Cortland and Binghamton which have less demand by comparison.  The bus could go down NY 13 too Ithaca and up NY 14 to Geneva as direct service from CNY is sparse or even non-existent. Not everyone can have access to a private vehicle or in the case of seniors can't handle the long drive on the road anymore so there's a market to tap into.  I'd have Fung Wah or somebody leave from in the city like they do in Albany so it's not out of the way.  I'd also make sure they avoid all the problems that have plagued this type of service.  This is why these things have to be regulated to protect people from getting hurt.  There should be value for money without cutting corners or cars off on the road.  If Fung Wah could just change their focus a bit they could maybe rebuild their reputation.