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 Pizza just 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.  I might look into Niagara Square in Niagara Falls, ONT next.
Kohan, the company that bought former sister mall Great Northern Mall could buy Shoppingtown as well as they know how to flip malls like that show on HGTV on the west coast can flip houses.  However, Moonbeam insist that it's not for sale and that they shall reformat in the months to come.  CarMax could go there (see later post).  I now tend to call the mall Shoppingnowt!

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 façade 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 just 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 - NY 5, former Pearle Vision or Shoppingtown
Syracuse (Eastwood/Lyncourt) - former Blockbuster Video (even though rival Visionworks are already nearby)
Clay - NY 31, Great Northern Mall
Fairmount - Fairmount Fair
Oswego - NY 104
Fulton - NY 481, former Fay's Drugs
Cortland - NY 13, Riverside Plaza or NY 281, Cortlandville
Syracuse (north side) - Destiny USA
Auburn - former Walgreens
Syracuse (west side) - NY 5, Genesee Plaza, former Sam Dell Dodge site

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
Geneva - NY 5, 14A and 245 and US 20 (moved down the street to maybe old P&C)
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 for 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
Henrietta - NY 252 Jefferson Road, now available (moved around the corner)

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/Galeville) - former Tim Hortons (across Buckley Road from old location) or McDonalds (which is moving to across from old Treachers location)
East Syracuse - former Tim Hortons on E Taft Rd and Northern Blvd.
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 Eckerd (NY 481 & 104) 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), Buffalo Wild Wings or Tim Hortons/Mighty Taco (US 11)
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 - TBD (NY 46 or 49)
Canastota - former Jreck Subs (NY 5 & 13)
Syracuse (east side) - former SU Hill Copy Centers
Syracuse (north side) - former Kraze Burger
New Hartford - same as above, Sangertown Square (NY 5 & 5A)
Wappinger Falls - former Sonic Drive-In (US 9)
Westvale - former Hallmark, Stop & Swap or Dance Ctr (NY 5)
Canandaigua - former Ponderosa, NY 5/US 20

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 always 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 only I could just 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, Point Place (coming soon), and Yellow Brick Road in the Central Leatherstocking (he could go to the latter two casinos' Oneida First Nation sister flagship 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 to 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.  They could even start over in Canada and provide bus service in Haldimand County, ONT to get people to Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Falls (both) and Buffalo.  I see similar buses like Safeway Tours (no relation to the supermarket chain) in Niagara Falls US & Canada which are more for tourism purposes with primarily Asian customers each time I'm in town.
If Fung Wah could just change their focus a bit, they could maybe rebuild their tepid reputation.

Monday, August 1, 2016


Radio Shack
Waterbury, CT store.  Not your fathers RadioShack!
Yes, RadioShack are alive and well but alas fewer and more far between by the day.  Mostly a Sprint dealer with some vestiges of the old guard.  Auburn, Herkimer and Rochester (now closed) have the closest ones to Syracuse nowadays when a generation or two ago, they were all over, even in Cazenovia (via a dealer however).  Since mobile phone shops are on almost every corner these days anyway, they may as well open these here (it may have to wait now as they have re-entered administration):

deWitt (NY 5) - Shoppingtown*
Cortland (NY 13) - Riverside Plaza
Clay (NY 31 & 481) - Great Northern Mall*
Liverpool (NY 31) - former Verizon Wireless
Syracuse (north side) - Destiny USA*
Westvale (NY 5) - former Verizon dealer or building with Family Dollar
Oswego - vacancy on NY 104
Fulton - former Eckerd on NY 481
New Hartford - Sangertown Square (NY 5A)
Oneida (NY 5) - former Tim Hortons (it's a small town and there's less red tape)
Fayetteville - former Epic (NY 5)
North Syracuse - Northern Lights (US 11)
Cicero - former Cicis Pizza
Syracuse (Eastwood/Lyncourt) - Shop City, former Blockbuster Video (* across the street)
Bridgeport - former Kinney Drugs (NY 31)
Chittenango - same if CVS aren't interested (NY 5 & 13)

*was here in the past

Friday, July 29, 2016

Bottle return

This is in Michigan. I would've used a bin bag first, though.
In New York, Maine, California, Michigan and several other states, people pay a deposit on fizzies, drink and in some states water.  You'd think places to recycle them would be within easy reach but that is not always the case however.  Where one was in Eastwood before could be one again as many people there can't drive and the bus or walking isn't always convenient.  Only name brands can be brought to the chain stores there.  Not only can one make a quick buck one can channel their inner Ed Begley Jnr and save the environment.  Some more far flung communities could use one two.  Even some on NY 5 have these.  Not quite sure how these places make revenue yet many have come and gone over the years.  Once I'm rich I'll just have the money go to charity as it'd be a drop in the bucket for me by then!  One place I know could have it help cats and dogs but they won't take all the ones I bring in but you can't win them all!

BJ's Brewhouse

BJ's Brewhouse Restaurant Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, CO location
This SoCal chain are opening in Colonie in the Capital Region so here are other possible locations:

East Syracuse - former Camilla's Café
deWitt - former Ruby Tuesdays or TGI Fridays
Westvale - former Morgans
Clay - same as deWitt
Camillus - former Friendlys or Township 5
Oswego - vacancy on NY 104
North Syracuse - along US 11 between Bailey and W Taft Rds
Cicero - along E Circle Dr or former Buffalo Wild Wings
New Hartford - New Hartford Shopping Ctr or former Price Chopper
Syracuse (Destiny USA) - former Circuit City, CilantoMex, Ruby Tuesday, Unos or IHOP
Irondequoit -Skyview on the Ridge (formerly Medley Ctr) or former Keenans
Auburn - former P&C
Liverpool - former CVS/pharmacy and/or Flat Iron Grill/Colorado Mine Steakhouse
Oneida - former Tim Hortons
Canandaigua - former Ponderosa, NY 5/US 20
Syracuse (east side) and Watertown - former Tilted Kilt
Cortland - Riverside Plaza, NY 13

No relation to BJs Wholesale Club.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Panera Bread

Panera Bread
Plaza location in Hartford, CT.
While Panera Bread may seem too easy compared to most chains as far as suggesting new locations, there are still places they have yet to open.  Here's where they should be:

Oswego - former Rite Aid/Fays/Eckerd, NY 481 & 104
Fulton - former Fays/Eckerd on NY 481
Cortland - Riverside Plaza, former Tim Hortons or Cortlandville, NY 13 (former McDonalds)
Seneca Falls and Waterloo - NY 5/US 20
Oneida, former golf course, NY 5
Rome - NY 46 and/or 49
Central Square, NY 49 between US 11 and I-81
Canastota - former Family Dollar, NY 5 & 13
Chittenango - former Kinney Drugs, NY 5 & 13
Bridgeport - former Kinney Drugs, NY 31
Junius Ponds - Waterloo Premium Outlets, NY 318
Baldwinsville -  former Burger King, NY 31 & 370
Syracuse (SU Hill) - former Copy Centers
Canandaigua - former Ponderosa, NY 5/US 20

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Family Video

Family Video
Marquette, MI location.
Family Video are among the last of its kind left.  They could grow some more though.

Rochester - former Blockbuster or Hollywood Video, Monroe Ave.
Irondequoit - Skyview on the Ridge (ex-Medley Center)
Syracuse (Eastwood) - former Blockbuster, Shop City
Manchester - former Movie Gallery/Colonial Laundromat (NY 21)
Syracuse (south side) - former Blockbuster
Syracuse (east side) - former PHP, Big Sur/Bedroom Expressions or vacant land where bowling alley had been or the other one up the street on Erie Blvd E (NY 5)
Syracuse (west side) - former Dennys
North Syracuse - Northern Lights
Mattydale - former site of skating rink or Daddys Music
Oswego - former Ponderosa, Dollar Tree or other vacancy
Ithaca - vacancy next to Thrifty Shopper on 376 Elmira Rd (NY 13/34/96)
Manlius - outgoing CVS/pharmacy if Walgreens/Rite Aid merger is off
Chittenango - former Kinney Pharmacy
Bridgeport - same as above
New Hartford - former Save-a-Lot or Price Chopper
Fairmount - former Thrifty Shopper
Baldwinsville - former Rite Aid, Thrifty Shopper or Smokey Hollow Big M (NY 48)
Elbridge - former Family Dollar (NY 5)
Oneida - former Tim Hortons or Herb Philipsons
Cicero - former McDonalds or Burlington Coat Factory
deWitt - former SAAB, Sofas & Chairs, deWitt Towne Center, Erie Canal Centre or Shoppingtown (if mall is partially demolished)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Second Chance Prom

I'd be lucky to get to one on the bus at this rate!
Not strictly retail-related but I'd like to announce the Second Chance Prom!  More info on link.
UPDATE: Something across town has been found so this will be a Plan B as it wasn't all I'd hoped for but I can't complain really.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Cost Cutters/Fantastic Sams/Lemon Tree

Ypsilanti, MI Fantastic Sams.
There are three franchised hairdresser and beauty salon chains in the nation that I'm aware of not in my immediate area, so I thought I'd try that for a bit of a change.  Cost Cutters already have locations in Cortland, Oneida and Auburn (their competitors can go in these small towns instead marked with an *), while Fantastic Sams locations exist in Albany and Schenectady (formerly in nearby suburb Delmar where I'd heard of them) and the Lemon Tree I heard of downstate when I lived going that way and know the least about (closest one is in Sidney it turns out).  Here's where they all could go:

Manlius - former Express Sales Lincoln-Mercury/Dazzle, NY 92
Syracuse (west side) - former Sam Dell Dodge (next to Dollar Tree), NY 5
Clay/Liverpool - former deJons (Great Northern Mall) or Verizon Wireless (NY 31)
deWitt - Shoppingtown, NY 5
Camillus - Township 5, former Movie Gallery or Staples Plaza
New Hartford - Sangertown Square, NY 5A
Westvale - Westvale Plaza (next to Planet Fitness), NY 5
North Syracuse - Northern Lights Plaza, US 11 (FedEx Office as they've moved up the street)
Cicero - Marketplace Plaza or former Green Planet Grocery, NY 31
Syracuse (downtown) - former Gannons Ice Cream and Dey Brothers
Syracuse (Eastwood) - former Authentic Clothing in Shop City
Cortland - downtown or Cortlandville*
Fairmount - former Pudgies
Fayetteville - former Verizon Wireless, NY 5 or Pizza Hut Delivery
Chittenango - former Kinney Drugs, NY 5 & 13
Bridgeport - former Kinney Drugs, NY 31
Fulton - former Eckerd/Fays/Rite Aid or Tim Hortons on NY 481
Oswego - former Dollar Tree, Rite Aid or other vacancy on NY 104
Oneida - TBD*
Auburn - Fingerlakes Mall or former Family Dollar on NY 5/US 20*
Elbridge - former Family Dollar or Ace Hardware on NY 5
Syracuse (south side) - former Blockbuster Video on US 11 & NY 173
Rochester - former Blockbuster Video on NY 31
Geneva - former Big M
Utica (downtown) - former Rite Aid
Canastota - former Family Dollar on NY 5 & 13
Phoenix - former Lock Street Cutters on CR 12 off CR 57

Cost Cutters' sister chains Supercuts (too easy), Regis (flagship), HairCrafters (no longer in CNY), MasterCuts (in Destiny USA along with main chain and a rival one) and SmartStyle (via Walmart) are all in town already which may explain why CC have just a few in the region as part of the Regis conglomerate.  Lemon Tree are in Delaware and Otsego Counties of I-88 as well as the tri-state area.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Hattiesburg, MS location (O'Charleys will have 2 W8).
Heard of Zaxby's from a commercial for something based in the South so it looked like something I'd like to see north of the Masie-Dixie.

Syracuse (west side) - former Dennys or Sam Dell Dodge
Syracuse (north side) - former IHOP, CilantroMex, Ruby Tuesdays or Unos
Syracuse (east side) - former PHP (must be torn down and restaurant built from chicken scratch) or Titled Kilt
Irondequoit - former Keenans
Baldwinsville (Moyers Corners) - former Hardees/Tim Hortons
Fulton - former Tim Hortons or Jreck Subs
Oswego - former Tim Hortons, NY 481
deWitt - former TGI Fridays in Shoppingtown
Cortland - former Tim Hortons, Cortlandville or Riverside Plaza, NY 13
East Syracuse - former Carmellas Café
Colonie - former Barnes and Noble
Wappinger Falls - former Sonic Drive-In (US 9)
Canandaigua - former Ponderosa (NY 5/US 20)
New Hartford - Sangertown Square (NY 5 & 5A)
Clay - former Ruby Tuesdays in Great Northern Mall, NY 31
Lyncourt/Eastwood - former Blockbuster Video in Shop City
Latham - former Latham Circle Mall, NY 2 and US 9
Cicero - former McDonalds or Buffalo Wild Wings
North Syracuse - former Tim Hortons (7th North St & Buckley Road and US 11) or Flat Iron Grill/Colorado Mine Steakhouse (just up Buckley)
Syracuse (north side) - former Circuit City or Bon Ton
Watertown - former Tilted Kilt
Liverpool - former CVS/pharmacy
Camillus - former Friendlys

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts in LA (only free photo around).
With one health-oriented chain in town and another desired, Sprouts could work its way east:

Rochester - former Constantinos
Irondequoit - former Medley Ctr
Cicero - former Burlington at Drivers Village
Clifton Park - outgoing OfficeMax
Henrietta - former Tops (NY 252)
Auburn - former P&C
New Hartford - former Price Chopper (NY 5A)
North Adams, MA - outgoing Price Chopper
deWitt - former Dicks (Shoppingtown); Erie Blvd E (NY 5)
Syracuse - former Sams Club (NY 5)
Oswego - former Price Chopper (Port of Oswego), Dollar Tree or other vacancy on NY 104
Cortland - former P&C (US 11/NY 41)
Ithaca - former kmart (NY 13/34/96)
Liverpool - former Price Chopper (Cty Rt 57)
various Southern/Midwestern locations - former Walmart/Amigos
Fulton - former kmart (NY 481 & CR 57)
Amherst - Eastern Hills Mall (empty anchor TBD)
Latham - Latham Circle Mall (NY 2 & US 9)
Menands - former Save-a-Lot, Ideal Food Market or Price Chopper (NY 32)
Pulaski - former Als Corner Market (NY 13 & US 11)
Colonie - former Barnes and Noble (Wolf Road)
Arlington - former ShopRite (NY 55 & US 44)
Flushing - former Caldor
Irondequoit - Skyview on the Ridge
Baldwinsville - former Smokey Hollow Market (NY 48)
Adams, MA (Berkshires) - former Price Chopper
North Syracuse - former Williams/Peters/Maines or Staples/Michaels/Media Play (US 11)

Albertsons are looking into buying the chain which may affect whether they can expand or not.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Circuit City

Circuit City
Augusta, ME store.
First new post this year.  Circuit City are coming back but will have smaller stores.  Here's where they could go:

New Hartford*
deWitt (former Chappells/Bon-Ton, Dicks or Macys)
Colonie (former Barnes and Noble)
Irondequoit (Medley Center)
Buffalo (Eastern Hills Mall)
Kingston (former JCPenney)
Clay (same as deWitt)
Clifton Park (closing OfficeMax)
North Syracuse (former TJ Maxx, Staples, Michaels or Media Play)
Oswego (former Dollar Tree or other vacancy on NY 104)
Fulton (former kmart)
Ithaca (former kmart if not already taken)
Cortland (former flea market if not Planet Fitness)
Poughkeepsie (TBD as I don't go this way anymore but they had a * as well)

*Past location that's still available