Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Lidl USA

LIDL
Greater Manchester store
Lidl have finally arrived in the US, but only in the mid-Atlantic right now.  I posted on them five years ago, but decided to start from scratch instead of just updating an old article.  They will now have to compete with Aldi here in North America as they do Europe (neither are in Canada yet, but similar chains exist there).  As usual, CNY will be the main focus as that's what I know best, but I know I can try elsewhere too:

Canandaigua - vacancy on US 20/NY 5 and 332
Fulton - former Fays/Eckerd or kmart on NY 481 (arch-rival yet to be built up or down the street)
Cortland - former P&C on NY 41 and US 11
Oswego - former Price Chopper near Fort Ontario and Port of Oswego
Chittenango - former Kinney Drugs on NY 5 and 13
Bridgeport - former Kinney or Victory on NY 31 and/or 298
Cicero - former Burlington Coat Factory near Drivers Village
New Hartford - former Price Chopper or kmart on NY 5A
Rochester - former CVS on NY 15
Irondequoit - Medley Ctr
Liverpool - former kmart or Price Chopper on CR 57
deWitt - former Dicks on NY 5
East Syracuse - former CountryMax/Agway on NY 290
Henrietta - former Tops or other vacancy on NY 252
Auburn - former P&C
Geneva - former Tops on NY 5 and US 20
Baldwinsville - former Rite Aid
Oneida - former Herb Phillipsons downtown on NY 46
Rome - former car dealer on NY 49 and 365
Watervliet  - former Price Chopper on NY 32
Menands - former Save-a-Lot on NY 32
Palatine Bridge - former Ames on NY 5
Poughkeepsie - former ShopRite on NY 55 and US 44
North Syracuse - former Media Play on US 11
Elbridge - former Family Dollar on NY 5

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Former Jreck Subs locations

First time at Jreck's
Short-lived Eastern Ontario location.
Jreck Subs is a regional chain that may not go as far as Jersey Mikes or Schlotzskys (more on them another day) but they hold their own.  Like many places, they had to let some locations go:

Oswego - downtown, now Calios
Fulton - downtown, now Metro PCS
Fulton - NY 3, now Hometown Mobile
North Syracuse - US 11, Pitcher Hill, later an Italian eatery, now vacant
Syracuse - SU Hill, now The Pita Pit
Cortland*
Pulaski*
Kingston, ONT* (pictured)
Liverpool - 7th North St. & Buckley co-branded with Arthur Treachers, now Subway
deWitt - NY 5 and Orrick Road, now ExpressMart/Sunoco
Utica*
Rochester*
Geneva*

*TBD **former Tim Hortons

They ought to open here:

North Syracuse - reclaim old spot; closest is up the road in Cicero
Liverpool - across Buckley Road in **
Cortland - NY 13**
Oneida - NY 5**
East Syracuse - NY 290 ** or former JDs Fish and Grill
Syracuse - downtown, Armory Square, S Franklin and Walton Sts.
Oswego - NY 481**
Fayetteville - former Eastern Mountain Sports
Baldwinsville - Moyers Corners, NY 31 and CR 57, former Hardees/Dougs Fish Fry/**
Chittenango - former Kinney Drugs, NY 5 and 13

Saturday, June 17, 2017

kmart

Kmart Reynoldsburg, OH 2
Ohio Capital Region closing
kmart along with their sister chain Sears have been in decline in recent years unable to compete with Walmart, Target, and amazon as other rivals like Caldor, Ames, Jamesway, Woolco and Hills have shut their doors.  kmart had several stores in CNY (Cortland, Liverpool and Mattydale remain for the time being) and beyond that lost their blue light:

deWitt - NY 5; now Dicks
Nedrow - US 11; later a flea market
Syracuse - Western Lights; later Herb Phillipsons
New Hartford - NY 5A
Fulton - NY 481
Auburn - NY 5
Liverpool - CR 57 (on the way out)
Oswego - NY 104 (TBA)
Syracuse - downtown; later CVS; now a beauty supply
Colonie - NY 5
Reynoldsburg, OH (pictured)
Geneva - NY 5/US 20 (it's a small town and I saw a vacancy that would make sense)
Kingston - NY 32 and US 9W
Ithaca - NY 13/34/96

All vacant or unknown unless otherwise indicated.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

E85 in CNY

E 85 Cheap. Never seen anything but GMs that use it though.
E85 at a pump in Wescoville, PA (Allentown/Bethlehem area)
E85 (ethanol) fuel has been elusive for those with FlexFuel vehicles in CNY (mainly GM and Chrysler).  The last place to have it was Fastrac on NY 3 & 481 in Fulton until a few years ago when they switched to the opposite (Ethanol Free 91) for boats, older and luxury cars.  Most regular fuel in North America now has 10% ethanol but it's not the same.  Sunoco (shown here) turned part of the old Miller plant a couple miles away into an ethanol plant yet there isn't an E85 pump like you see here in Lehigh Valley near Syracuse.  Rochester has the closest ones if not somewhere on the way on the Thruway.  A Mobil in Albany on US 20 has it too.  A place in Homer in Cortland County may have as well but even in a small town, I can't find much to go on.  Tops and ShopRite (also in the Capital Region) should offer this.  Existing Speedways in the Midwest do and should add it when they open original stores (as opposed to ex-Hess ones).  I'll do a post on just that later.  E85 also tends to cost less than normal 87 octane.  It varies across the country.  It only makes sense to get it out of town if you're staying there a period or need to fill up or there's no point.  There's also E10 and E15 in some areas and states, but E85 is the one that I know.  Wood chips and ag waste is also used to make E-fuels.  You can't even get leaded gas in the US anymore (vintage cars now use lead substitute here).
The corn crop is limited here as it is with the difficult spring having an effect on the harvest.  Maize is more of a priority for food than motorcars yet there must be fields that are only used by Big Oil.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Travelodge

Travelodge
Bay Area location
This one will be a change of pace.  Travelodge are part of the Wyndham conglomerate, but currently have no locations in CNY like some of their sister chains do.  The only place I can think of for them now is the former Hampton Inn & Suites (owned by rivals Hilton) on 7th North Street in Liverpool as they moved around the corner to Buckley and Elwood Davis Roads where another competitor Ramada Inn used to be.  It's a bit of a challenge as to where else they could open coming up with ideas like I can for other things.  I do see closed and abandoned motels, but they're usually in spots that don't get the same kind of traffic anymore as these low-rent roadside inns have declined in the past few generations since the motorways were built, and we all know the adage of location, location, location.  The spot I know of is just that as it's right near the major crossroads of I-81 and I-90 (NYS Thruway) as well as close to the airport, Destiny USA, SU, downtown and the city.  It'd be good to have another place for people to stay, especially during peak periods such as major holidays and special events as they can fill up as just as much as they can in major areas like downstate and San Antonio, TX for that matter.  I've only seen it in Gananoque, ONT myself if not Farmington, NY but maybe somewhere else.
Travelodge however were in Syracuse in the past at 454 James Street (NY 290 at US 11) just east of downtown and south of the north side.  It became an Econo Lodge (franchise owners often switch chains) and is now Choice Hotels sister chain Quality Inn.  Seeing a couple vintage postcards of other past locations had reminded me, so maybe now Travelodge can come full circle in CNY.  Little Falls in Herkimer County is the closest one at this time (small town).
UPDATE: The franchise owners of the Hampton will bring its sister brand Tru by Hilton to the old site (another one Tapestry will be at Hotel Skyler on SU Hill).  Maybe a Travelodge could be built across Buckley Road from the Hampton instead where indie motel United Inn was demolished several years ago.  Carnegie who run Maplewood Inn around the block (a former Days Inn) and bought out Pier 57 on Ct Rt 57 in Bayberry could convert Maplewood into a Travelodge.  I just know it has to be a part of town where there is the traffic and demand are enough to accommodate someone new to the area looking for a place for the night at short notice either on the fly or close to a peak period.  Even Northern Lights on US 11 in North Syracuse, which has little going on these days, could be torn down, except for where business still exists, of course, to build Travelodge since it's right near the airport and Thruway.  Could require certain zoning if I'm not mistaken.
UPDATE II: The former leMoyne Manor on Old Liverpool Road in Galeville would also work.

Friday, June 2, 2017

South Beach Tanning

tanning bed
No free photo of South Beach available
Now here's a post that George Hamilton can relate to! The closure of Zoom Tan and Total Tan in deWitt due to a merger opens the idea of a rival chain South Beach Tanning coming to CNY.  The franchise in Webster just outside Rochester is the closest one right now.  Good to try something new as far as a business possibility:

deWitt (Erie Blvd E) - former Total Tan, Marshalls Plaza, NY 5
deWitt (Nottingham Rd) - former Zoom Tan
Westvale - former Dance Centre, NY 5
Liverpool - former Verizon Wireless, NY 31
Auburn - Fingerlakes Mall, NY 5 & US 20
New Hartford - Sangertown Square, NY 5 & 5A
Cortland - Riverside Plaza, NY 13
Syracuse - Destiny USA
North Syracuse - US 11
Fulton - former Eckerd/Fays, NY 481
Albany - Colonie Centre, NY 5


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mobil

Mobil
Typical location
After winning a gift card for Mobil in a competition, it dawned on me that they have fewer locations than in the past.  Exxon (formerly Esso; name used outside the US today) had a few in CNY as well prior to their reunion with Mobil as descendants of Standard Oil Company.

North Syracuse, US 11 & Bear Rd, now abandoned
Liverpool (Bayberry) - Ct Rt 57 and John Glenn Blvd*
Liverpool - Henry Clay Blvd and Buckley Road*
Liverpool (Galeville) - 7th North St and Buckley Rd*
Liverpool (village) - Ct Rt 57, now Valero
Liverpool (Sugarwood Corners) - Buckley and Bear Rds; later Valero; now Gulf.
Clay - NY 31 & 481*
Syracuse (Eastwood) - Grant Blvd and Teall Ave, now Citgo
Fairmount (Exxon) - NY 5, now Carrs Automotive
Onondaga (Exxon) - NY 175, now Nice 'n Easy
Syracuse (east side) - NY 5 and Teall Ave, now PriceRite
Syracuse (west side) - Delaware and Grand Aves, now indie
Syracuse (north side) - US 11, now Valero
Syracuse (south side) - S Salina St, now indie (one at NY 173 & US 11 still open)
deWitt - NY 5*
Upstate NY (various) - I-90*
Fulton - NY 481 and Ct Rt 57, Babcock Oil Co., now Gulf

*now Sunoco

The Old Spaghetti Factory

The Old Spaghetti Factory, Toronto
Toronto location.
A relative in Maricopa County in the Arizona Capital Region had mentioned The Old Spaghetti Factory which I confused with a local place in my area called Spaghetti Warehouse.  As Italian food is in my tomato sauce blood, I thought this is the next post.  Too easy to go to their competitor The Olive Garden around here.  Only so many Italian chains not counting pizza or even calzones.

deWitt - former TGI Fridays, Shoppingtown Mall, NY 5
Syracuse (east side) - former Titled Kilt, NY 5 & 635
Clay - former Ruby Tuesdays, Great Northern Mall, NY 31 & 481
Westvale - former Pep Boys and Genesee Theatre, NY 5
Syracuse (north side) - former Unos or Ruby Tuesday, Destiny USA
Watertown - former Tilted Kilt, NY 3
Oswego - former Ponderosa or west side, NY 104
Cortland - Riverside Plaza, NY 13
Fulton - former Fays/Eckerd/Rite Aid, NY 481
Baldwinsville, former Rite Aid, Downer St
Auburn - former Walgreens or Fingerlakes Mall, NY 5 & US 20
Rochester, former CVS/pharmacy, NY 15
Irondequoit - former Keenans, off NY 104
Westvale - former Morgans, Fay Road
Liverpool - former Canales, CR 57
East Syracuse - former Carmellas Café, Bridge St
Cicero, former McDonalds, E Circle Dr
New Hartford - Sangertown Square, NY 5 & 5A
Oneida - former Tim Hortons, NY 5
Canandaigua - former Ponderosa, NY 5/US 20

Friday, April 28, 2017

Arby's former CNY locations

Former Liverpool location
Arby's are unique having roast beef instead of burgers.  I go once a month.  However, like their two competitors there are a number of closed locations:

Clay - Great Northern Mall, NY 31 & 481
Liverpool - Ct. Rt. 57 (above; local franchise office down the road)
Oswego, NY 104
deWitt - Shoppingtown, NY 5
Hyde Park, US 9 (I haven't been this way much in recent years)
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area: Scranton, Kingston, Pine Grove, Lycoming Mall, Wyoming Valley Mall and Schuykill Mall (according to ABC 16 WNEP)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Burger King former CNY locations

Burger King
Eastside location
Burger King may be in the same boat as far as writing about them but they too have several former locations in CNY I can recall.  They entered the area in 1975 when Carrols turned most of their locations into BK franchises and remain the leader from their modest sized headquarters on James Street.  A chain in northern Europe spun off of Carrols.  These ex-BKs in CNY were theirs:

Syracuse (downtown) - Galleries, opened in 1988; food court shuttered about two decades later, became offices and were absorbed by recent Library expansion
Syracuse (west side) - Burnet Park (now Rosamund Gifford) Zoo, now indie Jungle Café
deWitt (Erie Blvd E.) - NY 5, around where Econo Lodge is now
deWitt (Shoppingtown) - now vacant
Liverpool - Ct. Rt. 57, later Heartland Subs, now Rio Grande
Baldwinsville - NY 31 & 370, also vacant
Syracuse (SU Hill) - not quite sure but I have a hunch
Syracuse (Thompson Road) - new store replaced old one
Fairmount - same as across town above

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

McDonald's former CNY locations

McDonald's
Erie Blvd E & Seeley Rd location before being replaced

McDonald's may seem far too easy to write about being in many nations, but there are just enough former locations in and around Syracuse committed to memory to warrant a post:

SU Hill - S Crouse Ave; one is a sushi bar about to be torn down, another was later Brueggers and is now vacant
Almond St - now Upstate Medical Offices
Downtown - now a Chinese takeaway
Clay - Great Northern Mall, possibly where Taco Bell or Subway are in the food court now; current location half a mile up NY 31 in Liverpool
Cicero - E Circle Dr, now vacant as new one opened around the corner on US 11
Liverpool - Old Liverpool Rd before village, now Village Burger
Fayetteville? (NY 5) - Fayetteville Mall in food court; current one next to Tops on former Sears site
deWitt - original location replaced by current store in '70s and has been renovated since that time
Manlius - NY 92 and/or 173?  A new one was proposed in recent years but fell through as Burger King are there now
South Ave. (NY 175) - now a church
S Geddes St. - also a church
Camillus - Camillus Mall? (stand alone one now across W Genesee St)
Cortland (Cortlandville) - NY 13, demolished when new one was built two doors down

Iceland lost all of theirs so I can't complain!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

7 Eleven and Sunoco

Sunoco
Hartford County location
7-Eleven and Sunoco announced a merger, so this could shake things up.  In CNY, the few 7-Elevens with petrol have rival Gulf (which was absent from Syracuse for over two decades).  We discussed 7-Eleven in an earlier post on new location ideas, but now A-Plus (which was originally with Atlantic; who spun off of Rockefellers Standard Oil conglomerate, the original Big Oil) could take the new name (took a while for another competitor Speedway to absorb Hess, so give it a year or so).  7-11 bought Wilson Farms which used to be owned by Tops.  Participating Sunocos in Price Choppers market area have discounts customers can earn (also covered in a previous article).  Some Sunocos have indie C-stores in them such as the Westvale (Delles), Fulton (Clancys), Oswego (Xpress Mart), Bridgeport (SunTrac), or Lyncourt (Ohri Gas Land) locations or regional chains like ExpressMart (deWitt flagship), Stewarts Shops (Albany County), Runway (Camillus) and Nice-'n-Easy (East Syracuse).  Also these existing C-stores are usually smaller than an average 7-Eleven.  Sunoco bought Atlantic in 1993.  Few older locations are still in business in CNY now such as in van Buren and Onondaga Hill if I'm not mistaken.
Due to the nature of the system, adding pumps to non-gas stores would take a lot of work and red tape.  The Eastwood 7-Eleven is right next door to yet another nemesis and Standard Oil spinoff, Mobil.  A new Sunoco/7-Eleven could be built in an area with less competition.  Just as long as I can use my FuelAdvantage every once in a while with another rise just made.

Monday, April 10, 2017

US Bank

Day 208/365
Omaha, NE location
Here are US Bank for a change.  When First Niagara and KeyBanks swapped and closed locations this past year, they left enough for another chain or local credit union to take over.  While my local FCU could get some (that's for another day), others may either be too close to existing locations or just not in their market area (they are only in Onondaga County).  US Bank meanwhile seem to be chiefly in the Midwest being from Hennepin County in Minnesota going towards the west coast.  Might be time they open east of the Mississippi.  I'd have to find a chain that operate in my area and Florida if I move there for the winter next year as my relatives who do that in the mid-Atlantic have to bank online so they don't have to try and set up with something there as few chains are really national.

Manlius - NY 92 & 257 (former Bank of America)

deWitt - NY 5, Shoppingtown (former Key Bank)
East Syracuse - former HSBC (Kinne and Kirkville Roads)
Henrietta - NY 252 (former KeyBank)
Baldwinsville (Moyers Corners) - NY 31 and Ct Rt 57
Liverpool - Ct Rt 57, Shops at Seneca Mall (if Moyers Corners not chosen) or former CVS/pharmacy
Rochester (Collegetown) - NY 15, former CVS/pharmacy
Rochester (downtown) - Cumberland, N Clinton and Joseph Sts off Inner Loop (bus station after it merges operations with railway station across the street)
Bridgeport - NY 31, former Kinney Pharmacy
Chittenango - NY 5/13, same as above
Auburn - Genesee St (former Walgreens)
Cicero - Circle Drive (former McDonalds)
Westvale - NY 5 (former Pep Boys)
Oneida - NY 5 (former Tim Hortons)
North Syracuse - US 11 (same as above)
Syracuse (Shop City) - former BSBank/First Niagara Bank.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Gas discounts

Even across the seaway from HQ isn't this high!
Many chains around the country have offered gas discounts for several years now.  Some have their own brand like Tops shown here, while others partner with a third party, as some of Tops' former sister chains use Shell (which left Syracuse decades ago) if not have their own (like Martins).  Price Chopper was one of the first in Upstate NY to have a program in collaboration with participating Sunocos.  Valero had one each at Strupplers and Village Market IGA in Oswego County until both became Tops in the past couple years.  In the Hudson Valley where Tops have grown south of former Grand Unions they acquired, they bought some of their ex-sister chains stores after they merged with another from Europe because of overlap and FTC regulations, and there shoppers save on gift cards to be used at area Shell, Irving (I don't even see these in their native Canada when I go, and doing the math with metric measurements, it costs much more), BP (left Syracuse along with their sisters Arco and Amoco) and Gulf (recently back in CNY) stations.  Tops in my neck of the woods and Price Chopper in theirs let customers who don't drive use points to save on bus passes so they don't go to waste if they don't have access to someone elses vehicle, but it only makes sense if you live there.  Someone in Hannafords ad said that the discounts barely make a dent (they don't even believe in a card).  ShopRite have it in a different way and I've seen it as they recently returned to Albany County (never knew they were there in the past as I heard of them from downstate and went down the river later).  Various other chains and indies nationwide will have a promotion somewhere.  Tops let you earn more points with manufacturers' coupons while Price Choppers kiosks will provide a store one to use when you spend a certain amount.  With the latter I try to get at least 20¢ off a gallon.  At Speedway it takes a few months just to even get to 10¢ off but I keep at it until I reach it.  Back at Tops, at the end of an earning cycle, there's a two-week hiatus, and you have to use the remaining 100s of points or they will be wiped at the start of the next period.  Back at the starting gate.
Prices fluctuate between events overseas and the economy.  Another rise is inevitable, but at least there's a way to keep the price down a little.  On the west coast, they could use this even more.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Woolworths

Woolworth, 5ème rue, Shawinigan, années 60
Québecois store in the late '60s
Since Family Dollar, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Dollarama (Canada), Five Below, even Ben Franklin in some small towns, and several indie variety stores like 99¢ City and Real Deals are alive and well, then there's almost no reason why trailblazers Woolworths are not in this country anymore as it's been for these past two decades.  Many say Walmart and the like are to blame.  Foot Locker are the legal successor to the original chain.  Existing and defunct chains in the Commonwealth are not related (Canadian chains were replaced by The Bargain! Shop [some stores like Ft Erie and Gananoque, ONT closed] and Walmart [Woolco absorbed in 1994]).  FL could own the revived chain or at least licence the name if it came down to that.  Here's where Woolworths 2.0 could be today:

Manlius - former CVS/pharmacy, NY 173
Elbridge - former Family Dollar, NY 5
Auburn - former Family Dollar, NY 5
Canastota - former Family Dollar, NY 5
Watertown - Paddock Arcade, NY 3 (not far from where early store was as it's a small town)
New Hartford - former Tuesday Morning, former NY 5/8/12
Fulton - former Eckerd/Fays/Rite Aid, NY 481
Oswego - former Dollar Tree, NY 104
Cicero - former Cicis Pizza, Circle Drive
North Syracuse, former Media Play, US 11
Cortland - Riverside Plaza, former Fays, NY 13
deWitt - Shoppingtown Mall (former site unavailable but many others are), NY 5
Rotterdam - Viaport, NY 337
Junius Ponds, Waterloo Premium Outlets, NY 318
Chittenango, former Kinney Drugs, NY 5 & 13
Bridgeport, former Kinney Drugs, NY 31
Liverpool, former Verizon Wireless, NY 31
Clay, Great Northern Mall, NY 31 & 481
Flushing, former Caldor (TBD)
Syracuse, former Bon Ton, Destiny USA (although Five Below are already in newer section)

Known former CNY and Capital Region locations:

Syracuse - downtown, now Rite Aid
Colonie - Northway Mall, NY 5, probably where Target is now
deWitt - Shoppingtown, NY 5
Utica - downtown (first failed store located there; newer store opened when chain grew later)
Fulton - now Dollar General, final CNY location, NY 481

Former chemist division The Rx Place had stores in Carousel Ctr (now Destiny USA where Burlington is now), deWitt (where Marshalls HomeGoods are today) and Wappinger Falls (later PharmHouse and PharMor but may now be ShopRite).

CarMax

Me parting with my beemer
Round Rock, TX store (Texas Capital Region)
Seeing a commercial for CarMax with MadTV alum Andrew Daly and going by the Henrietta location gave me the idea for the next post.  I might buy a car from them when I get the money.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Toppers Pizza

No free images exist so here's the fantasy SU location.
Toppers Pizza are mainly in the Midwest but should work their way to the Northeast:

Syracuse - SU Hill (pictured), former Brueggers Bagels
Cicero/North Syracuse/Oswego/Baldwinsville/Weedsport/Auburn/East Syracuse/Cortland - former Tim Hortons
New Hartford - former Tuesday Morning
Syracuse - northside, former Unos
deWitt - Shoppingtown
Westvale - former CC Dance Centre
Cicero - former Buffalo Wild Wings
Rochester - former Key Bank, NY 252 (Henrietta)
Watertown - former Tilted Kilt
Camillus - former Friendlys
East Syracuse - former Carmellas (Bridge St.)
Cortland - former Tim Hortons or Riverside Plaza
Auburn - former Family Dollar or Tim Hortons
Syracuse (Shop City) - former Blockbuster
Canandaigua - former Ponderosa