Back to the future at the five and dime

   February 24, 2012 12:01 am    0

 

An NPR story on Walgreen’s noted that the retailer introduced everything from smoothies and wine to sushi and manicures in Chicago. It brought back memories of soda fountains in places like the the G. C. Murphy’s store on State Street — often called the five and dime by parents and grandparents because, back in the day, you could buy stuff for 5 cents or a dime. Kind of like today’s dollar stores. Kind of.

You can read or listen to the NPR story here.

In the 1980s, I worked as the marketing manager at Cablevision on Peach Street in downtown Erie. We walked around the corner to G. C. Murphy’s to order hot fudge sundaes at the lunch counter on a pretty regular basis. Those sweet treats┬ácame in large paper cups to-go. We also walked across Peach Street to Carlisle’s, a department store, for lunch in a restaurant that had no clever name — no smoothies, no sushi, but great food. The venerable Boston Store on State Street closed about that time.

That kind of downtown shopping may never return to Erie, but what’s coming could be better. The NPR story discussed how the new Walgreens in Chicago caters to downtown office workers and more. It’s described as a gamble and a flagship store, and hey if Walgreen’s tries it, maybe someone else will. I’m hoping it works and gives some enterprising folks ideas to take us back to the future right here in Erie.

 

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