Stores in Duluth, Minnesota

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Andrew T.
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Stores in Duluth, Minnesota

Post by Andrew T. » 12 Jan 2020 14:42

I spent the holiday season in Minnesota, and passed through Duluth en route from Ontario. I dearly wanted to do some research for Groceteria there. Unfortunately, it was not to be:

* Though finding the downtown library was no trouble, I could not figure out where to park my car in downtown Duluth. I circled around, and pulled into the first parking garage I saw. Instead of a ticket dispenser, I pulled alongside a man who curtly informed me that "this is a valet lot," and implied that I should scat. So I did...
* All the street parking was metered, and all the meters required American quarters that I didn't have in my pocket of Canadian change.
* Eventually I found another parking garage, but it didn't have a ticket dispenser either. Each spot was metered, and all the meters required American quarters once again!
* Downtown Duluth was an absolute nightmare to drive through, with steep hills and snowbanks impairing visibility. I also turned the wrong way onto a poorly-signed one-way street by accident, and got the fright (and embarrassment) of my life!
* After all these ordeals, I was completely exhausted. I also had to get to Minneapolis-St. Paul by nightfall. So, reluctantly, I called off the research and drove on; resolving to go back there again someday.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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Andrew T.
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Re: Stores in Duluth, Minnesota

Post by Andrew T. » 12 Jan 2020 15:02

By hook or by crook, though, I still managed to get some sightseeing done!

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15 S 13th Ave E: The single strangest store was a Super One Foods housed in the upper level of an old two-story building with windows and buttresses on the side! I really wonder what the history of this place was.

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2224 W Superior St: I'm 90% sure that this pylonated building was originally a National. But, there's that 10% that keeps me from jumping to conclusions. It has a flat roof and red brick: National had more of a predilection for arched roofs and blonde brick; at least in my experience.

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5600 Grand Ave: I don't even know if this one was built as a supermarket, although the parking lot-adjacent entrance niche implies it could have been. The textured wall makes the place.

Any thoughts or ideas?
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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Andrew T.
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Posts: 543
Joined: 18 Oct 2007 14:26
Location: Thunder Bay
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Re: Stores in Duluth, Minnesota

Post by Andrew T. » 12 Jan 2020 15:11

And, a quick update... This 1959 reference book confirms that both the pylon store on Superior Street and the strange two-story store on 13th Avenue are former Nationals! National always left behind interesting artifacts, that's for sure.

There's still the mystery of 5600 Grand Avenue, though. That one may have to wait for a follow-up trip.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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