Re: Independent Pharmacies
Date: January 22, 2013 02:08PM
shekaago--That intersection of Belmont and Oak Park used to be quite a shopping hub. As a young child, I would walk down Rutherford with my my mother and grandmother, and we would go shopping at Jewel, originally located in a storefront on the north side of Belmont between Rutherford and Oak Park, and National, which was futher east, on the south side where the banquet hall used to be. Then we would stop at Village Bakery (now Smakowski's) and get some baked goods, and then across the street on Belmont west of Oak Park to go the Ben Franklin store, stop in to Cheerio Restaurant for lunch, and as a parting shot, stop in Marcoe Pharmacy where my grandmother would get the latest copy of "True Detective" magazine and I would get a comic book. Jewel moved in the early 1960's to the building they built in the plaza, that is now Avenue Foods, and I remember a small savings and loan, Fort Dearborn Savings, and a dry cleaner, Rose Cleaners, being in the same strip mall. There was a big coin laundromat on the south side of Belmont, just east of Newcastle, and that whole block is now gone for the Walgreens. On the north side, across the street, the building that is now a tax and insurance business started out as a Burger King, and then was remodeled to a drive through Walgreens pharmacy. The lot where the health care center is now located was vacant for a long time. When my grandfather retired, we started going shopping in the car over to High Low which was over in the 2600 block of Harlem, where the apartment complex is now located on the west side of Harlem, and Caputo was just starting up across the street, operating out of a small garage built on the corner lot. While my mother and grandmother were shopping in High Low, my grandfather, who had owned a small chain of green grocer stores on the west side, would go over to Caputo's and give the owners an hour or so worth of unsolicited business advice.