Remember the times when we had to go to an actual store to buy anything new? Before online purchasing and Amazon two-hour deliveries became our new way of life? Back then, we looked forward to a fun-filled day of shopping… or, we were informed by our parents that we were going and there wasn’t a choice. Those days… and stores… may be gone, but the memories of these special places remain.
1. Monnig's Department Store (downtown Fort Worth)
A special highlight of Monnig's was the "tea room." The small restaurant had great homemade lunch specials for super low prices, and the waitresses who served the customers looked like they had been working there for 50 years... and maybe they had! Monnig's was also THE place to shop if you worked downtown. Also shown in this photograph is "The Eagle" sculpture, which is now on display in Seattle.
2. Service Merchandise (multiple locations)
Service Merchandise once drew followers for its trendy items at affordable prices. Many stores were brightly lit and featured homegoods and accessories you never thought you needed, but couldn't live without once spotted. The jewelry counters at the front always attracted those looking for glamor on a budget. Lots of "diamond chips" and "synthetic stones" were sold here back in the day.
3. Neiman Marcus (downtown Dallas)
The window displays, especially during the holidays, made visiting this downtown Dallas location worth all the hassles of finding parking. Who remembers what we called "NM?" If you remember "Needless Markup," you are showing your age!
4. Stripling & Cox (multiple locations)
This traditional department store had a "mature" clientele with classic tastes and money to spend.
5. Spaghetti Warehouse (Fort Worth Stockyards)
This restaurant in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards was the site of many special events, date nights, and hosted a young crowd who wanted a fun ambiance without spending much money. Its proximity allowed customers to walk the stockyards for bonus free entertainment. The restaurant once housed the historic Swift headquarters.
6. Mrs. Baird's Bread (downtown Fort Worth)
Wafts of freshly baked bread were reason enough to travel I-30 and Summit Avenue near downtown Fort Worth. Many of us remember rolling down our windows to soak up the smell, and most of us toured the plant during a school or club tour during childhood.
7. Crystal's Pizza & Spaghetti (Irving and Fort Worth)
What a fun place this was! Video games, bright lights, and large quantities of cheap food made it a perfect place for teens and young families.
8. Kip's Big Boy (Fort Worth - University Drive)
The iconic Big Boy made this down-home cooking restaurant a hit for all ages. College kids from TCU studied here while seniors enjoyed their special pricing.
9. Montgomery Ward (Fort Worth)
Montgomery Ward was a monster of a department store during its day. Locals love that the old, previously abandoned building, has been repurposed and is now a vibrant part of a trendy section of Fort Worth just west of downtown.
10. Sanger-Harris Department Store, Valley View Mall (Dallas)
This department store was an anchor to a once vibrant mall, and appealed to the middle-class lifestyles with quality brands and targeted merchandising.
11. Jackalope Pottery (Fort Worth - Camp Bowie)
This Jackalope was created to draw interest for the Jackalope Pottery Store... and it is about eight feet tall! The statue moved around to different sites when the shop closed, but now stands atop a used car dealership, RLB Sales and Leasing.
12. Clown Burger (Haltom City)
This Haltom City burger joint was the place to stop and enjoy a quick meal. The good news is that the owner's daughter now serves a similar menu at the same site, which is called "Clown Burger Too."
What other stores from your childhood should be added to this list, and what do you remember about them the most? Let us know in the comments!
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