Shop Local

On Friday, we stopped by a couple of stores in the Briarcliff shopping center, on the way to a friend’s house.  I noted to hubby that it sure would be nice to have a little shopping center like that — grocery store, liquor store, dry cleaners, asian restaurant — at the entrance to our neighborhood.  Or even anywhere on our end of town.

He replied that neighborhood shopping centers have mostly gone away, with all the successful stores clustered in the center of town.  But it wasn’t always that way; I remember when Oak Ridge’s neighborhood shopping centers were very much alive and well.  As a young child, I lived off Delaware Avenue; we bought most of our groceries at the Piggly Wiggly, right there in Elm Grove Center.  Now, I think it’s a karate school and a consignment store… but I’ve lived on the west end for nearly 40 years.

Part of the reason might be that in the 1960’s, fewer families had two (or more) cars.  Neighborhood centers thrived as a result.  Now, with fuel prices jumping a dime or more overnight on a regular basis, might there be a revived need for these neighborhood centers?

From the vicinity of the Roane County line in Oak Ridge, the nearest grocery store is Kroger, about five miles away.  A new grocery store on the west end of town would draw customers from half the town!  Maybe not everyone’s business in its entirety, but they would surely get some business from the majority of west-end homeowners.

Given the rise in gas prices, most people I know are trying to combine trips and drive less.  I know that I am.  While it’s painful, it’s also an opportunity for someone.

12 Responses to “Shop Local”

  1. on 12 May 2008 at 9:34 am Joel

    Yeah, I suspect we’ll see a return to more local retail.

    Wasn’t Bruners on the west end of OR? There used to be a package store out there too, once upon a time.

    I seem to recall a White Stores in Elm Grove. My mom insisted they had the best chicken. Maybe that later became a P-W?

    When my folks retired to upstate NY about 12 years ago, there was a grocery store in the nearest town. That’s since closed, as have other groceries in other nearby towns. They have to drive to either Manchester or Bennington VT now for groceries.

  2. on 12 May 2008 at 11:12 am Punk HP

    You have “Doomsday Used Food Outlet” at the old Bruners, with a Subway, hair care, and other really cool stuff. What more do you want?

  3. on 12 May 2008 at 12:18 pm Netmom

    Bruner’s closed a number of years ago, as did Normand’s liquor. Bruner’s was replaced by another small grocer that also closed, and was replaced by United Grocery Outlet (also known as the “used food store”). It’s not suitable for ordinary grocery shopping, as one never knows what they will or will not have. Or how old it might be.

    Normand’s was replaced by a furniture rental store, which I think may have also closed.

    I’m glad that we do have Weigel’s, with the best prices in town on fuel and milk. But a grocery store — especially something like Earth Fare — would do well here.

  4. on 12 May 2008 at 12:40 pm Joel

    Here’s a semi-relevant link:

    http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/05/how_much_does_density_matter.php#comments

  5. on 12 May 2008 at 2:04 pm Punk HP

    They have a similar Earth Fare on the other end of town. I think it is callled ‘Natures Vomit Place” or Varmit place. You should try it out!

  6. on 12 May 2008 at 2:10 pm Netmom

    Punk HP: o1o

    You know I don’t shop there.

  7. on 12 May 2008 at 2:35 pm NotAT

    Are you complaining about driving 5 miles? Let me just make sure that I’ve got that understood…

    That said, as long as smaller shops can’t compete with Kroger/Food City, it’ll never happen. Theres been too many failed startups in Oak Ridge past 3 years to expect many more. I’d love to see a place like Archers in Norris in town, but I don’t think its gonna happen.

  8. on 12 May 2008 at 4:33 pm girlfriend

    Needed just buns and was able ot run in Food Lion to get them. Saved on gas. Now that our Food City is gone on the East End Food Lion seems to be filled. That is a good sign as I feared that was going to close at one point. Everyone needs a place to just stop in and pick up necessities.

  9. on 12 May 2008 at 8:09 pm Jacket

    Punk HP: o1o

    Now this is funny! ROFLMAO!!!!!!!

  10. on 13 May 2008 at 7:21 am Bell

    Retailers want to be on a “main drag.” The way OR is, it’s hard to find a “main”. It seems that all the retail is built inside triangle between the Trnpke and Illinois. And as much as no one wants to be right next to Wally World, that’s where the people go. Unfortunately, the ends of town have been forgotten.
    I really can’t complain about the drive from our house. We’re close to everything — except West Oak Ridge. 😛

  11. on 13 May 2008 at 9:23 am grocery outlet | Lasts information

    […] Comment on Shop Local by Netmom20 hours ago Bruner’s was replaced by another small grocer that also closed, and was replaced by United Grocery Outlet (also known as the “used food store”). It’s not suitable for ordinary grocery shopping, as one never knows what they will or will …Comments for Citizen Netmom – http://www.citizennetmom.com […]

  12. on 13 May 2008 at 3:49 pm Punk HP

    Netmom: 1oo1_

Trackback this Post | Feed on comments to this Post

Leave a Reply