A few weeks ago, I took you on a 1950 tour of Main Street between West Elm Street and West Commercial Street. This time I’d like to do the same thing for East Commercial Street between Main Street and Madison Street.
Starting out on the northeast corner of Main and East Commercial streets was Carl Rinaldo’s Texaco Gas Station. Across the street was Sam Salamone’s Western Auto Store.
Continuing along the south side of the street was Mike and Tony’s Central Café, which in its early day was a pool hall. Next to them was King’s Shoe Store run by the Marafioti Brothers. Then came the Home Remodeling Service, later an Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner store occupied that spot.
Next was one of the main attractions to adults and kids alike, an ice cream parlor called the Candy Kitchen. Actually, it was better known as the Greeks’ due to its Greek ownership. Then came a hardware store named Smith’s Hardware which was later purchased by Al Patterson.
Continuing, you would come across Franklin’s Drug Store run by Ray Franklin whose father was murdered in the same store by a robber in the early days of the village. Following that was the only store in the village that had two entrance doors, Finn Auto Supply. Gene’s Men’s Clothing was next door. Next was Saxton’s Department Store — it was one of the only stores in town that had a second floor. After that was the Dutch Kitchen Restaurant, shortly to become Sergeant’s Bakery where donuts were a dollar a dozen. Next door was a national chain grocer Harts Food Market, known for its Harts Coupons. Many a little orange Harts wagon, purchased by coupons, was the proud possession of a local youngster. Just before the first of three open areas in the block was Reeds Cut-Rate Drug Store. Across the lot size opening was Seneca Laundry, run by Saverio “Sav” Alesi.
Across another alley was the Raschiatore Grocery, later Paul’s Market took over the spot. Still later it moved to its current location and is now caller Foodtown; next to that was Ormsby’s and Shallhammer’s auto repair Later run by Mike Conley. The business was originally located on Cedar Place behind Orin Ormsby’s home. Ending this side of the street and across another open space was Paul’s Bootery and on the corner of Madison Street was Al’s Gulf Gas station.
Next time, I will travel across the street and head down the north side of East Commercial Street. All of these businesses I am mentioning here were torn down for Urban Renewal in the early 1970s.