My fond memories of shopping at S.S. Kresge’s in Chicago.

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Here is a photo of an S.S. Kresge Co store next door to Gately’s Peoples Store once located at East 112th St and South Michigan Ave in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago.

Hello everyone. Today I will be writing about my fond memories of shopping at Kresge’s. The store was in business for over a hundred years and is however remembered by many people to this day. It was a five and dime store like Woolworth’s and had everything a person needed.

I initially encountered Kresge’s when I was living in the Roseland neighborhood in Chicago in the early 1970s. It was located next door to Gately’s Peoples Department Store at 11201 South Michigan Ave, The colors of the building were red and white. The red logo of the store was indelible in my mind to the present day. The window displays showed signs of sale items where they were exhibited in big, bold letters of various sizes and colors.

I fondly remembered the lunch counter and the ICEE machine that were housed there. The iced drinks were delicious. Other foods that I remembered accurately purchasing were hot dogs, popcorn, and ice cream bars. The only thing that I bought regularly was the Peanuts paperback books that traditionally featured Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the principal characters.

I devoted hours reading those books. Some of the humorous sketches were presented on the Peanuts TV specials that were broadcasted on television for years and were printed in the local newspapers. I also remembered the comic book racks and it was there I was introduced to them. One rack consisted of Archie Comics. My mother loved shopping at Kresge’s. It was one of her favorite stores. If she didn’t find anything there, we would walk to Woolworth’s which was conveniently located at East 113th St on South Michigan Ave.

My family and I moved to the Ashburn neighborhood in September 1974. The nearest Kresge’s by our house was at The Hometown Shopping Plaza at West 87th St & Southwest Highway in Hometown, IL. Kmart launched their local stores in Chicago in the mid-1970s and Kresge’s disappeared soon after. The one nearest to our house was located at West 71st Street and South Pulaski Road. That store was huge and my family shopped at that place frequently where Dominick’s was also located there too.

I miss Kresge’s very much. Five and dime stores are now a thing of the past. We presently have local dollar stores, and they typically consist of the essential items that we require in our active lives. Kresge’s, Woolworth’s, and other discount shops had different ambiance in those memorable days. Today, it is non-existent. It was undoubtedly a wonderful shopping experience and I still miss it. Thank you. Pete Kastanes-Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.

11 thoughts on “My fond memories of shopping at S.S. Kresge’s in Chicago.

  1. I remember going to a KMart in Janesville, Wisconsin in ’68 or ’69. I thought it was a one-off store until I started seeing them spring up around Chicago.

  2. There was a Kresge’s in downtown La Grange. My mother and I would take the train from Hinsdale and the store was literally across from the train station. Upstairs: clothing. Downstairs: TOYS! They had a lunch counter and sometimes we would eat there. When I was very young, I used to hide beneath the circular clothes racks while my mother shopped in the women’s sections. Shopping lost its glamor when I could no longer hide in the racks because I was to big to do it easily. Always loved that store.

    1. I also remember that specific store in Roseland and the lunch counter although I don’t remember ICEE machines. I recall chilled aluminum cups with paper cones for drinking ice water. I remember the fixed swivel stools and octagonal floor time. Behind the counter they would grill sandwiches and my favorite was a grilled pastry. There were segregated drinking fountains in the store as late as 1965.. towards the back on the left side under the stairs. This was kitty corner from Giovanni’s Pizza. I also remember the Ben Franklin store, which as a child, was my favorite. Magical. Thank you for posting.

  3. Was there a Kresge or Woolworth near 87th S. Cottage Grove? And Ben Franklin near 89th?

  4. I believe there was a Kresge’s Store in Norfolk, Va, or Portsmouth, Va, One year they were having a fashion show and my brother and I were in it. I was probably 7yrs. old and my brother was about 5 yrs. old. My mother had pictures of it and I am trying to locate them.

    1. I lived in Norfolk VA and when i was a child about 5 years old I remember i snuck out of our yard and ran to the corner and saw the Kresge’s store. We were very poor growing up and I remember thinking that it was so bright and shinny that it looked like Christmas.

  5. Would use some of my newspaper route money to buy a 25 cent hot fudge sundae at the Hometown Kresge’s. Occasionally, I would buy 1/8 pound of cashews. A record player and records were available to shoppers, and I remember playing “Mr. Sandman” over and over. The Chordettes had wonderful harmony.

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