Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Village Mall: Cleveland, TN (2nd Update 09/07/09)

On July 4, 2005, I was driving through Cleveland, TN and discovered what was obviously the most well-preserved specimen of a mid-1960's open-air mall that I had found. Obviously I was excited, because I did not believe any 1960's open-air malls even still existed. I soon found that was far from the truth, but Village Mall was the first I have seen that actually functioned as a major shopping mall even though it had long since retired that function by the time I had arrived.


Noticing how spectacular this little mall was, I came back to take generous photographs of this beautiful place, which I most recently did in September 2009, almost three years from when I took the original photos. While somewhat modified today with contemporary stucco touches, I realized that the mall overall was a literal living museum of 1960's architecture with numerous strips and stores surrounding the mall that also were never updated. This seems to be typical in East Tennessee while it has become extremely rare in Georgia. The remarkable amount of unaltered mid-century architecture is one of the things that really makes driving in East Tennessee enjoyable, especially Cleveland.


This store was 100% original. What was it?



Looking south along the mall towards Watson's former location. The former Parks-Belk entrance and the Swiss Alley come off to the left there somewhere. Exploring this will require another trip since I was pressed for time.


A little further down and closer to former Watson's, today the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce.


The entrance with the swiss-like roof is just before the entrance to Swiss Alley. An identical entrance to this is found in the alley, and that is also being used as office space as I found when curious workers watched me go by, camera in hand.


The mall entrance to Watson's, today the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce. It is rather fitting that they are a tenant in the mall that they undoubtably helped save.

From what I understood, Village Mall opened in the mid-1960's with anchors Miller's, Parks-Belk, SS Kresge, Watson's grocery store and an underground bowling alley located in the center of the mall. The mall features a main covered, but open-air corridor and one enclosed side wing off the east side of the mall. Parks-Belk took up one side of that wing and also part of the main mall. The mall held its own serving the small city until the late 1970's when Cleveland Mall opened with anchors Sears, JCPenney and Rose's. While the two malls competed, they also complimented each other. This was similar to what happened in Huntsville during the 1970's where small malls in the city had different anchors and different offerings to compliment each other. Both Village Mall and Clevaland Mall remained successful in the 70's and 80's, but this all came crashing to a halt when Bradley Square opened in 1991.


Former Miller's/Hess's mall entrance. Now an entrance to Jones Finance.


Former Parks-Belk entrance from main mall. This entrance made up the entire side of the mall between Miller's and the Swiss Alley entrance.


Entrance to the Swiss Alley. This portion of the mall is enclosed, but it is not known if this was always the case.

Bradley Square offered what neither could offer fully: all favorite department stores in one mall, a contemporary design, better location, climate control that Village Mall did not offer and amenities such as a food court. Village Mall had absolutely no hope of competing as 1960's architecture was drastically out-of-style in the 1990's. After Bradley Square opened, they stole all the anchors from both Cleveland and Village Malls except Rose's (Cleveland) and Parks-Belk (Village). Cleveland Mall eventually closed and became Life Care Centers of America. Village Mall, however, limped on anchorless until it was recently partially redeveloped into an office-type specialty mall. Parks-Belk held out until they were bought out in 1995, and Hess's, which bought out Miller's in 1987, quickly vacated the mall when Bradley Square opened. I'm sure Cleveland natives were not particularly happy to lose two malls to one. Ironically, Bradley Square was found recently to be in danger of failure itself. Karma?



Looking along the Swiss Alley towards the east entrance. Parks-Belk once had an entrance on the left, and today it is all part of Check Into Cash!.


The tenant on the right in Swiss Alley looks to now offer holistic medicine. This is also looking towards the east entrance.


An overview of the remaining "Swiss" facades in the corridor. Note the peaked roof entrance, which is identical to the one in the main mall previously mentioned. What did this used to be?


This was apparently a barber shop at one point, but what was last there was definitely not that. It is now vacant. I can't help but love these attempts at classic Bavarian architecture they did in the 60's and 70's.

Today, the mall hardly functions as a traditional shopping mall. The center today is part strip mall, part office space. The presence of outside entrances to all of the stores facing US 11 (Lee Highway) made it possible for some of the mall to viably function as a strip center. What didn't work is now full of white collar employees with headsets, dress shirts and monitors. It was rather uncanny looking into a "store" and having an office staff look back at me with an amused WTF look.


This closed store sits in the southwest corner in front of Watson's/C of C. It apparently had a loft or second level of some sort, which was very interesting. It looked to be the last actual clothing store in the mall. Does anybody know what it was?


This time I really looked for the bowling alley entrance, and I really do not know how I missed this before. This creepy staircase descends down to a pair of double doors, which did not look to have been used in quite a long time. When was the last time this bowling alley operated? I'd give anything to see inside of it.

The redevelopment of a lost mall was one of the most clever I have encountered. In almost any other circumstance, the mall would be demolished, but for some reason the new owners thought it was just fine the way it is. I wish they had thought of this at Cobb Center before they took a wrecking ball to it. Today, a call center known as Check Into Cash! occupies the former Parks-Belk, the Miller's is today a Jones Finance and the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce occupies the former Watson's grocery store. More office space now occupies the old Kresge, which was vacant when I visited in 2005. A gym now takes up much of the mall space on the west side, and the stores fronting US 11 are fully leased, including a Firehouse Subs. An upscale local restaurant, Bald Headed Bistro, is a popular eatery next to Jones Finance and was renovated with a log cabin facade. However, there is absolutely nothing traditional about this mall, and I very much wish I could go back in time to 1990 when the mall was alive and kicking with two two-level department stores.


Northeast corner of the mall. Note the fence like structure hiding the central power plant.


Front entrance to Miller's Department Store.


Old Parks-Belk under renovation for a call center.


This is the newly renovated back entrance to the mall. In the previous photo I took of Parks-Belk, a door was sitting in mid-air into the side of the store. Now, a staircase leads in the new entry up to the door. What was there before?


Here is a look at the front side of the mall, now fully leased and featuring some tenants otherwise not connected. The gym that is there now has windows into the mall, but no entrance.

When I first wrote about this mall, I said it had been altered very little from when it opened. That is not as much the case today as new stucco-faced entryways were placed over all the mall entrances and the Swiss Alley was largely renovated with very little actual mall feel except for a few remaining swiss-themed restaurants. The main mall itself has no real inline stores left, but still survives altered little from when it opened except along the side facing U.S. 11 (Lee Highway). There, the mall added many strip mall tenants and a more modern stucco facade with tenants including a Firehouse Subs. Despite these changes, the mall is a remarkable display of mostly unaltered 1960's architecture that make this mall very enjoyable. Thanks to your comments, I have been able to correct this post to give an accurate history of the mall.




More shots taken around the south entrance. The first shot has the mall on the left, the next is of the former Watson's on the left approaching the entrance and the last is directly underneath. The first photo on this page is looking just to the right of this into the main mall corridor.


Corner at southeastern side of mall. The vacant store was probably the Kresge.


Southeast corner looking southwest at former Kresge.


View of northeastern corner of the mall toward the north entrance. Miller's is on the right.


Looking back away from the southeast entrance to the mall.


Southwest corner of the mall. Note the very 1960's exterior on the right.



Side entrance to Miller's with detail of the one restaurant in the mall itself on the right known as Bald Headed Bistro. The second photo shows more detail of the restaurant.


This professional office building apparently has wings. This buildings sits on the southwest corner of the mall ot facing Lee Highway (US 11).

* This is the second update of the original post. *

81 comments:

  1. I don't recall Rose's at Village Mall. Watson's Supermarket was the grocer in the mall. Woolworths, Belk, and Miller's were the anchors. Revco was the drugstore. A local bakery was next to Watson's. The mall closed as a retail mall in the mid-90s's, a couple of years after Bradley Square opened. Belk was the last tenant to close, it closed prior to the Belk at Hamilton Place going to Dillard's. The mid-70's is closer to the correct date for the Cleveland Mall opening. It was anchored by Sears, JCPenney, and Rose's. Morrison's Cafeteria was the
    restaurant. It lost Rose's after Bradley Square and the mall died once Rose's closed. Bradley Square was built by Crown America close to the same time Mount Berry Square in Rome was built by CA. Bradley Squares original anchors were Sears,
    Hess',KMart, and JCPenney. The Hess' has become Proffit's and now Belk, returning Belk back to Cleveland after at least a decade long absence.

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  2. Wow...what an awesome find! I'm glad you were able to get these pictures.

    Matt

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  3. That place is like a midcentury retail architecture museum. Very cool. I think that unidentified variety store is a Woolworth.

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  4. Love the architecture on this place. Very hip.
    I always thought trees in an enclosed mall to be unusual. Every time a leaf fell, the floor would look dirty. Seems like a lot of maintenance.
    Scott

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  5. JT,

    The pics are quite interesting...It's also noteworthy that this is the closest shopping mall to where I live...and I didn't even know about such a "vintage" open-air center being so close (about 60 miles away).

    I did what little fact finding I could on VILLAGE MALL. The Bradley County TN website (property tax search) doesn't list very much info....especially NOT the year/date that a structure on a property was built.

    A "Village Green website" provides a bit of background on the former VILLAGE MALL. It is a 211,000 square foot facility, situated on a 19 acre site. They say it was built in the "early 1960's era" (the architecture looks more like circa-1968 to me....but I'm just guessing, I guess).

    According to the VG website, the original tenants included a Miller Brothers department store (anchoring the north end), Watson's supermarket (anchoring the south), a Parks-Belk, Cole Drug (later Revco), and underground bowling alley, on a "lower level" (bowling alleys were very common in early shopping malls).

    They also mention that there was a 12,000 square foot 5 & 10 in the mall.....but they are saying that it built as an S.S. Kresge. Being as how a couple of posters here distinctly remember a Woolworth....either the Village Green website is wrong, or the mall originally may have had a Kresge, that later became a Woolworth (??). I wasn't there...so I am just presuming.

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    1. Mitchell BrackinMay 18, 2012 at 2:47 AM

      The department store in the Village was Millers, Inc., out of Knoxville, Tn., not Miller Bros., headquartered in Chattanooga, Tn. They were two completely different stores. Parks-Belk did not come to the Village until considerably after it opened. It would be nice if someone could remember the stores that originally were located in the Park-Belks location. The only one I can recall right now is the Village Hardware. My grandfater won a gallon of paint from the hardware during its grand opening. As I recall the super market at the south end of the mall was originally either a White Store, or a Big Apple. Either way, they gave S&H Green Stamps. And the Village definitely was opened in the early 60's, well before 1968. And to the best of my knowledge there was never a Woolworth's at the Village.

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    2. it was kresge went there many times in my youth

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  6. Ohh...I wanted to include my name on the previous post. I'm Dennis, in north Georgia.....

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  7. IIRC, the Woolworth's became Kresge the mid-80's, around the time KMart sold Kresge to Murphy and most Woolworths closed. BTW, any one interested in mid-20th century retail, Cleveland is a good study. Two malls for a relatively small city and numerous independents. Across from the Village Green is a couple of old strip centers. A Sav-a-Lot in a gabled building, which prior to Ahold/BiLo acquiring the Red Food chain was SuperSaver, a Red Food banner. The architecture suggests someone else originally, perhaps Piggly Wiggly, Goodlett's(a Chattanooga indy), ShopRite(not the NYC/Wakefern entity, but a Chattanooga indy), or M&J Markets, another Chattanooga area indy. Independent supermarkets were dominant until the late-80's/early-90's. Watson's, Cooke's and Calfee's had several locations in Cleveland with competition from Red Food and Pruett's FoodTown, another Chattanooga are operation. The Calfee family operated Gibson's Discount City across from the Village Mall, on the upper terrace. This was a hybrid discount store and grocery store and was in business from the late 60's until the mid-70's. Grant City was here, and its store became KMart after the chain bankrupted. Today it's divided up between BigLots and a discount matress operation. Unfortunately, one of the Watson's locations was razed over the last month. The local Rebel Drive-In closed about 2 years ago and was leveled just across from the Watson's. Fortunately across from the Village Green is The Chef, an original Burger Chef, Cosmo Kite design very much intact. The original charbroiler is still in use. A large Hardee's franchise is based here,one of the first outsied of North Carolina, operating 3 stores at the time, so the Burger Chef was redundant and survives. Lowe's has relocted into its third location, a mid-century motor lodge with a "Holiday Inn" style sign stands just below the Village Green.
    The Shoney's is even an early example of its coffee shop restaurant design.

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    1. Save-A-Lot was originally M.C. Headricks Grocery which was a Cleveland-based grocery store chain that was sold to Red Food(which oddly only opened stores in 2 of the 9 M.C. Headricks stores and of those original M.C Headricks, the location across from the Village is the only one left) The Calfees last 2 grocery stores(previously 5) were sold to Cooke's in 2006 and became Super Saver (not to be confused with the chain by Red Food. These super savers are franchises that are independently owned and operated) Under the Super Saver name the Cooke family built several Super Saver stores across the area before closing all of them and replacing them with their take on cost plus grocery, Fresh N' Low which opened in November of 2012. None of the original Calfees stores are operational.

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  8. IIRC, the Woolworth's became Kresge the mid-80's, around the time KMart sold Kresge to Murphy and most Woolworths closed. BTW, any one interested in mid-20th century retail, Cleveland is a good study. Two malls for a relatively small city and numerous independents. Across from the Village Green is a couple of old strip centers. A Sav-a-Lot in a gabled building, which prior to Ahold/BiLo acquiring the Red Food chain was SuperSaver, a Red Food banner. The architecture suggests someone else originally, perhaps Piggly Wiggly, Goodlett's(a Chattanooga indy), ShopRite(not the NYC/Wakefern entity, but a Chattanooga indy), or M&J Markets, another Chattanooga area indy. Independent supermarkets were dominant until the late-80's/early-90's. Watson's, Cooke's and Calfee's had several locations in Cleveland with competition from Red Food and Pruett's FoodTown, another Chattanooga are operation. The Calfee family operated Gibson's Discount City across from the Village Mall, on the upper terrace. This was a hybrid discount store and grocery store and was in business from the late 60's until the mid-70's. Grant City was here, and its store became KMart after the chain bankrupted. Today it's divided up between BigLots and a discount matress operation. Unfortunately, one of the Watson's locations was razed over the last month. The local Rebel Drive-In closed about 2 years ago and was leveled just across from the Watson's. Fortunately across from the Village Green is The Chef, an original Burger Chef, Cosmo Kite design very much intact. The original charbroiler is still in use. A large Hardee's franchise is based here,one of the first outsied of North Carolina, operating 3 stores at the time, so the Burger Chef was redundant and survives. Lowe's has relocted into its third location, a mid-century motor lodge with a "Holiday Inn" style sign stands just below the Village Green.
    The Shoney's is even an early example of its coffee shop restaurant design.

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  9. Thanks for all the feedback here! For years, Cleveland was a town I tended to by-pass and never explored the downtown area. I realized later how much I was missing. U.S. 11 By-Pass through there is an absolute exquisite museum of 1960's architecture that is neither in disrepair nor ghetto...just forgotten by bigger and better up the street. I am planning to go back and take more pictures of the area including that formentioned Burger Chef. We didn't have Burger Chef to my knowledge in North Georgia, but I know they were popular elsewhere. Jack's of Birmingham, AL made a shot in the Atlanta area and failed, however.

    Also, on the Belk at that mall: was that a Parks-Belk for sure and was the one in Dalton at Walnut Square also a Parks-Belk or just Belk? I found out yesterday that Belk Rhodes, which I thought was exclusive to W GA was also located in VA and NC, including New River Valley Mall.

    Tennessee is interesting to me on how much 1950's/1960's architecture and buildings survive and remain in use. I wish there was a way I could explain this while Georgia is very quick to tear down or renovate such places. U.S. 411 from Ocoee to Maryville is like a 1950's museum, including a fully operational A&W drive-in in Madisonville.

    Three chains I wanted to comment on: Gibson's, Goodlett's and Red Food. Gibson's I recall having a location in Brunswick, GA, but it folded in the late 1980's. It was in a strip off S.R. 25 Spur and had the dark wood theme and these blocks around the letters. It definitely piqued my curiosity. I am wondering if that was the same store. I also heard that the Richway at Lee Highway and Brainerd had also started out as a Gibson's. I'd love to know more about that chain.

    On Goodlett's, the IGA in Fairmount, GA used to be a Goodlett's and had little diamond blocks around the letters with some logo with a woman and a shopping cart. It was very 1960's looking and I wish I'd gotten a picture of it.

    And yes...Red Food. A former Red Food store west of Chattanooga still remains fully intact with its fascinating old south decor. I used to play with the rabbit ears as a kid to get Chattanooga stations and remember the ads "Only the best...at Red Food" and remember them being all over Chattanooga.

    I must say we lose a lot these days when we lose places like that and I really appreciate your generous feedback about this area.

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    1. Mitchell BrackinMay 18, 2012 at 2:53 AM

      The Belk's store in Cleveland was always Park-Belk's, while I believe the one in Dalton, GA, was known as Belk-Gallant. And, as I recall, Red Food entered the Cleveland, TN market when it bought out our local grocery chain, M.C. Headrick's.

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  10. The Calfee operated Gibson chain was unrelated to other Gibson chains. I am under the impression that the Gibson chain of Texas lisenced the brand out in a somewhat franchise style. There was another Gibson chain operating in Northeast Georgia with locations in Gainesville, Athens and Dahlonega and probably more I have forgotten. Later stores were simply called Big G and were more variety store/dollar store in format than discount store. The Gibson's/Big G were with Big Star locations on Thompson Bridge and Browns Bridge in Gainesville and in Dahlonega. The Dahlonega and Thompson Bridge Big Star survived as A&P until the chain pulled the plug in 1999. I don't know if this Gibson's reached as far soth as Brunswick, but it is not the Gibson's found in Chattanooga.

    The Chattanooga area Gibson's included Cleveland, Chattanooga on Brainerd(later Richway), Chattanooga between 23rd Street and Rossville Blvd, visible from I-24 and a truck maintenace operation today, Dalton on East Morris Street(US 76 before Walnut Avenue was extende eastward), and Rome above Berry College were Food Lion is now operating. The Rome location folded early due to Rome's blue laws requiring Sunday closing.

    Back to Burger Chef, the chain second to McDonald's in the late 60's and early 70's. Unfortunately the Dalton location on Morris Street was leveled and replaced with the drive-thru windows for Dalton-Whitfield Bank. It was very close to the Hardee's on South Thorton Avenue(US 41)and redundant. Gainesville had a Burger Chef on Cleveland Highway, close to Thompson Bridge Road, near the civic center. It briefly operated as Hardee's but is now gone. The only Chattanooga location I can recall is Dodds Avenue.

    Belk in downtown Dalton was Belk Gallant. When Walnut Square opened it relocated as Belk, no Rhodes, Park, Gallant, or Matthews co-identity.

    The former Goodlett's in Fairmount was operated by a member of the same
    family as the Chattanooga are Goodlett's, but not the same. The present IGA is related to J&J Foods of Gainesville and Dahlonega.

    Back to A&W, the Madisonville location preserves the era well, with a drive-in theater across the street. Again, old is razed in Georgia. In Dalton on old US 76, only the concrete platform of the old A&W remains.

    Back to US 411, as the Tennessee portion is 4-laned, much of the old is being lost or bypassed. The Etowah BiLo is a relatively intact Red Food Store, just to the northeast of Cleveland. US 411 and US 11 used to be lined with firecracker dealers before the completion of I-75, but the mid-80's. Most names are politically incorrect today and played on hillbilly imagery, Crazy Joe's, Slim Sam's, Fat Annie's, etc.

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  11. JT,

    I am referring to the Belk at Cleveland, Tennessee's VILLAGE MALL
    as "Parks-Belk", going only by what the "Belk" Wikipedia article says ("East Tennessee Belk stores were under the Parks-Belk nameplate"). This is not my personnal recollection, however.

    However....going by personnal recollection, I can attest that there was a Gibson's variety store on the NE corner of East 23rd & Kelley Streets, in Chattanooga. This is going back to mid-1972, when I shopped there a couple times.

    This was when Chattanooga's NORTHGATE MALL was brand-spanking new...and giving EASTGATE MALL (opened in 1962) its first major competition. Apparently, if EASTGATE (originally open-air) had not been enclosed before this time...it was enclosed by 1972 to keep up with the new NORTHGATE MALL. My memories about this are rather sketchy, though.

    Burger Chef! Now there is a memory of mine going back to the first time I ate at one...in 1965 or 1966. In late 1967, a new Burger Chef opened, like, a block away from my house....in Franklin, Ohio. I ate there practically every day. I still think that a Big Chef was about the best burger I ever had.

    And..about the lack of much (remaining) "vintage" architecture in Georgia.....well, this may have something to do with the proximity to Atlanta, which -as I see it....and putting it bluntly- is a city that has just about NO regard for history or that that is (or had been) "historic".

    Dennis
    North Georgia

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  12. Belk Rhodes was never at New River Valley Mall. There were Parks Belk and Belk Leggett stores in Virginia, but the majority of the Belk stores were called Leggett.

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  13. Here's an Update on the old Village Mall in Cleveland, TN.

    http://www.villagegreentowncenter.com/

    The large store on the NE corner of the Village which was under renovation in your pictures was a "Parks Belk." I used to shop there when I was young. The large building on the north end now listed as Jones Management was last known as Hess's before closing to move to the Bradley Square Mall which is located about 5 miles north of the Village Green at the intersection of Hwy 11 and Paul Huff Parkway. (Hess's became Proffits which recently became Belk)

    The newest additions to the Village Green during 2006 are:

    1. A free standing Starbucks Coffee, http://www.starbucks.com/ which was built on the NW corner of the prop near the intersection of Keith St and Inman St. The location was originally a filling station and garage for car repairs but was leveled about 5 years ago so you probably only seen grass there.

    2. The old Village Twin Cinema (Carmike Theater) which is located on the NE end of the property along the creek is now renovated and running as the Red Clay Theatre, http://redclaytheatre.com/

    3. The Rush 24/7 Fitness Center, http://www.therush247.com/ is now occupying the large empty unit on the SE corner of the building as well as the old bowling alley location under the Village Green.

    4. The rest of the unfinished parking lot on the SE side of the facility is currently undergoing final rehab with new drainage, blacktop, planters and lighting to match the rest of the facility completing the entire campus exterior.

    5. The old “Parks Belk” store is now open as the Check Into Cash Call center

    6. Another unit on SE side of the building located next to the Rush24/7 is now open as AMO Recoveries, a credit recovery agency.

    7. Along the West side of the building which is the side facing Keith St (Hwy 11) has seen 3 new openings this year with Coopers Hometown Sports store, The Men’s Den Men’s fashion store and Firehouse Subs.

    Across Hwy 11 from the Village Mall is the Chef which was just renovated with brick and doesn’t look as much like the old Burger Chef as I used to, but still retains the roof line and the glass.
    The Save-A-Lot located beside the Chef is a beautiful display of old architecture.
    Just to the west of the Save a lot is an apartment complex which you can tell was a hotel. That was a holiday inn back in the 60’s and had that old classic holiday inn sign out front. The CVS Pharmacy which is located at the corner of Grove Ave and Hwy 11 was the former lobby conference and banquet rooms and parking lot for the Holiday Inn. That CVS was located in the Village Mall as Cole Drug Store and later Revco Drug.

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  14. I currently live in Cleveland, TN. And the Village Green has really changed in just the past 6 years while I've been living there. Now there is a wonderful restaurant there called the Bald Headed Bistro. The bistro has a Montana feel, with peeled logs and very western leather chairs and a wonderful bar area. The place now to be seen in Cleveland. It was built by Allen Jones who also converted the Belks (I think) into the office space for his company (Check into Cash)! Anyway, they are putting new shops in, mostly leaving the original architectural lines and the open air area everyone on here was so taken with. You might want to come bye again!

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    1. The bald headed bistro..... You pay 200.00 for a 50.00 meal

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  15. There is an old open air mall in Danville, Virginia for those who are interested. Penney's was one of the anchor stores. Unless there has been a recent name change, it's still called Patrick-Henry Mall.

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  16. The above post should have read Martinsville, Virginia rather than Danville, Virginia.

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  17. Someone said in their blog:
    "Cleveland Mall eventually closed and became the Bradley County Nursing Home."
    This is a mix up of facts. I have lived here for many years and Bradley County Nursing Home (now called Bradley Nursing Care Facility) is located on Peerless Road and not on Keith Street. The old Cleveland Mall was bought by Life Care Centers of America, renovated to match their other corporate buildings further north on Keith and is used as part of their corporate facilities.
    We have been blessed to have both our old malls to be given upscale treatments that beautify our lovely little town. Cleveland is consistently moving forward in its beautifcation program. We have excellent leadership and caring men and women of money who give back to their community. I've passed through many decaying southern towns, but not Cleveland.
    Doris

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  18. I am very glad this was all cleared up on this mall. Let me get this straight on anchors:

    Village Mall had Watson's Supermarket (a few still exist near Cumberland Gap IIRC), Parks-Belk, Miller's/Hess's and a Kresge/Woolworth's as tenants. Did the mall have a restaurant or cafeteria?

    Cleveland Mall had JCPenney, Sears, Rose's and Morrison's Cafeteria. I made the "Bradley County Nursing Home" observation from an old map, because I could not remember what it is called now.

    And yes, I am very pleased to see the revival of Village Mall, but it would be nice to see a real anchor on the mall, too. I think in a sense this mall has revived a bit because it is roughly like a lot of the lifestyle centers being built today. Cleveland definitely holds its own, but is held back by the lack of freeways other than I-75. Probably if US 74 was a full freeway and a link northwest to I-40 were built, the place would explode.

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  19. The corner shot you mention for Woolworth's was SS KRESGE'S. The WHITE STORE was the grocery. There was TOTS TO TEENS inside, The Village Lanes (bowling) in the basement, Millers and others I can't think of at the moment. Bob Brandy played at the "Grand Opening".

    http://home.comcast.net/~drwebman/village_sign_1966_100f.jpg
    I've put together a website, www.PhotosOfCleveland.com (www.PhotosOfCleveland.com

    And a "MEMORIES" site: www.drwebman.com/memories
    drwebman.com/memories

    http://www.drwebman.com/img/charter/img/cleve/logo_test_01c.jpg

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  20. Doesn't anyone remember the grocery store "Hamilton's Grocery" in the Village Mall? It was on the end - on the inside - on the same side as the current Bald Headed Bistro - but at the opposite end.

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    1. Mitchell BrackinMay 18, 2012 at 3:37 AM

      If my memory doesn't fail me, the grocery store was Callaway's. They were originally located downtown at the corner of Ocoee and Central, but moved to the Village when it opened and changed their name to Callaway's Delicatessen. My grandmother always had to go by Callaway's every Saturday after she had her hair done to get green beans for Sunday dinner.

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  21. Their was also a store called Hobby Mart a wonderful place to go in as a child. Entering the mall from the North it was the srnond or third store on the right.

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    1. Mitchell BrackinMay 18, 2012 at 3:38 AM

      Yes, I remember it well, sort of a high tech toy store, as I recall.

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  22. I remenber very well what all use to be there. There was a Rose's I shopped there quite often. I also shopped at Watson's and Loveman's which became Profitt's then Hess's. I also liked Woolworth's and there was a Gran't which I loved we used to go in and look at the pets and I wanted a prt Monkey so bad but mama wouldn't allow it. We used to spend the whole day at the Village you could also go downstairs and bowl and get your pictue taken in one of those little boothes. When lunch time came we would go to Woolworth's which had a small dining place I think it was called Ma and Pa's Kitchen. they made the best hamburgers. I loved that place and was sorry to see it go now the place contains nothing of interest to odrinary people it is only for the well to do. I do wish they would get some more of the discount stores in town so we would have a choice besides Wal-Mart.I heard they are buliding a Khol's and I can't wait. I also can't wait till we get a Target and hope something filally booms around 58&60 Junction. Not Forgotten Memories!

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  23. I wanted to expand on the recent reference to Hobby Mart. I lived in Cleleland 1974-1983 and left after graduating from CHS to attend college at Auburn. The owner of Hobby Mart was my next door neighbor. He fought hard to compete with the big stores and was one of the last to close when the mall was changing to become more of an offcie space. The Hobby Mart did whan mom/pop store have to do now to compete - offer exceptional customer service and serve a niche market or specialty. One other thing I don't believe anyone noted - there was a wing of the mall called Swiss Alley that was a narrow winding walkway through small shops with Swiss architecture. It was supposed to mimic walking through. well... a Swiss alley. I can remember being there when it was raining and being "trapped" in the open air walkway staynig dry.

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    1. Mr. White that ran the Hobby Mart is still alive as are many of the employees of that store. D.Moore

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  24. I remember the "Swiss Alley"! The Dethros had a gift shop there. Also, Moore Jewelers was in the Village forever. Still there is the Village bake shop - they have the best thumbprint cookies anywhere! There was a "chocolate pot" candy making shop in the later years, where "tots to teens" used to be. The Belk store was a Parks-Belk (I was on the "teen board" there)

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  25. There was a Piggly Wiggly in downtown Dalton, and I am looking for information on the store and pictures as it was when it was open. I'm having a lot of trouble finding anything, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.

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  26. Regarding the Gibson's department store in Rome GA: The Blue Laws were loosened a bit in the early 70's. Stores like K-Mart and the old Big K department store were open from 1-6 on Sunday. The problem with Gibson's was that one, it was located at the time in a rural stretch of U.S. 27. It's very grown up now but at the time once you passed Berry College it was pretty much country from there. Another interesting bit of history was that a rumor run rampant through the town that the newly constructed building was in imminent danger of collapsing because it was supposedly built over an underground stream. It even went so far that people were saying that famed psychic Jeanne Dixon had predicted it would collapse. She later issued a statement denying that she had predicted it and that she wished the business well. The location and the lingering effects of the rumor doomed the store. (Not even an appearance by Lester Flatt performing on a makeshift stage in the back of the store could save it.) It closed and another store called Raglands opened but later suffered the same fate. The building was subdivided and a furniture store, a Dollar General store and a few small businesses occupied the space for many years and lo and behold the building still hasn't collapsed.

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  27. The Village Shopping Center was built when I was in High School. That store everyone is calling a possible Woolworths was the Village Bake Shoppe. It's still located there now. The S.S. Kressge store was on the other back side of the shopping center and faced what use to be offices in a separate building. We also had The Lemon Tree shoe store, I loved! There was the drug store, I think Coles was the name. I have some photos in my school annual that would have the stores as they were then with the names of the stores if you are interested. I don't want to round it up and copy them unless you actually want to see what stores were there. You can reach me @ subcord@aol.com if you are interested in seeing photos from my annual which deplict some of the stores with their names above the door. I also loved Annaball White's Store. Our local designer. She had some of her original creations there and other name brands. Zales Jewelers was popular, I worked there during Christmas my senior year. It was one of the most modern buildings in our little town....

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    1. Mitchell BrackinMay 18, 2012 at 3:50 AM

      Before there was the Lemon Tree, there was a gift shop in that location, that I believe was called the Bird Cage. Anyway, it had a really large cage in it with at least one parrot, or some kind of large bird. At any extent, for a small child, it was most impressive. It was also one of the few stores in the Village that I recall had a second level.

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  28. Anna Ball White shop was in the Village Mall for a long time. Trisha White Foy still operates the Anna Ball White shop at Hamilton Place in Chattanooga. Trisha would have some great historical stories and probably pics to share. You should contact her. Anna Ball White was my great aunt and she made my wedding dress 30 years ago.

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    1. Mitchell BrackinMay 18, 2012 at 3:51 AM

      Yes, Anna Ball White's store was there for many years, and also Margaret's House of Fashion was another dress shop at the Village. I believe it was owned by Margaret Tatum.

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  29. Roses use to be in the old Cleveland Mall on Keith St. Not in the Village.

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  30. The Village Cafeteria was located down Swiss Alley and behind Parks & Belk department store. It, like a lot of other shops in the mall was home owned. I can’t recall the man’s name. Maybe someone will. I worked in the kitchen when I was about 15 or 16. We used to have a big crowd on Sunday afternoons. Also, don’t forget the dry cleaners located at the corner of the mall, just up from the grocery store that I think was originally called Whites. Mr. and Mrs. Arp owned the cleaners. I’ve seen very little about the bowling alley (Village Lanes) that was located downstairs and accessible from the outside as well as the inside of the mall. That used to be a great hangout for us when we were young. Outside of the bowling alley became a drive by location almost like Sugar & Spice, Bears Den and The Rebel.

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  31. Was the owner of this "Bears Den" Bud Ellis?

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  32. They also was a Jukebox RECORD store owned by Mark Dixon
    The staple store was Kresgees,also was a awesome cheese store and a Lays Clothing store ,The Mens Squire and the Hobby Mart also

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  33. My mother grew up in Cleveland. In the early 1960's my grandparents still lived there. My mother took me shopping for my first Christmas dance dress at Anna Ball White's. It must have been about 1962. It was a beautiful white dress I will never forget. What a lovely store. I have a lovely memory of that day.

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  34. I'd like to see more information about the "middle mall" in the history -- the Cleveland Mall that's been turned into something else. I looked it up on Google Earth and figured out where it would have to have been, and drove by it on July 3, 2009 and could tell it had been a mall but had its appearance changed on the outside. I'd like to see pictures of what it originally looked like on the inside and out.

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    1. This is Brian again..still no idea where my account is..this is my wife's.
      Anyways I too would love pics of the inside when it was fresh. I basically grew up in this mall from 1979 - it closed. From my age of around 10 until my 20's. I can almost tell you every store and its location....almost. Would really love pics. I remember Darth Vader showing off sword skills there around 81 or 83 hehe.

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  35. Unfortunately I have no pics or access to any pics regarding Cleveland Mall. Information like that is pretty hard to come by, and newspaper archives or the very lucky break of finding a good contributor are usually as good as it gets in many cases. I plan to do a post on it eventually, but I need a pic of how it looks currently. I was going to get one the other day, but I passed by it and didn't have time to go back.

    Tonight, I discovered a bunch of malls I had no idea existed, but it may be too late for those because they're either sealed off or demolished. It looks like Dothan, AL had two malls that were replaced with one as well. One just got torn down and the other still stands but may not be open inside. Since I live so far away I wish I could recruit some other people to help me in these outlying areas.

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  36. Southgate in Florence is another that appeared to be closed off last time I went by. it opened in the 1960s, I believe, and went down after Regency Square opened in 1978.

    Tupelo, MS had two malls that went down after Barnes Crossing opened, and Gloster Village is still there, but dead or used for something else. The other mall, evidentally was out on the old US 78 east and something else either replaced it or was made out of part of it. I have little information on that one since it was gone before I first went there. I've walked in Gloster Village once and I think one store or so was still open in it.

    Huntsville, AL had the recently demolished Heart of Huntsville Mall (opened 1961 and had Sears as its anchor). There was also Dunnavant's Mall, opened in the mid 1960s with Dunnavants as its anchor, and that is all now the "Medical Mall". "The Mall" you've already posted on, and I need to get some pictures to you on that one. I wrote a thing about "Parkway City Mall" (which Parkway Place replaced) and submitted it to deadmalls, but they never used it or acknowledged it, so I need to dig that up and send it to you.

    There was a small mall in Birmingham that had a Parisian, and it was right off US 31. I went in it a couple of times in 1988, but the Parisian closed and I'm no longer sure of its exact location. It was on the left if you went up US 31 from the Galleria toward downtown somewhere along the way. The building might still be there.

    Bessemer Mall was already dead in the late 1980s, I believe, and I know nothing about its history.

    There's a small mall in Corinth, MS, I believe, which I've never been in.

    If I think of more, I'll mention them.

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  37. Chris:

    Sure, I'd be very excited to see any old photos you have and would definitely post them. Is the "Parisian" mall you're talking about Five Points West? I remember Birmingham Rewound doing a page on a mall that popped right out the back of a strip mall that had one anchor that was originally Pizitz. Parisian was originally in that strip, and I could definitely see it moving in the old Pizitz. The mall has been abandoned awhile, so if that's it, that would be a VERY interesting post for me to do. If it's not that...I'm assuming either Eastwood or Western Hills. Western Hills was almost Parisian exclusive and Eastwood had Parisian as the only real anchor at the end. Western Hills I understand is in Bessemer and is essentially the Greenbriar Mall of Birmingham, for better or for worse.

    As to Huntsville. When last in Huntsville, I noticed and commented on Dunnavant's Mall, but I was short of time and couldn't figure it out. I wanted to go back and get pics ever since. I visited Parkway Place. It wasn't a bad mall, but very dark. Also, I didn't really think it was worth completely demolishing Parkway City Mall for it since the issue with the original was primarily that it was one level and had too many anchors. I guess the fact it's still a mall instead of that open-air nonsense is the bright side. I'm the MOST interested in the "Fountain Mall", and wish there was something left of Heart of Huntsville. Madison Square for some reason didn't excite me much. I tend to have a hard time warming up to the overblown malls that caused the first generation ones to die.

    Basically if you can help me in any of those parts that would be great. That is a really difficult area for me to get to, because it's not on the way to anything around me. I'm focusing right now on trying to get to the Alabama malls closest to Georgia myself, but I've still got a pretty big list.

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  38. The shopping center in Birmingham that had the Parisian was on US 31 and I've found out that Vestavia Hills City Center is likely on the site of that old Parisian and tiny enclosed mall area. I remember a very small indoor area with very few stores (only 4 or 6 or so) connected to the store, and remember little else. It's likely been torn down and redone. This would have been 1988-1990 when I discovered that place. The Parisian was soon closed.

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  39. Ok lets try to post again....

    Ive lived in Cleveland all my life. As far as I can recall Woolworths was never at The Village Mall. Kresge was always there. I ate in their little diner as a small child in the early 70's each week.

    Woolworths was up-town beside JC Penny and Revco. Across from the Craigmile's mausoleum.

    If you have any questions about Cleveland's past or present just ask and Ill try to answer them.

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  40. Brian, would you mind telling me exactly where the original Proffitt's was (address, map, etc)? I took some more photos the other day of Village Mall, which I plan to tack on to the post. Also, I took a few photos of some vintage signs/shopping centers. One in particular stood out to me, and I am looking forward to covering it.

    How has so many vintage retail structures remained today in such good condition with real businesses in them? This and the renaissance of Village Mall continue to amaze me. I certainly wish that anybody had some vintage photos of Cleveland Mall. What exactly is that place now?

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  41. The old Cleveland Mall is part of the nursing home now. Im not sure if they have officies, normal rooms, or some kind of upper class semi assisted living in there now. I really miss that mall.

    As for The Village it seems The Village Bakery is the linchpin of the place.Also for some strange reason Cleveland has been moving the big shopping places more and more north over the years. The Village is all we have here on the south end of town. They have tried to re invent the place over the years. its helped some but its not all they or we have hoped for.

    About Proffits. And keep in mind this is just what i recall and what my wife is remembering also. Proffits bought out Hess and before that Hess had bought out Millers. I only remember Millers being at The Village and on the north end of the place facing Innman street. My wife says her mom told her about Miller Bros being up-town.

    But if you are really interested in pictures and info on Cleveland's history there are two books available on my town. They run $15 to $20 each. Ive seen them for sale at both Walgreens and at the 5 Points Museum. They are just jam packed with photos from the very old days. Even lamp lit stores and such. I had one but lost it :(

    Heres a link to one from Amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/Cleveland-Images-America-Robert-George/dp/0738506591

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  42. Since Bradley Square looks to be on the way down anyway, I sure wish that if it dies that the department stores would move back to Village Mall and bring it back to life the way it was intended. IMO, just knock down the old Watson's, expand the mall somewhat on the SAME DESIGN and add on Sears with a design matching their 1950's stores with the 1950's script logo. Belk could move into the old Miller's and JCPenney could take over the original Parks-Belk using the 1960's blue P sign. You could then construct a parking deck behind the new JCPenney.

    Also, I would extend the Swiss Alley to a new two-level portion that ends into a multi screen movie theater. Then, bring back the bowling alley with a better entrance.

    Given all those options, I know which mall I would rather shop at. Also, I would renovate the exterior again where the 2006 modifications were done to give it a more 60's modern design to match the original mall. I would even go so far as to find the plans and reconstruct the original 1960's sign. I guess that's what I don't understand. Just because something is changed or falls out of favor doesn't mean it should never return.

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  43. I just happened across these photo's. Sad to see the state of things.

    I once managed Millers and then Hess's.

    Village Center was already declining before Bradley Square was built. The only tenants were Hess's, Parks Belk and Watsons. Although Hess's still had nice traffic people did not enter the Mall doors. At the time the corridors were dark and gloomy.

    The demise of the Malls can be blamed upon the declining economy and the recently opened Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga.

    Although, Bradley Square opened with a bang it was never fully supported. Hess's Northern based Management did not understand the Southern market and quickly sold their southern stores before completely collapsing into oblivion.

    Very sad...

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  44. SS Kresgee's was always SS Kresgee's. It was not a Woolworth's. While the Miller Bros. dept store was designed to accomodate 2 levels, the second level was never developed. Miller's was always a single level store. Parks-Belk renovated a bit in 70's adding a second level (at the rear - by the entrance to the Swiss Colony) used strictly for business offices and employee break areas. There were never 2-level shopping centers in the Village Mall. The facade has been updated by owner Alan Jones, however there is basically very little change to the Village mall structure itself. The various stores on the Lee Hwy (front) side of the mall always had entrances from the parking lot and from inside the mall area. The anchor stores did not move to the Cleveland Mall. Parks-Belk closed circa 1987. Miller's (purchased by Hess's) ultimately moved to Bradley Square Mall. It was purchased by Proffitt's; then purchased by Belk (ironic).

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  45. Also, the watson's that was built after they moved from the village was demolished after the chain was bought out by Erics IGA which dissolved and closed a year after aquiring watsons. A new CVS was built there, and the S.S Kressege w is now and asset management company

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  46. Do any of you remember having to pay to use the restrooms in the underground bowling alley called the Village Lanes? If so, can you remember, was it a nickel or a dime?

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  47. The store with the loft that was next to Watson's C/C was The Lemon Tree. It was an upscale ladies shoe store that later moved to a newer strip mall on Keith Street. The restrooms in the bowling alley were pay and as I recall it was a dime. The Swiss Alley was always an enclosed portion of the mall. It contained a music store, optometry practice and a new age shop. Just outside the mall entrance to the Swiss alley was a gourmet cheese and imported food shop. SS Kresgee's was the variety store on the end of the mall by Watson's. Woolworth's was never there it was located uptown on N. Ocoee Street.

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  48. This is Brian btw..using my wife's Google account :)

    Haven't checked this site in a long time. Sorry. That store up above wit hthe windows on the left and the stairs on the right that you asked about..this pic.. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_UJQzmnjudgM/SqShrKbxT0I/AAAAAAAABiU/wEaB3qMAAU8/s320/villagemall_39_090409.jpg .....was originally The Lemon Tree before it moved up on Keith Street. It was a high class women's shoe store run by two very nice people..Ray and Fleeta Millard. Ray passed away in the 1990's and Fleeta ran the new store for a while before it closed.

    I remember those steps as a small child. I was afraid of hieghts and they had no railing. There was nothing upstairs for cusomers but I would slowly climb them anyways while mom shopped. I'd get about 5 or 6 ip and be too scared to go further hehehe.

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  49. I remember a Morrison's Cafeteria at the Village Mall around 1965. We always ate Sunday lunch there.

    There was a Western Sizzlin' Restaurant at the front entrance to the Cleveland Mall. We ate there on Friday nights.

    I think the reason most folks like to forget about Cleveland Mall was due to the murders that occurred there not too long before it closed.

    There was a time when the constables would conscript shoppers at the Cleveland Mall for jury duty. This happened to me once!

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    1. I believe the cafeteria was simply known as the Village Cafeteria.

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  50. Ya Morrison's was never at the village.

    At the Cleveland Mall it was originally a Morrison's and later a Bonanza Steak House.

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  51. Ok had to log in..

    Morrisons was never at the Village. But both Revco and Kressges had diners in them.

    The Cleveland Mall had a Morrisons at the front on the right then later it became a Bonanza Steak House.

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    1. Whoops forgot to add that the bowling alley downstairs also had a eatery in it.

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  52. I grew up at the Village. Every Saturday night all my family gathered there to "visit".the grocery store at the end was Whites grocery. The store to the right on the corner was the Patio shop. They sold flowers and trinkets and had a big parrot named Jack. When the mall first opened, there was nothing where Park-belks was later. It was unfinished and they filled the area with sand and put swings in there like a playground.There was no Swiss Colony. It was just an alley with the cafeteria and a beauty shop and barber shop down it. There was a Zales jewelery on the corner leading down to it. Kressege had the best hamburgers around, and the Coles drugs across from it had the best hotdogs. There was the Millers on the other end, my mom worked there, a small sears store on the corner, and a Hobby shop beside it.There were several small clothing stores on that side also, including Margerates and Aneball Whites.The boling alley in the basement had a childrens play room and the best tatertots in the world in its resturant. How I loved that place. Christmas was great with a big styrofoam iglo every year.....

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  53. I am steva martinez village green is about to become a place called clevland galleria!

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    1. I found no mention of this online. Where did you find this information, and what would this project involve?

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  54. This mall opened in 1963. Absolutely positive.

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  55. Does anyone have info on the clevland mall?

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    1. What did you wish to know? I pretty much lived there from age 8 and up haha..so 77- closing. I can still see most stores and their placement in my mind's eye.

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  56. My uncle had a shop for several years in the Village Mall called the Village Esquire. It was a men's clothing shop. My grandmother was the diner manager in the Kresge store for several years. I worked in the bowling alley, right out of high school. Every year, the local 4-H Club would hold it's annual Chicken show on the outside sidewalk of the mall next to the now Bald Headed Bistro. My mother worked as a seamstress for a while at the Parks Belk store. A lot of good memories from my childhood, shopping with my grandparents at the Village Mall.

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  57. I worked at the Lay's Five and Dime store in the Cleveland Mall back in the early 80's. As I remember it, there was a murder which occurred in the Cleveland Mall when a man hid in the mall after closing. He killed the security guard and took his keys to gain entrance into the Land of Oz game room in order to steal change form the gaming machines.

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    1. I dont recall that and the game room was always Aladdin's Castle.

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  58. The Cleveland Shopping Center's grand opening took place I believe in 1961. We moved to the west coast in June of 1962, and it was open before then. I was there for the grand opening.

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  59. And let's not forget "The Village Esquire"! It was a men's clothing store owned and operated by my Dad. He even served as president of the Village Merchants association for a period of time. I spent a lot of my youth at that mall.

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  60. You all can find some good pics and history of Cleveland, TN here http://www.photosofcleveland.com/

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  61. The Village was the place to cruise on the weekends. My husband and I met there in 1976, still together. Great memories!

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  62. I think that vintage store-front with the blueish tiles was Butler Shoes.

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  63. My son was born in 1986 and got his his first hair cut at the age of 3 mounths. He was one of the last couple of haircuts give in the small hole in the wall with strip poll. I think he was the last of the old time hair cutters. I forget the barbers name but he had been in that spot for some years. He was really heartbroken when the new owners would not give him a new lease. He lived between Cleveland and Knoxville and he never complained about the drive, I think he just loved Cleveland. The small town feeling is gone now in Cleveland but to us who was raised here still think we will always be small
    Thanks for reading a old man's feelings Old Dog 57

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  64. Hey my name is Ryan I'm from Tampa Florida I moved up the Cleveland back in 1999 and lived there until 2001 I know this is going to sound crazy but no one seems to know about it I even brought this up with my mom that's how I ran across this site but back in 1999 somewhere around there I went to a place called Haven place it was in the Village Mall it was in the center section I used to come outside to smoke and set up on that wall with the staircase I remember walking down there and seeing a nuclear fallout shelter sign so I'm guessing that's what it was I know it sounds crazy but I seen it at least 10 times I asked only one person about it and never really thought no more about it I just thought everybody knew about it I never knew such a big secret until I started trying to Google about it and nothing will show of nowhere about it not a picture or nothing not even any history on it even googling about an underground bowling alley which I was told it was by another young person so I don't even think they really knew but I do remember seeing at least 10 times a nuclear fallout shelter sign I didn't even really know what it was at the time down in Tampa as far as my knowledge I don't think there's anything like that here but it was definitely there I don't know if it was really a bowling alley but I never heard of anyone ever going there or ever heard of a underground bowling alley that was ever open there

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