This photo I took in late 2005. The store looked in remarkably good repair at that point. The mall attached to it had an exterior renovation around that time as well.
Ingles states that their very first store opened in Asheville in 1963, which according to a poster "Ken" in my previous blog actually opened in Biltmore Village. I am placing the opening of Innsbruck Mall about 1965, so this seems about right to me. Looking at the store inside and out, this leads me to wonder if this store was ever renovated once at any time in its history. While their design was never really updated much for 20 years after it first opened, this one was distinct in how incredibly tiny it was. I've seen a few other mini-Ingles left in operation, including one in Franklin, but this one had all the retro goodies inside and out.
Yes, it's cramped, but it looks so cozy and tacky and old fashioned like they looked when I was a child. I really miss that.
You can tell its old when frozen foods are found on a side wall instead of the center of the store. I kind of like that actually.
No special pattern or design here. Just plain font and colors mark the Green Grocer and Wine Cellar. I have not seen anything like this on the newer stores. I don't even remember it in the later "disco" stores. You can see these areas better on my photos of the store closed, but without all the lights and charm.
It was sad to see this store go. When I photographed it, the new free-standing store next door was nearing completion. That is why I took these photos. Unfortunately, my camera back then was not as good and I found it difficult to discretely photograph much of the store. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy seeing these pics of one of the last operational classic-era supermarkets.
Here is a look down a random center aisle towards the check out area. Those overhead signs are very, very old. In the stores built like in the mid-80's, they never updated those unless the store was rebuilt and expanded.