Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dominick's in December - 1971

An inviting sight on a cold winter evening, Dominick’s Finer Foods, known to Chicagoans then and now as simply “Dominick’s”, was a particular favorite of our family around Christmastime, with its great holiday platters and Heinemann’s Butter-Ritz coffee cakes. Probably the biggest claim to fame for Dominick’s was its reputation for a superb selection of ethnic foods, from S. Rosen’s rye bread to a host of Italian specialties, and everything in between. As a side note Dominick’s, along with Jewel, were the enablers-in chief of my Salerno Butter Cookie habit. (Boy, do I miss those. And did I just use the word “butter” twice in the same post?)

Dominick’s, with 45 stores at the time, had more than doubled in size in the previous year and a half, buying out 24 Kroger stores in the second half of 1970. These stores were gradually converted to the Dominick’s format throughout 1971. Dominick’s was the number four-ranked supermarket chain in the Chicago area in the early 70’s, behind Jewel, National Tea and Certified Grocers. They were already outselling A&P, who had over 100 stores in the area at the time, more than double those of Dominick’s. By the end of the decade, Dominick’s would be second only to Jewel, a position they still hold today.

I’m not sure of this store’s location, though I know Dominick’s had only a small number of stores with the cutout-lettered logo and the grooved façade. (Note I said “grooved” instead of “groovy’’, in keeping with this site’s policy of tasteful restraint.) The store strongly resembles the Park Ridge Dominick’s, opened in 1962, but that particular store featured striking modernist light fixtures in the parking lot, whereas the ones in this photo are more conventional.


  1. A Christmas message from Richard on board the Viewliner Limited:

    May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note
    and make way for a fresh and bright new year.

    Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  2. Merry Christmas, Dave!

    I love this Dominick's picture. I wish I knew where this was too. It is a great photo. I wonder if this could be the location they had on Pratt and Kedzie. I know that it opened by the early 70s. I vaguely remember going to that location a couple of times back in the 1990s. It is now gone and Dominick's built a brand new store years ago on the other side of the river at McCormick Blvd and Pratt.

  3. actually the Dempter & Greenwood store opened in 1961.

    At least looking through old PR papers at the library a 1961 paper claimes this.

    Funny this is the only Dominick's I knew of with the red cursive writing.

    Most Dominick's had orange logos like the one at 1900 Cumberland which was a Kroger the 1st 10 years of the building existance so obviously there was a change in between those years.

  4. Richard - Hope you're Christmas was great, and a very happy new year to you!

    Didi - I really like it as well, and sure wish I knew the location. If it still exists, the building's appearance has most likely changed drastically.

    Mike - I'm sure you're right. I have a pic of the Park Ridge Dominick's that is dated 1962, but the store could well be older. Dominick's used this logo font for years, but usually the letters were individually boxed with white backgrounds.

  5. Another thing there was an Arthur Flecher Fish & Chips Restaurant just to the east and it looks like it's there.

    I suspect this was the original cursive logo and there had to have been more of those and what's even more interesting the red letter lasted until they replaced with the print logo.

  6. Mike - I think you may be right on this, that the location is Park Ridge. It's entirely possible that the fancy parking lot light fixtures I mentioned may have been too expensive to maintain and were replaced by 1971.

    The Arthur Treacher's connection makes sense also. Dominick's developed and owned the Park Ridge property, and their parent company, Fisher Foods, bought the franchise rights to Arthur Treacher's in both their Cleveland (Fazio's) and Chicago territories shortly after they acquired Dominick's. So it would have been "in the family" at that point.

    And I think the lettering in this case is actually orange. Funny that both Jewel and Dominck's used to have orange logos back in the day, now both use a kind of red-orange.

  7. I recall the Dominicks on North Broadway in Chicago and the one on Marine Drive which had been a Kroger Store before Kroger left the chicago Market in 1970. Do you know why Kroger left the Chicago Market & the Pittsburgh?

  8. I emailed Kroger several years ago and they said they weren't as profitable, at least not here in the Chicago area.

    However this was always a Dominick's but the one on the south side of PR was a Kroger.

  9. Looks like it will be closing for good soon.

  10. The Park Ridge Dominick's was their fourth supermarket, following North Avenue, Central & Devon, and River Forest. When it opened in July 1961 it was one of the largest supermarkets in Chicagoland at 14000 sf with parking for 650 cars. It featured 8000 sf of imported Italian tile on the facade and canopy, and a 10 foot waterfall in the fish department.

  11. I'm a Rogers Park girl and I'm wondering when the Dominick's on Pratt and Kedzie opened?