No sooner had I hit the “publish” button on the last post than I received an email with these excellent Publix photos. Taken in 2002 and 2006, these photos show some of the classic 60’s and 70’s Publix style that was still kicking in the 21st century. Ironically, the storefront pictured, the Tallahassee, Florida Apalachee Parkway store, is a near match for the prototype pictured in the 1972 photo in the previous post.
These photos come to us courtesy of Rich Kummerlowe, webmaster of the superb America’s Landmark: Under the Orange Roof website, a tribute to the near-extinct Howard Johnson’s restaurants. A fondly remembered part of youth for so many of us, the classic “HoJo’s” have been an enduring interest of mine, and Rich’s site is the finest chronicle of them that one could ever want. I well remember the excitement of the “HoJo Birthday Club”, where you would get a free ice cream cone with one of their famous 28 flavors on your birthday. I applied for my club membership card in 1971 or so, and am still waiting for it to arrive. I'm thinking about writing them to see what’s up. (Maybe my dad forgot to mail the thing in!)
Rich brought up an interesting connection between Howard Johnson’s and Publix – that Publix was at one point the largest seller (outside of Howard Johnson’s themselves) of HoJo’s ice cream, and was among the last to offer HoJo frozen food items prior to their discontinuance a few years back.
The first two photos, as mentioned, are of a Tallahassee Publix that was closed in 2006 when a modern unit opened down the street. The third and fourth photos show the distinctive arrow signs for two 1960’s Publix-developed shopping centers - the Southgate Shopping Center in New Port Richey (not to be confused with the older Lakeland, Florida center of the same name), and the Punta Gorda Mall, which was actually a strip shopping center just like Southgate. Unfortunately these two great signs, photographed in 2002, are now gone as well, Rich informs us. The Southgate sign was replaced when the shopping center was completely refaced in 2005, and the Punta Gorda sign and store were destroyed by Hurricane Charley in 2004.
Below are two 1960’s views for comparison’s sake – the Southgate Shopping Center from the History of Pasco County, Florida website, and a postcard view of the Punta Gorda Mall.