Ever Eaten Lunch at FW Woolworth's Counter?

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

noboundaries

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Sep 7, 2013
9,585
4,257
Roseville, CA, a suburb of Sacramento
Since folks are talking about cafeterias, anyone remember Piccadilly cafeteria in the South? On my 16th birthday, my folks sang Happy Birthday, I blew out the candles, and before I could finish eating one piece of cake, my dad says, "You're 16. Put on a tie and go get a job."

"Sure, dad. No problem."

His face pinched. He leaned toward me and said, "Right now. Put on a tie, go to the mall, and get a job."

I put the cake down, did as he said, drove to the mall, and walked into the first business closest to where I parked: Piccadilly Cafeteria. 10 minutes later I had a job as a dishwasher for $1.65/hour and they promised to accommodate my HS and football schedule.

Was home within 30 minutes of leaving. Dad refused to believe I got a job as I started eating as much friggin' cake as I wanted. Big fight followed until he called the manager to confirm my hiring.

Ahhhh, memories.

Later worked at the Sears restaurant doing the same thing with a little cooking. I was movin' on up.
 

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Since folks are talking about cafeterias, anyone remember Piccadilly cafeteria in the South? On my 16th birthday, my folks sang Happy Birthday, I blew out the candles, and before I could finish eating one piece of cake, my dad says, "You're 16. Put on a tie and go get a job."

"Sure, dad. No problem."

His face pinched. He leaned toward me and said, "Right now. Put on a tie, go to the mall, and get a job."

I put the cake down, did as he said, drove to the mall, and walked into the first business closest to where I parked: Piccadilly Cafeteria. 10 minutes later I had a job as a dishwasher for $1.65/hour and they promised to accommodate my HS and football schedule.

Was home within 30 minutes of leaving. Dad refused to believe I got a job as I started eating as much friggin' cake as I wanted. Big fight followed until he called the manager to confirm my hiring.

Ahhhh, memories.

Later worked at the Sears restaurant doing the same thing with a little cooking. I was movin' on up.
Piccadilly is still around, Sears not so much.

Ah yes, dishwashing, I'd poke head and arm holes in a 50gal trashbag, put it on and get to work.
Beat the worthless plasticized apron they gave us.
 
  • Like
Reactions: noboundaries

noboundaries

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Sep 7, 2013
9,585
4,257
Roseville, CA, a suburb of Sacramento
Piccadilly is still around, Sears not so much.
I just looked up a map of that mall, which is still there. The Piccadilly is now an Ultra store. Sears is gone. And an auto center where I worked installing tires and doing oil changes isn't on the map at all.

I guess once I quit they couldn't stay in business. :emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing:
 
  • Like
Reactions: 912smoker

bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,494
625
My gosh, Sears is gone!?!?!? Where do you go with a broken Craftsman socket?
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,494
625
You now have to replace it with some cheaply Chinese made garbage!
When I was young and strong I'd break sockets. Now I just drop them, they roll away and I lose them. Sears never warranted for clumsiness & loss...you had to bring in the pieces. So they went bankrupt? Guess I don't care.

I have gift cards for restaurants that have gone out of biz too. Sigh.

At least I'm still in business. My Dad was wise and kind enough to give me a bunch of his (and his father-in-law's) stuff while he was still alive. My sons have all bought their own tools by now so not sure anyone wants my junk when I pass.

But my old stuff sure gives sweet memories whenever I use it.
 

Hijack73

Meat Mopper
Aug 9, 2020
249
245
My gosh, Sears is gone!?!?!? Where do you go with a broken Craftsman socket?
Lowe's for swap outs. They honor the warranty. It ain't as good as it used to be. Most of my toolbox is full of 80's-90's Craftsman stuff, when it was still well made.

Handiest tool in my arsenal is a 20-25 year old 10 in 1 Craftsman screwdriver.

When I was a young fella, the little cafeteria in the West Monroe LA Sears had the best grilled cheese sandwiches on the planet. Second best was a little diner type place in Winnsboro LA near the Green Stamp store, I think it might have actually been a 5&dime, but I don't remember the 'brand'. My great grandma used to make an expedition out of that Green Stamp store :emoji_laughing:. It was a bit of a drive from what I recall but it was the closest one to us. I looked forward to those grilled cheese sandwiches...... hated waiting while she figured out what would get her the the most bang for her Green Stamps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chopsaw and bill1

Wurstmeister

Smoking Fanatic
For us it was "Woolworth's and "Sines 5 & 10", in Quakertown, and I was pre-teen & with my Mommy.LOL. Man that was in the early 50s!!!

Mrs Bear says the Sines 5 & 10 in Quakertown is still there & operating.

Bear
I recall the Harvest House in the original King of Prussia Mall (great/cheap date place!) and Plymouth Meeting Mall. They also had a Woolworths on the lower level close to the music store I managed. Great sandwiches and a FOUNTAIN soda!! Oh yea, don't forget Grants either. They were popular in my area of Norristown and towards Philadelphia.

OK, trip down memory lane folks... Anyone in the Phila, Baltimore, NYC area remember the Horn & Hardart automats? Even their mall coffee shops in the late 70s? They had the best coffee you could ask for! Beat Starbucks handsdown!

PROST!🍻
 

bill1

Master of the Pit
Apr 25, 2015
1,494
625
Lowe's for swap outs. They honor the [Sears] warranty....
Thanks Hijack71 !!
I split my time between Lowes and Home Depot so I've got one pretty close. Come to think it, I've seen Craftsman stuff there and that might have caused me to assume Sears was still in business.
 

DRKsmoking

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Jan 27, 2021
4,896
3,762
Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia ,Canada
WOW, thanks thirdeye thirdeye for this, lots of great memories here also.
We had a Woolworths and I would go there as a kid ( in the late 60's ) and they had the counter and a couple booths. They had the best Grilled Cheese sandwiches that I ever had. I was thinking about that recently.
It made me feel special to go there and order my own food and have the lady bring it to my table.

Than the K-Mart had Nuts that you could buy and they were in a big heated display case , I would always ask for a box of roasted Spanish Peanuts hot and salted ....what a treat.
And K-Mart also for awhile in our town had a donut machine that i was just amazed with. I would just stand there and watch the machine squeeze out the dough in the fat , it would float down the track than flip and cook other side , and than get pounded with sugar. YES of coarse I would get one of those hot also. The joys of having a paper route and your own money

Awww kid memories, Thank you

David
 

gmc2003

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Sep 15, 2012
13,807
9,124
Ah the memories. Back in the early 70's when I was about 10 years old I would either hitch-hike or take the bus downtown and meet my grandmother at the Woolworths lunch counter. She would treat me to a banana-split or a chocolate shake. Then we'd stroll thru the market place and talk about the old days. This continued until I was old enough to drive. Then I would pick her up and we'd go to lunch and just talk about anything that came to mind. I miss her so much. Our Sears didn't have a lunch counter, but Center's did(another five and dime type store). We went there once and a young fellow had an epileptic seizure and fell off his stool. It scared the living crap out of me. That was the last time we visited Centers(I thought it was because of the food).

Thanks again for the memories. It's too bad young kids can't experience what we did in the 70s. When my kids were ten we didn't let them off our street without parental supervision - let alone hitch-hike 15 miles.

Chris
 

Hijack73

Meat Mopper
Aug 9, 2020
249
245
Here's one for remembering.

BB's that came in a little packet (like a ketchup packet). I think they were a quarter circa 1980 and I got them at the gas station. I used to walk to it when I was 7-8 to buy mom a pack of smokes.

By about '83 (and I was 10) we had moved to a different town and the gas station I bought her smokes at didn't have those bb's in a packet. I was so disappointed. But, I could almost always find enough Coke bottles to buy the big tube of them by the time I emptied out my previous tube. Coke bottles were cash baby!
 
  • Like
Reactions: chilerelleno

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
But, I could almost always find enough Coke bottles to buy the big tube of them by the time I emptied out my previous tube. Coke bottles were cash baby!
When I was a kid, on Saturday mornings I'd scoured trashcans, construction sites for redeemable bottles.
I'd even 'steal' them off a back porch or two.
I could make enough for soda-n-snacks and pinball/video games.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hijack73

DougE

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Apr 13, 2010
2,614
2,760
Richmond,KY
I remember having a friend's mom sending us to town on our bikes to buy her cigarettes with a note from her. Late 70's I reckon, and we grew up in a small town where everybody knew everybody so the chick at the store knew who we were and who his mom was.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 912smoker