Watertown Neighborhood Grocery Stores – Landon and Smithers
One of the Watertown neighborhood grocery stores serving the east side was Landon and Smithers on the corner of State Street and Michigan Ave. Not much information can be found on this particular store, though it wasn’t uncommon during the era for mom and pop stores to come and go within a short period of time.
Within recent times, the location had been home to Suk Hui Hi’s Korean Restaurant for over twenty years. The restaurant would close its doors in 2019 after the matriarch of the establishment retired.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, there were as many as 87 neighborhood grocery stores operating in the city back in 1907. While there will always be a place for chains – some of them serving up a number of fond memories themselves such as the much-beloved Mohican, there’s something about the neighborhood stores and their place within our communities, and particularly our childhood memories, that made them endearing.
Over the years, more and more large grocery stores infiltrated the area offering more competitive pricing, and larger varieties of goods. A&P, Weston, Super Duper, P&C and many others have come and gone through the years and while the neighborhood grocery stores are (very) few and far between, if you look around, you still might see a little mom and pop store… somewhere.
In an ever-evolving world, it’s the chain stores themselves who now face stiff competition from the likes of large conglomerates such as Sam’s Club and Walmart, or the likes of Amazon.com. While some of them may be able to boast even MORE offerings and DEEPER discounts, they’ll never aspire to be, and thusly never match, the quaintness of the old neighborhood grocery stores.
As one astute commenter, Lee Crandall, wrote on the You Haven’t Lived in Watertown, NY if— Facebook page,
In most American cities our zoning laws have put this type of store out of business. So now we miss out on the interaction with neighbors, drive miles to a big box store, get less exercise, and waste fossil fuels to get the stuff that used to be at the corner store.
A list of neighborhood grocery stores in Watertown over the years include the following below (feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional ones not mentioned.)
Aboud & Bahou
Academy St Market
Boora’s Soda Shop
Breen Avenue Market
California Fruit Market
General Store, Coffeen Street
Clay Street Market
Cooper Street Market
Derrigo’s Fruit Stand
Gayle Street Market
Gotham Street Market
Habeeb Bros. Red & White
Hickey’s Grocery Store
Johnnie’s Fruit Stand
LeRay Street Market
Meadow Street Market
Rocky’s Fruit Stand
Tony’s Fruit Stand
To see more Watertown neighborhood grocery stores like Landon and Smithers, click here.