Friday, March 06, 2009

JUNKYARD EXPLORER: DESERTED PAINESVILLE TOPS STORE

When I lived in Painesville, the Finast supermarket was my favorite place to find groceries. This store, a former Pick 'n' Pay, was located on Mentor Avenue. Eventually, the company decided to build a new, larger location next door - and it proved to be a very profitable improvement over the old building.

But when parent company Royal Ahold of the Netherlands decided to merge these Cleveland stores into the New York 'Tops' chain, a reversal of fortune occurred. Sales plummeted, and Giant Eagle moved into the market, buying out Rini-Rego Stop 'n' Shop. The result was devastating. Barely a decade after opening, this food emporium closed forever. But the shell remains, bearing testimony to past glory...


Finast opened this new location in the mid-90's - at one time it was the busiest store in town. I shopped here frequently while living on Chestnut Street.



Tops failed miserably in northeastern Ohio.



Peering into the closed store... an eerie view, indeed.



Another view of the front doors.




The old entrance sign waits for renewed purpose on Mentor Avenue.




This stray sign was in the Tops parking lot.

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