Ghosts of Riverdale Past - Coon Rapids, MN

Recently there’s been a lot of chatter amongst the townsfolk about the retail abomination known as Riverdale. Another round of store closures has people talking about what a massive failure this shopping cluster has always been, and why retail is the way it is, and who's to blame and all that kind of stuff. Bottom line being, more stores that people liked shopping at are gone. For whatever reason.

Which made me wonder, how many former businesses in Riverdale did I manage to get pictures of over the years? As I started going through the Riverdale picture folder on my external drive, I found far more than I'd expected. This is by no means EVERY former business that didn't survive the ridiculous conditions of shopping in my hometown, but it's an interesting peek into some of what didn't work.

I didn't live in Coon Rapids when Riverdale was built. When I moved back in 2003, I was horrified that the western sky now had a brilliant orange glow in the middle of the night. This was due to the hundreds of fluorescent parking lot lights that now beamed brightly at inappropriate hours.

Ask anyone around town and you’ll get a wide array of opinions on Riverdale. Of course the overwhelming response will be negative. No one seems to like what the city put in motion some 25-30 years ago, when this mess was planned out. What was originally talked about as an enclosed shopping mall, that would be along the lines of the existing four "Dales" around town (Southdale, Ridgedale, Rosedale and Brookdale) met endless delay and became this. A sloppy and awkward cluster of stores and difficult to navigate roads cutting through multiple parking lots with isolated entrances and exits. Despite years of planning, the end result gives Riverdale the appearance of being rushed. This seemed like a good idea to someone, and it is functional, but far from ideal.

It’s almost like the city had one goal: Move all the retail centers in town, to one (semi) central location.

Thus killing off our traditional shopping zones:

Coon Rapids Shopping Center

Dating back to the 1950’s, this used to be the heart of the city. A small cluster of in-line retail, with city hall across the street. The exodus began in the early 1990’s, leaving this part of town run down and sad looking. Finally, all remaining tenants were forced out in 2004, and the buildings were all demolished. Plans were to replace them with new residential neighborhoods, but it took until 2019 before anything was built on the site.

A few miles west of Coon Rapids Shopping Center was another area of key retail for the city...

Anchored by a large Target store, with additional retail surrounding the parking lot. Target closed in 1998, after the new Riverdale Target opened, and the other remaining businesses slowly disappeared. By 2012, all of the buildings were vacant and removed. Target was demolished in 2010, then replaced by an Ice Rink and Senior Apartments. Walgreens is the only retailer open in this stretch. In the early 2000’s, they built a new store on the grave of a bank and a delicious Mexican restaurant that I’ll cover later.

Across the street from the Target sits the Family Center Mall. This mall  is still here, although it’s been in a coma for close to 30 years. I took this picture of the sign in July 2018, and it displays 4 vacant panels. Both Mr. T’s Cleaners (“I pity the fool who doesn’t dry clean their underwear!”) and Temple Book and Bible have been absent in this mall for over a decade, but their signs remain up. Grand Slam and Marta’s are still open, as is a barber shop, but the rest of the mall is vacant. The north half of the mall was separated from the south half, and leased out to the school district for additional classroom space. 

At some point in the future, I plan on covering each of these places in greater detail.

Just not now, because we have to get to Riverdale to take advantage of the Going Out Of Business Sales at:

Bed Bath and Beyond!

A recent arrival to the Riverdale departing list, they still have a little bit left in them, before their final closing. I've never been inside, so theoretically I could check it out before the doors close. Then again, I'm kind of proud of the fact that I've never been inside a Bed Bath & Beyond...

However, it is a long time member of the community. So seeing it close is sad to some degree. After all, it looked exactly the same in 2011, so it scores some points for consistency.

Across the parking lot, next door to the place that sold me bifocals a few weeks ago, is Christopher & Banks. Well, it will be for a few more weeks. The company filed for bankruptcy on January 14, 2021, and are closing all of their stores. Another unfortunate casualty in the evolving retail market.

Dress Barn decided to pull the plug on themselves, and go online only in 2019. At the time of this decision, they operated 650 stores nationwide. All of them were closed by the end of December, 2019. 

I hadn't even noticed.

Thankful for that label scar, so I knew what this was.

JC Penney's closing was announced in the summer of 2020, and took Riverdale by surprise. They'd been an anchor in the complex since opening in 2002, with a large building at a prime location. But sales were lacking, and with the company itself struggling to stay relevant in today's economy, this store was an easy one to sacrifice.

I paid close attention to the store's closure, and made extra effort to be there on the last day that Riverdale's JC Penney was open to the public (October 18, 2020). I wanted to do a last day walk through, as it it would be as close as I'd likely get to legally explore an abandoned big box retailer. And I wasn't disappointed. This will be it's own story on here at some point in the future.

Just this week, the hot rumor has come out that Amazon wants to take over the JC Penney property, and convert it to an Amazon Fresh grocery store. As of right now, there is nothing official about this happening, but it's entirely possible. If it does, it will be interesting to see if the addition of Amazon to Riverdale could spur some new business activity around it? If done right, it could revitalize this dying shopping complex. Bringing in additional Amazon traffic could lead to other retailers snapping up some of the abundant vacancies around this store.

After all, the area has plenty of space for new retail.

For clarification of what I include as Riverdale, the older section, north of the highway counts. This chunk of stores was anchored by Cub Foods, WalMarts and Sears. Both Cub Foods and WalMarts are still open in their original building. But I hate both of them, so I try to not go there if at all possible.

Sears was a founding anchor of Riverdale when the first wave opened in (or around) 1990. With a large store on the far northwest corner of the complex, Sears came out of the gates strong. A few years later, when the development crossed the highway, Sears moved into an even larger store that I'll show later.

The previous Sears store was chopped into smaller retail spaces. Office Depot was one of the tenants of Ex-Sears. A couple of years after this photo was taken (in September 2012), these stores were joined back into one large store to make room for Hobby Lobby. Hirshfield's, Fitness 19 and Life Way were among the casualties. Metro Dental Care stayed in their storefront. However, Turn Style Consignment expanded into a larger space.

The Tile Shop was also swallowed up, but GNC remained. Likely because they were able to bulk up and put those Hobby Lobby wusses in their place. BEEFCAKE!!

Coon Rapids Floral and Gifts was no match for them either. They snatched that bouquet right from that wimpy raccoon's paws. Then stomped on the flowers, kicked sand in his face and stole his girlfriend.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit was eventually overcome by Starbucks. 

Eddington’s Soup and Salad evolved into Smash Burger. I never knew what Eddington's was until I was writing this and decided to look it up. I'd long assumed it was a women's clothing store.

Something like Fashion Bug?

Fashion Bug was already commencing with their Going Out Of Business Sale when I took this picture from across the WalMarts parking lot, in September 2012. Payless Shoe Source is long gone as well. Today, this space is a Sketchers Outlet store.

Conoco Freedom

I covered the gas station that used to live where chicken fingers are now served, a few months back. Go read that. 

And if you still need gas, you can go to SuperAmerica, on Main Street and River Rapids Drive. Although it's now called Speedway. Although, they were recently sold to 7-11. So who knows what this station will be called in the future.

Back in December of 2003, I had recently moved back to Minnesota from Colorado (and would leave again, 19 months later), and decided that I needed a Sony Playstation 2. A walk through the Riverdale Best Buy was wasted time, as they were sold out. My next try was the Game Stop, a couple of clusters of stores away from Best Buy. It was two weeks before X-Mess, so short supply had to be expected. I was just hoping to NOT have to drive to Northtown...

The Game Stop salesman introduced a pitch for the Game Stop special PS2 bundle. Which included the hardware, plus controller extension cords, a memory card, a second controller and a bunch of additional stuff, for $249.99. Well that sounds great, sign me up! Problem being, they were also out of PS2's...

So why waste my time with the informercial? He offered to call another store in the area, to see if they had any in stock. First store he called did indeed have a couple left, and would hold one for me. Cool. Let me guess, it's the Maple Grove Game Stop? 


It was the OTHER Riverdale Game Stop...

Why are (were) there TWO Game Stopses in Riverdale?

The other Game Stop did sell me that special PS2 bundle, and a few used games that I wanted. So all was good. Business was also good enough for Game Stop that they maintained the two Riverdale locations until at least September 2012, when I took this picture. This location has now been closed, but the one by Costco and Best Buy is still open.

The cluster of shops between Best Buy and Game Stop, included a Cartridge World (long gone), and several Space Available stores. Jimmy Johns is still there today, and has been since at least 2004. This location was the first Jimmy John's I'd ever eaten at. Thanks Nate! What a DEAL!

You get to pick your own sandwich!

That's funny to maybe two people...

Back in September 2006, there was one less Space Available store in this cluster. The storefront next to Jimmy John's was leased by Viking Discount Blinds. I have no earthly idea what they sold.

There still are quite a few stores that are open at Riverdale. But the biggest problem with that is they are so spaced out that you have to drive to each of them. Around a random maze of parking lot islands and roads, that parallel and intersect the main roads at select locations. Making navigating this place a nightmare. Especially if there's traffic. 

This place was not designed with convenience in mind. It was built to frustrate the shopper. Not foster a mood to spend money. One of the many reasons Riverdale is a moderate failure in dispensing commerce.

From September 2011. American Eagle Outfitters is still around today, but their neighbor, Aeropostale is not. Scrubs & Beyond is still open, but their logo has grown up considerably. Lane Bryant and Maurices have also demonstrated impressive longevity.

The main entrance to Riverdale, at Main Street and Riverdale Blvd. You know, I'm getting sick of the name Riverdale. The more you say it, the dumber it sounds. This town needs something else to be proud of. A few hundred feet in, you have to swerve your car around a pointless circle in the street. This could be a hazy memory, but I seem to recall a large fountain in that circle, during the earliest days of Riverdale. I could very well be wrong.

Either way, that circle in the road is even dumber than the name Riverdale.

The south end of Riverdale still features several larger open stores, like Party City, Petco, Office Max, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Michael’s and Home Goods.

Oh wait...

Office Max closed late last year...

I bought a nice paper shredder here for Laura last March. The store was looking pretty bleak at the time, and I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. Now Riverdale has no office supply stores, after playing host to both ends of the Office DepotMax two headed monster, just a few years ago. Both of these places were horribly overpriced, but I liked going to them to look at pens and higher quality notebooks. It’s a good thing my journaling has slowed in pace since I can’t seem to find the same style of notebooks that I’ve been using since 2005.

The south end of Riverdale is anchored by (the new) Target on the east side, and Home Depot on the west. Stores shown in the previous photo and listed on this 2012 sign, lined the middle between them. When the city coaxed Target into moving their store to Riverdale, they got fellow parking lot mate Rainbow Foods to come along with. 

Rainbow Foods previously anchored the in-line shopping center directly west of Target’s old store. After they moved out, that space was taken by Jubilee Foods for a few years, before becoming a Big Lots. Big Lots closed in either 2009 or 2010, and the entire shopping center was demolished in September, 2011. I do have to thank them for waiting until I was vacationing in Minnesota, to tear it down. That way I was able to get pictures!

Rainbow Foods lasted until July 2014, when the parent company (Roundy’s) couldn’t find a buyer for the chain, and closed all of the remaining stores. 

Rainbow even operated their own gas station in the parking lot. It was fully operational in this September 2011 photo, but I’m not sure when it closed. When I moved back to Coon Rapids in June 2018, it was still standing, but looked abandoned. And I didn’t take pictures of that because?

On July 11, 2018, I was in the right place at the right time and was able to photograph the tail end of the Rainbow Gas demolition. The banner in the background stating the car wash was open makes me wonder if someone was operating the gas station as a separate entity, after Rainbow Foods closed some five years earlier.

Sports Authority used to sell sporting goods in the Riverdale store that is now Sportsman’s warehouse. 

Despite not caring too much about Sports Authority as a store, I do have a soft spot for the company. Their former corporate headquarters was located in none other than Englewood, Colorado (my adopted hometown). Sports Authority officially ceased all operations nationwide in August, 2016. Leaving their former offices empty, soon after.

Vacant Sports Authority Corporate Offices, North Building. Englewood, CO. December 25, 2016.

Their old campus consisted of two large single level buildings, with a secured parking lot in between. It was two blocks long. Today, the north building is a Cube Smart storage facility. Originally, it was a Hugh M. Woods lumberyard. For a stretch of time in the late 1990's, it used to be an Office DepotMax store. This Office DepotMax store completely screwed up the printing of Wasted Quarter #49, by running the ink far too dark. So I put a curse on the building. If Cube Smart goes bankrupt, I'll know it worked. But I'm not there to see it...

I never ate at the Riverdale Green Mill. Although it was still open in 2011, by this time a year later the Green Mill was closed. The only time I patronized the chain was in December 1999, visiting some friends in Winona, MN. Remember liking the pizza, but not to the degree that I ever went back. We didn't have the chain in Colorado.

From our visit to the Winona Green Mill. I happened to leave with the "Reserved" table marker.

A closed up Riverdale Green Mill, September 2012. The space was eventually sectioned off, with the right side becoming a Five Guys Burgers. Their french fries are better than Green Mill pizza was. I guess there are still a few locations around town, and I even found Green Mill branded frozen pizza at the store, so despite the Riverdale location closing, they are still around.

Hey! I found the Riverdale fountain!

Archiver’s was a chain that I saw zero point in existing, and I found their premise to be almost insulting. For some reason they decided to price gouge people’s memories. Sure, you could take your family vacation photos and place them in an album, that’s easy enough to do. People have been doing it for decades. So let’s start a business to assist people in doing that, but we’ll charge them insane amounts of money to put that album together!

My ex-girlfriend was all into that crazy crap. Through her I got to see just how ridiculous their stores were. A simple photo album? $70. Then you’re gonna need a pack of rainbows, puppies and cake sprinkles stickers. That’ll be another $35. Then you’re gonna need special archival glitter pens. That’ll be another $20... And don’t forget the special Archiver’s glue! A tub of that is another $30! 

Don't get me wrong, I fully understand the premise of scrapbooking. Back in the gas station overnight shift days (instead of working), I would spend hours cutting up Xeroxed copies of pictures and text that would eventually come together to form an issue of Wasted Quarter. But those were costing me literal pennies to make. Archivers was born to help you spend $700 to put some pictures in an album. 

Shockingly enough, at some point, tens of thousands of middle aged women finally realized how stupid this whole premise was, and just stopped doing it. Archiver’s filed for bankruptcy in 2014, then closed all of their stores nationwide.

No word on if Ritz Camera and Proex Portraits demise was tied to that of Archiver’s…

She did once give me a pack of Major League Baseball officially licensed Montreal Expos scrapbooking thingies. That’s pretty cool. She always threatened to make me do something scrapbooky with them, but I resisted. Much rather keep them in their packaging like they are. Can’t imagine there are a whole lot of these out in the market today. I’m sure they set her back at least $45. And I probably paid for them myself, without knowing...

KFC was an original tenant of Riverdale. Moving from a restaurant in front of the old Target store, to a restaurant in front of the new Target store. (As was Carpet One behind it.)

Meanwhile, the old KFC became a tobacco store. Hard to say which is worse on your health, yummy nutritious cigarettes, or KFC's interpretation of fried chicken. Shown here in 2006, the KFC Smoke Shop was closed and demolished in 2011.

The new KFC closed in 2012. After a brief period of sitting empty, the building was renovated in the fall of 2012, to become a Popeye's Chicken. Just in case you wanted a slightly spicier variety of fast acting oily chicken dump.

Storchak Cleaners

Just noticed this place was gone, only a few months ago. I actually have ties to this dry cleaners, dating back to 1989, when it was located at the intersection of Hanson Blvd. and 121st Avenue. I worked afternoons for about a year. $4/hour, paid in cash. Got to watch a lot of TV while there.

South of Riverdale, sits the North Star Station. Where during select hours, you can hop a train to Minneapolis or Big Lake. Minnesota has a really half-assed system of mass transit. Instead of building a dedicated line, we'll just borrow the existing line when the regular freight trains aren't using them.

Yeah, that'll be efficient...

Between the train stop and the south end of Riverdale, there was an empty field. Now there's not. It's apartments. That empty field was the last recognizable piece of the farm that Riverdale was built on top of. Some 40 years ago, the only business operating on the future Riverdale was Bob Ring's Amoco station, just beyond the highway 10 exit ramp. (Sure wish I had a picture of that place). The gas station was demolished in the late 1980's, when Menards was expanding.

Menards built their first Coon Rapids store in the early 1980's. It started fairly small, but kept growing into the space around it. By 2007, that building was obsolete for their needs, and would be demolished in favor of a newer and larger store.

Heheheheheh... That sign says "nards".

Famous Dave’s

Nards' former neighbor, Dave’s, departed Riverdale last year. I’ve already covered it as much as I need to. My story didn’t get over well with the facebook folks who read it. Garnering such insightful and well thought out reviews as: “WTF?” and "Waste of my time!" and (picture of an actor from a TV show making a silly face). People likely didn’t get it, or take the time to figure it out, because it was a combination of three stories blended into one. A story of one night and the story of three weeks, wrapped around the closing and demolition of the Coon Rapids restaurant, that tied it all together. Timeline wasn't necessarily the most important factor involved in telling this story.

I stand by what I wrote. In fact, it’s one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written. 

So... Suck it!

Tucked back behind the McDonald's, was Klein Bank. Just a small, unassuming local bank that I'd never heard of before seeing it. It took over a failed restaurant in the early 2000's. Which was not the first failed restaurant to occupy this building.

Anyone remember Fazzoli's being open here for a few years?

It wasn’t this Fazolli’s, which is located in Onalaska, Wisconsin. But it had a similar design to the one in Riverdale that didn't survive for more than a couple of years. They may or may not still be open. This picture was taken in September 2018.

The Acapulco Mexican restaurant was a place I frequented during that 19 month stretch in 2003-2005, when I was living in Coon Rapids again. A couple years earlier, Walgreens decided they wanted the land that Acapulco was sitting on. Much like KFC, Acapulco moved from a restaurant in front of the old Target to a restaurant somewhat further away from the new Target.

I don't have a picture of the old Acapulco, but a little digging online brought up this:

Rocky Rococo was the original tenant of the old Acapulco building, who moved in once the pizza chain went under. This is also the only photo (from the late 1980's?) I know of that includes part of the old bank next door. I can't remember the name of that bank. All of this was demolished in favor of Walgreens in 2001 or 2002.

The new Acapulco left Riverdale a few years later, moving out of Coon Rapids completely, and into a nice large restaurant in Andover. If you want a great meal, I recommend the Carne Asada. Instead of using cheap beef, Acapulco serves theirs with Ribeye steak. 

Yeah, I think we need to have some Acapulco delivered this weekend...

As I said, I was at the Riverdale location quite often in 2003-2005. It was one of the places my friend Tracy and I would meet up every week or so. (Billy's and Frisky's in Anoka, being our other favorite drinking spots.) We'd sit for several hours, I'd usually write, she'd sometimes draw, while eating and drinking too much. 

Here's an excerpt from my journal on a day where we happened to encounter my good friend's birfday party:

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Tracy texted me this afternoon and asked if I wanted to meet for drinks at the Acapulco. Sure. They are out of Jack Daniels, so I'm drinking Jim Beam and Coke. There is a noticeable taste difference. The landlord from Kingpin is sitting at the entrance to the bar. She's been miniaturized. I'm trying to get Tracy to draw her. Next to her is a massive chick next to a pseudo-hot chick. Television above their heads repeatedly airing a commercial for really lame hand painted Alex Rodriguez commemorative quarters. By my third drink, they'd found some Jack Daniels for me, and my liquid lunch was calming my ills. We sat at our table for a few hours, quietly mocking those around us while eating free chips and salsa with our drinks. Just as we were getting ready to leave, we heard a loud guy walking through the parking lot, talking about John's birfday. So I called him from Tracy's phone when we got to my car, and he was also in the parking lot. Keith and his girlfriend were there, as was Sargent Sweet Ass, and a bunch of other people now setting up tables in the patio.

Guess we aren't leaving after all... 

I would be introduced to the town crier announcing the impending Dr. John arrival as Steve-O (or Lunchbox), John's future roommate. Tracy and I returned to our table previously abandoned with Keith and his future wife. The alcohol flowed freely for the next few hours, as the party alternated between surrounding tables in the bar and outside on the patio. All sorts of people I'd never met before kept talking to Tracy and I. No idea how much I drank that day, but I had a bunch of Jack and Coke, Jim and Coke, beer and at least three rounds of shots of something that John kept ordering for our table...

Aaron (not me, another guy with my name) showed up at one point in the night, I hadn't seen him in years. He sat down at our table, next to Tracy. He told me that he also lived in Denver for a few years, and knew the area I lived in well. We talked about Denver, exchanging stories of places we both knew of for a while. The party around us raged until bar close. Slowly dissipating the attendees in the parking lots, as we slowly went our separate ways. A wasted Dr. John took off with Sgt. Sweet Ass, other people I didn't know a few hours prior, but spent a fair chunk of time talking with bid their goodbyes and left. Aaron, Tracy and I continued talking in the parking lot for a while until we were the last ones left. Then I drove her home, where we drank more until way late in the morning.

Some days were insane...


Borders was my favorite store at Riverdale, until it closed. It was a nice low-key place to kill some time. It was quiet, and had tons of stuff that was interesting weather you bought it, or just sat down in a chair and looked at it for a while. Bought several books and magazines there during 2003-2005. Borders closed their retail stores nationwide in 2011.

In September 2011, the closed up Borders temporarily became a Halloween Store. Today, it's T.J. Maxx. A chain I never pictured surviving, as it rose to prominence in the late 1980's. Looking at the history of the company, in it's earliest days, it actually has ties to defunct discount retailer Zayre's. 

I don't know when the Riverdale Bennigans closed, but this picture from September 2012 has a banner announcing an Online Auction of restaurant fixtures. Guess that means it was a fairly recent closing, despite the chain having filed for bankruptcy over four years earlier.

Bennigans was demolished in May of 2013. As soon as the rubble was cleared, construction began on a Chick Fil A restaurant, that opened later that fall. My mom became one of the first employees. She also took this picture. And several others in this story (including the Rainbow from the top of the page, the closed Green Mill, and one other coming up soon). Since I was living 1000 miles away at the time, she kept an eye out for closed buildings that I may have an interest in. Sending me photos developed from old school 35mm film. Neither of us had any idea they'd be used in this fashion someday, but I'm sure glad she did the work. Stories like this one would be lacking without their inclusion.

Yet another business to move from the Family Center Mall area, was the Old Country Buffet. After a decent run, the OCB closed for about a year, got a makeover, and re-opened as:

Golden Corral.

Both buffets. Both serving food that my digestive system did not like and would quickly let me know it. I never ate at the Riverdale Golden Corral, but did occasionally meet up with coworkers at the Golden Corral in Sheridan, Colorado, for breakfast after our respective graveyard shifts. Since the food was poor at best, they used to make fun of me for going to a buffet and only eating Strawberries and Bacon. Well, those two things didn't make me ill, strawberries are expensive and bacon is a pain in the ass to cook!

A few years back, Golden Corral unveiled an advertising campaign with new spokesman, annoying redneck comedian, Jeff Foxworthy. He enthusiastically did his over the top gee golly good ol' boy schtick for 25 seconds, his commercials wrapped up with the Corral's new slogan: “Mmmm Mmmm 'Merica!”

A catchphrase so awful that it became the inspiration for one of the (only) three episodes of the Professional Weirdo Podcast, that my friend Brad and I recorded in 2015. 

Golden Corral closed this location in early 2019. It has sat vacant ever since.

I blame Jeff Foxworthy.

Pier 1 Imports closed, and no one even noticed.

Earlier, I mentioned that Sears had moved from their smaller store at the northwest corner of Riverdale, to a much larger store in the heart of Riverdale. A store so large, I couldn't fit it all into one picture from the end of the parking lot. Judging from the capacity of the parking lot, there's not a lot of shoppers in the middle of a September 2011 afternoon.

Sears closed this -and pretty much every other- store a couple of years ago. This is a huge empty space, and with the retail market the way it is today, I don't know who even could move into this space as is. Even with chopping it apart into smaller stores, is there enough demand to accomplish this today? Especially given the other vacancies in Riverdale? 

Sorry to say, Sears is likely to stay empty for a long time.

Shame that whatever happens to this building, these awesome Sears door handles are likely to be removed. 

Perhaps Sears goes the route of Sterling State Bank? Once stood at the corner of Main and Round Lake, the bank didn't succeed and after about a decade, closed its doors. Despite being a nice looking structure, with a bunch of possible uses, no one wanted the former bank as it was.

So in February 2014, it was demolished. This is another photo my mom took, and it's awesome. You've got the shovel inside the building, with a collapsed roof around it. You can even see the pilot inside! I love photos of half-intact buildings, and this is one of the better ones in my collection. 

WellHaven Pet Health built a veterinary clinic on this spot.

I don't know about you, but it's late, it's been a long day at Riverdale and I want to go home.

I grew up a few miles east of where Riverdale would eventually be. I didn't live in this state when it was built and evolved into what it is today. But today, I live just a few blocks west of it. For better or worse, I deal with Riverdale on just about a daily basis. While it's not a front row seat, I have a reserved club level seat in watching what happens to Riverdale over the next few years. And who knows what is even going to happen with retail in the future? 

When this complex was planned and built, internet shopping wasn't reality. 25 years later, internet shopping has changed how people get what they need. You don't have to go to a store to buy things anymore, and a growing number of people just don't. So what happens to this place as time goes on and retail is less and less about brick and mortar stores?

No one knows. 

A lot of people have theories. 

Thanks to that same internet, they all have a forum to voice all those theories.

While they shop online for stuff they're no longer able to get from a store that's no longer there.

But that's life in the 21st Century!

Speaking of something that's only funny to a couple of people...


  1. I remember going to see Pulp Fiction in the movie theater. It was bizarre, and I didn't fully get it by the time it was over, but I at least had a basic understanding. I wasn't in a hurry to see it again, but a conversation some months later inspired me to rent it, back in the waning dayS of VHS glory. KNowing what i was getting, essentially, made the story far more interesting to watch, even though i had seen it all. Perhaps a second read of your Famous DAves story would elicit a similar response. I'm not going to find out, but yeah, you're like Quinten Tarranitino. You love the story you put together, but most of us won't, at least the first time. But you're not Quentin Tarrantion, so most of us won't read it a second time. YOu love it, that's all that matters. If that's the first blog of yours somebody reads, perhaps they never read your blog again, because they will think you suck. Regular readers may think of it as your "fly" episode of Breaking Bad. The fly episode was slow and boring. Or if you tihnk you're artsy, it was this beautfiul, introspective piece that you loved. Both are correct. Perhaps FAmous DAves is a beautiful, introspective piece that a reader or two love. You love it, and years from now, you'll be grateful you put all those time and thoughts into writing it and saving it on a blog. That's all that matters.

  2. This is such a great write-up of Riverdale past and present. The Bernie meme is a nice touch! I lived in a small town while Walmart was rising to prominence and grew up watching all the small stores downtown close and people flocking to Walmart for cheaper wares. A lot of store owners and workers lost everything and ended up working at Walmart for much less. Walmart sucked every dime out of that town, much like what Amazon is doing to brick and mortar stores now. Progress?


Post a Comment

Someone else liked these...

Abandoned Retail - Sears - St. Paul, MN

Abandoned Choo-Choo - Caboose Hobbies - Denver, CO

Abandoned Mall: Villa Italia Mall - Lakewood, CO

What Happened to Clark's Submarine Sandwich?

Abandoned Auto - Saxon Motors - Elk River, MN

Abandoned Retail - Brookdale Mall, Sears & Perkins!

Abandoned WalMarts over Apache Plaza

Let's Go to the Minnesota State Fair!

1993 Topps Finest Refractors Top Whatever...