Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I will start this post with a comment from former Orlando resident Cherie from Dorchester, MA.
"Publix No. 19, you live forever in my heart. When I lived downtown, we drove to your lot just to see the giant fin. We called you Happy Publix. Just seeing you made us smile. When I lived down the road, I was a lucky girl. The staff always seemed friendlier than other markets. They had theme days and dressed as cowboys and such. Sometimes they just wore shirts that said "No. 19." So cool. After Skycraft, it is my second favorite landmark in Orlando. I'd forgo the wide aisles and expanded hummus selection of new supermarkets just to see that neon fin again..."
I pulled into this Publix parking lot when I got lost once looking for the Kerouac house in College Park. I just wanted to use the lot to turn around but the 1950s neon caught my eye and I knew I would have to go back. The original store was closed in 1998 after being open for business for 32 years. Plans were hatched to build a newer more contemporary market, but College Park residents wouldn't stand for it. The architects had to remodel the store and this 1950 retro look is the result. The Photo Mart scene in the Steve Martin movie "Parenthood" was shot in the parking lot of the original store.