COBWEB CORNERS: The little groceries... and Safeway

By Mel McFarland

       I talked a long time ago about the need for neighborhood grocers. Last week I talked about those along Colorado between 29th and 31 st, but there were dozens of others. With refrigeration being ice, no one kept much fresh meat or eggs very long. Wives shopped for items almost five days a week. I can remember when I lived in that area there were probably six families that even kept chickens for eggs and Sunday dinner! Right in the center of Kiowa, across from Whittier School in the 2900 block, is a house that was a grocery store into the late 1950s.
       Safeway has been on the Westside since the 1930s. The buildings they used are still standing! One is the Glass Shop on Colorado just past Spruce, under 1-25. The other is the Goodwill Store in the 2300 block of Colorado. Safeway had a newer store just south of the Midland Expressway, that was part of El Paso Community College, (Later Pikes Peak Community College) as well as other things, but we also remember the earlier one east of the present one, with its grand laminated beam roof.
       There were also two Safeways in Colorado Springs. Both are gone. One was where the judicial building stands at Vermijo and Tejon. The other was on Nevada, south of Platte, where the YMCA is now located.
       My favorites were the little neighborhood stores, much like today's convenience stores. Some are still standing, but have been converted into other uses, mainly as homes. There is one not far from the Westside Pioneer office, on Bott, that's now a cake shop. I was recently at Sacred Heart Church and remembered the store that was across from West Junior. As a child living on Kiowa, it was not actually on my way home from Buena Vista School, but it was where I started my baseball card collection. I was not much of a baseball card collector, but another company had cards with cars on them, which I saved until I was in high school! There were probably eight or ten of these little stores between 8th Street and 19th Street, but the ones I remember most were from 19th to 31st.
       Ah yes, four or five young lads, spending part of our lunch money on a ten- cent soft drink, baseball cards or candy on our way from a hard day at school!