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COBWEB CORNERS: A grocery store, over the decades

By Mel McFarland

       In one of my first columns, I wrote about Colorado City's neighborhood grocery stores. After World War I, the big “chain” stores started expanding into our area. One of them was Safeway. You may be surprised at some of the elements of this history.
       Safeway entered this area in the late 1920s. The first store was in downtown Colorado Springs at 118 S. Tejon. The Tejon store moved to a larger store at 112 S. Tejon, and another was opened at 109 N. Tejon. With one at 123 E. Colorado, that made three downtown! Up north one was built at 717 N. Weber, and another at 332 N. Institute.
       On the Westside, a Safeway opened in 1929 in a former furniture store at 2503 W. Colorado Ave. (where the clock tower/Old Town Plaza is now).
       A decade later, there were more changes, including a modern development. Safeway started building what it called "drive in" stores. No, not that - these had parking lots next door. One was built at 418 W. Colorado.
       Farther west on the avenue, the Safeway at 2503 closed in 1942. It was replaced by a new store with a parking lot at 2306 W. Colorado Ave. Both store and lot remain today as the Goodwill retail store property.
       Other Safeways with parking lots were built at 230 S. Tejon and 217 N. Nevada. Over time, others were built at 2326 N. Wahsatch, 1905 N. Weber, 1200 S. Tejon and 720 Cheyenne Boulevard, replacing older downtown stores.
       In the late 1950s, Safeway changed its design again, and many of the older stores were sold off. A few of these buildings are still to be found, like the one at 418 W. Colorado, now considerably different in the front. Another store, built after World War II at 515 S. 25th St., was torn down in 2004 to make room for the U.S. Postal Service's Carrier Annex.
       The 25th Street Safeway was replaced by one on Colorado Avenue west of 31st Street. It too was replaced, in 1991, by a store slightly west of it in the same commercial center (the one we have today).
       Over the years the city has had other chain groceries, such as Piggly Wiggly and Furr's and later King Soopers.
       Safeway, like others, had standard patterns for its stores, even in the early days. This is how you can spot an old one. In many towns in the West you can still see stores like the one at 2306 W. Colorado.

Editor’s note: Cobweb Corners columns are ar-chived at westsidepioneer.com.