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Recent short odds and ends on stores and restaurants of the past

I received a number of new questions over the past couple of weeks on York County’s former stores and restaurants – ones we haven’t necessarily talked about in past columns, in many cases.

I thought it might be fun to share those today and see what new info we can turn up for these questioners!

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What’s inside

1. Info on East Market Street 5-and-10
2. Seeking background on Fireside Restaurant
3. Grocery store on East Princess Street

1. Info on East Market Street 5-and-10

First off, I heard very recently from a reader named Denise who wrote that she is a lifelong Yorker, born in 1963. “I am interested in information on the movie theaters and 5-and-10 that used to be in the 500 block of East Market Street. I was told that the 5-and-10 was crashed into by a train then moved to the 700 block of East Market Street, where I remember it being. I remember my mom telling me about the theaters but not the 5&10. Please help!”

Denise, thanks for writing! I’m pretty sure the theater you’re talking about was at 525 E. Market St. It was first called the York Theater, but by the time Denise came along it would have been called the Holiday – the name took effect in 1957 and remained until the theater closed in 1968.

As far as the 5-and-10, though, I got a bit stuck. There were a number of those on West Market Street over the years – F.W. Grand at 54 W. Market; A.S. Hershey at 367-369 W. Market; and L&H around the 600 block of West Market (at Belvidere) – not to mention Kresge’s and McCrory’s right near the square. On the east side of the square was G.C. Murphy, and then Crider’s and Stillman’s in the first block or so.

I know someone is going to write in and tell me what store this is and I’m going to feel dumb that I couldn’t figure it out, but don’t let that stop you – I’ve felt dumb plenty of times before, and Denise would love to know. Bonus if you have pictures, which she said would be great to see!

2. Seeking background on Fireside Restaurant

Reader Michael Dravk wrote that he is “curious on the history of the former Fireside Restaurant. I worked there for 10 years until it closed in 1985. Red Lobster bought it for the liquor license. Who built it and when?”

We’ve talked about this just briefly in the distant past – longtime reader Barry Ness mentioned its location as where Action Motorsports and Fox Pools are now on Whiteford Road in a 2011 column – but have not mentioned it other than that as far as I can tell!

So I would love to hear more about this former restaurant from all of you.

(Fun note: When I dug up that 2011 column, I mentioned that I had 275 emails and 20 handwritten letters in my “to share” queue and I was very stressed out about this volume. As of today’s writing, I have about 580 emails and about 40 handwritten letters, so I’ve just about doubled the number of future items. I will make no comments on the percentage increase in my stress level in the intervening nine years.)

3. Grocery store on East Princess Street

Finally for today, I want to help out longtime reader Joyce Moul, who wrote to me recently, “OK, Joan, this is driving me crazy. What is the name of the grocery store that used to be in the middle of the block on East Princess Street in York near Albemarle in the ’60s? My aunt Cass worked there as a cashier and she is long gone. I just can’t recall the name.”

In good (?) news for Joyce, I could not remember it either, nor could brother-in-law extraordinaire and lifelong Yorker Mike Smith, who was the recipient of a 10 p.m. text for help as I tried to finish this column. So, loyal readers, help us all out here?

Have questions or memories to share? Email me at or write to Ask Joan, York Daily Record/Sunday News, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any phone calls with questions or information.

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