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Even more memories of the West Manchester Mall

Signs for the anchor stores of the West Manchester Mall are seen in this September 2012 Daily Record/Sunday News photo by Paul Kuehnel.

While we often talk about York County “business memories” from longer ago, one topic that’s been of particular interest to me are the recent-ish memories of places like the West Manchester Mall. While the mall is still in business – though it’s certainly at a transition point after being sold late last year – there are certainly many changes that have taken place over the years and many stores of the past even there!

Today, I’d like to share some more West Manchester Mall memories received since our last installment in 2011!

Michelle asked about the mall, “Was a McCrory’s store there? And the pet store inside McCrory’s? I know there was one in the York Mall. There was also the pizza shop that had two entrances to it with lots of mirrors on the walls. Wow this is really pushing the WAY BACK BUTTON!”

That was neat to me – and yes, there was a McCrory’s – but the pizza shop was Sbarro’s, and it’s where I had my first job outside my family’s business! Jeffrey McCloskey had asked, “Any chance that pizza place was Pappy’s? Pappy Makes Me Happy!” While it wasn’t, you can certainly read more about Pappy’s here!

Jen recalls, “There was a Limited, McDonald’s, a phone store (before cell phones), Friendly’s and a pet store (I think) … jewelry store, a pizza place (forget the name).” Yep, Sbarro’s again, and yes, there was also a separate pet store, which is actually where my dog came from; he is the one and only pet I’ve ever purchased from a pet store, believe it or not; my others have all been rescues! I also considered some impartial pet advice I’ve gotten from a site like

Will writes, “There used to also be an Orange Julius there. That mall should have never let Walmart close off its entrance from the mall side. As soon as that occurred, the mall has been on a steady decline since.”

I definitely think that was a factor, Will, too! And also, if anyone hasn’t seen this yet, did you know that you can get Orange Julius again in York County – at Dairy Queen on Roosevelt Avenue in its new location in front of Weis! Our daughter took a tour of the DQ recently with a group of homeschoolers, and they mentioned Dairy Queen had bought the brand some time ago and had been slowly rolling out the products across its stores.

Mo notes, “I had forgotten about Hess’s!” Mo also recalled GeeBee’s at the other end of the mall when it opened.

And Nicole Hamilton said, “Yes, there was a McCrorys, also a Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug.”

Joyce Scarborough pointed out, “I loved Value City… where Kohl’s is located now. There were unique items in there that you couldn’t find anywhere else!”

Tammy writes, “I think at one point, wasn’t there a carousel in the center of the mall? Right outside of Bon-Ton?” There definitely was a carousel, but I believe it was farther down the mall at either the orange or yellow door!

And commented James notes, “The stores I can remember in no particular order: Fries, Etc.; Aladdin’s Castle (arcade); Friendly’s; TShirts Plus; Kay Bee Toys; Gee Bee; Irving Shoes; Hess; Limited; Gap; Sbarro; Claire’s; … and the cool fountains.” YES to those fountains! I only wish I had a picture of those.

The exterior of the West Manchester Mall is seen in this September 2012 Daily Record/Sunday News photo by Paul Kuehnel.

In some more memories, Jen N. notes, “I also remember there was Gee Bee’s where Kohl’s is now. I also remember the rest rooms used to be close to where the mall office is now. An Orange Julius was on the corner near Chick Fil A. I don’t remember that being there long. A few years ago, they used to have a dollar store where the karate place is now. That closed during one of the times the mall changed owners.”

Red noted one I had forgotten, saying, “I remember the cookie company. They had awesome chocolate chip cookie cakes and cookies. I remember one night someone put soap in the water fountain. The mall security was on high alert, but the fountain sure looked cool!”

Bev Hoffman said, “There was a pet store called Docktor Pet Center at the mall. We purchased a Japanese Chin there in 1987. We also purchased a 27 in. floor model Hitachi TV in 1995 from Rex electronic store. It still works as good as a new one. No repairs were ever needed. It is very sad to see what the mall looks like today. It was a good place to shop.”

Maryann noted the pet store as well as Regis Hair Salon, and said, “I am absolutely certain of this because my mom spent a few years working at both places. I also remember a Gardners Candy Store. They always had the largest selection of candy any little kid could dream of.”

Finally, I heard from Brett Wisotzsky that D.E. Jones, which I remembered at Delco Plaza, was originally at the West Manchester Mall. “I believe next to the Orioles Store, they then moved to the K-Mart side of Delco and if memory serves me right, they then moved into the Jo-Ann Fabrics area of Delco,” he said. Brett added that he’d love to see pictures from the mall’s heydey. He said, “I remember the green and white large plastic tiles on the walls that all the kids punched in!”

I’d love to see photos as well, for instance of the sunken brown seating areas that used to line the center of the mall!

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