Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Big Town and Big Lots


I'm sure a lot of Lorain Baby Boomers have pleasant memories of shopping at the Big Town store at the corner of Oberlin Avenue and Tower Boulevard. It was conveniently located nearby, and seemed to have just about everything you needed – similar to Walmart today.

I know my family was in there a lot when I was a kid. It was only a few minutes from our house, so it was a great place to pick up small stuff that we needed.

The Big Town out at the Ridgeville Shopping Center opened first. Then the Lorain outlet opened on Thursday, November 17, 1966 with the ad below appearing in the Journal the day before.



Big Town lasted into the early 1980's, but sadly the building was vacant by 1985. Fortunately, another business with 'Big' as part of its name recognized the location as a good one: Big-N-Small Lots. It first showed up in the 1989 book.

By 2003, the more familiarly-named Big Lots was listed at that location.

The Big Lots store on Oberlin Avenue in Lorain, located in the former Big Town store
Big Lots is a weekly stop for the spouse and me, part of the Saturday night routine after dinner at Mutt & Jeff's a few blocks away. It's a great store, a real necessity if you want to save money during these bad economic times.

But I'll probably always think of Big Town when I walk into that building.

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It's pretty hard to find any trace of the Big Town department stores on the internet. The words 'Big Town' seem to have been attached to several malls or shopping centers across the country that had nothing to do with the two Lorain County stores. I'm guessing it was purely a regional chain.

If anyone has any information about the Big Town stores, please leave a comment.

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