Southgate Mall; Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Southgate Shopping Center, later Southgate Mall, was the first significant post-World War II suburban-style shopping center in the Milwaukee area. In 1949, local brewery supplier (how very Milwaukee) Kurtis Froedtert laid the framework for Southgate and three other major suburban-style shopping centers in the area, during a period of this kind of retail development nationwide. Southgate Shopping Center was the first of these planned centers which would rim the city; the others were Westgate (later Mayfair) and Northgate (Bayshore?).

Southgate Mall in Milwaukee, WILocated on what was then the far south fringe of the city of Milwaukee, Southgate was not randomly placed but rather strategically situated. On one side of Southgate were the older, ethnic neighborhoods which created Milwaukee to the north and east, and on the other were vast expanses of immense suburban growth to the south and west. Also, Southgate was placed directly on Highway 41 (27th Street), which was then the major thoroughfare from Chicago on up to Green Bay and all points in between before freeways took over.

When Southgate opened in 1951, it was essentially an anchorless strip mall, with 20 stores under the same canopied roof. Yet, because this type of development was so innovative, people flocked from all over southeastern Wisconsin to Southgate. In 1954, Southgate finally got an anchor in Milwaukee-based Gimbel’s department store. Krambo’s grocery store opened on the opposite end of the center a year later in 1955, and the center retained its immense popularity. But of course this probably comes as no shock, considering there was no other competition like it anywhere in the area. Very soon, though, this would change as other similar shopping centers opened around the city during the 1950s – Bayshore in 1954, Capitol Court in 1956, and Mayfair in 1958. These centers didn’t quite steal Southgate’s thunder, but rather were peers who held their own in the respective regions of the city they covered. Southgate reigned as the dominant south side shopping center until 1970, when a monster appeared to change Southgate’s fortune forever.

Southgate Mall Pill & Puff in Milwaukee, WISouthridge Mall opened a few miles to the south and west of Southgate in suburban Greendale in 1970. A self-contained shopping environment, Southridge outclassed Southgate in nearly every way. For one, it was gigantic in comparison. Almost ten times larger than Southgate at that point, Southridge featured 5 anchors on two enclosed levels, and to this day is one of the largest malls in the state. Also, Southridge was closer to the growing, suburban-middle class population in the suburbs.

As shoppers flocked to Southridge, Southgate decided it had no other choice but to renovate (Yes, I just personified a mall here). In 1971, Southgate aggressively repositioned itself through an expansion which doubled the size of the mall and enclosed it, giving it some leverage on Southridge’s success. Southgate soldiered on through the 70s and 80s as an ancillary enclosed mall of about 500,000 feet, including anchor stores. In 1986 the main anchor was swapped as one heritage Milwaukee store replaced another, when Gimbels closed and its space was immediately taken by Boston Store.

However, any measure of success ended in 1994 when two of the largest stores occupying 40 percent of the mall closed, Boston Store and Woolworths. From then on the mall slowly deteriorated into a shell of its former self, with more and more vacancies as time went on. In 1995, Media Play and Trak Auto were to split the anchor space and help revive the mall but it never came to fruition. Then, in 1998, Southgate Mall’s ownership changed hands and the new owners announced that most of the mall would be demolished for a Wal-Mart store.

Southgate Mall Wal-Mart in Milwaukee, WIAnd so it was. During the Summer of 1999, most of the structure was demolished and a huge standalone Wal-Mart was put in its place in 2000. Walgreens relocated to a different side of the property and the Marcus Cinemas remained, as well as a small outdoor portion of the old mall which ironically was part of the original 1950s Southgate. This is pretty much how it is today.

As I never got to see Southgate apart from driving by, all our photos came from contributor John Gallo. The Gimbels and interior shots were taken in 1986 or prior, the Boston Store shot was taken sometime between 1986 and 1993, and the others are a more recent depiction of how the site looks today (post-1999). If you have any more pictures of the “old” Southgate, in any of its incarnations, feel free to send them in and we’ll post them.

Southgate Mall Walgreens in Milwaukee, WI Southgate Mall Woolworth in Milwaukee, WI Southgate Mall Boston Store in Milwaukee, WI

Southgate Mall Marcus Cinema in Milwaukee, WI Southgate Mall Walgreens in Milwaukee, WI Southgate Mall in Milwaukee, WI

161 thoughts on “Southgate Mall; Milwaukee, Wisconsin”

  1. Sweet vintage photo set. John Gallo is our savior of the past! The mall looked like quite a bunkered tunnel of a center. Dark, dark, dark too. Intruging fate for both malls though, Wal-Mart (often called “Mal Wart”) taking over a former mall site seems *so* today.

    I hear Southridge is lackluster (probably why Taubman sold it) and just doing alright. Prangeway, you must have some memories of this place being in your hometown.

  2. Yes, Southridge is Taubman through and through. It’s going through renovation right now and some repositioning to make it more competitive. Mayfair is the uber-dominant mall in the Milwaukee area and sort of trounced everything else, but Southridge is far from being dead or anything. I’ll probably post it on here soon/eventually.

  3. Southridge (and its former sister mall, Northridge) were both Taubman designed & built.

    Southridge is now owned by Simon. Knowing the clout that they have in the retailing world, they should be able to bring that mall up to a competitive level with Mayfair. Trouble is…..they better prepare for what’s to come, because Delafield is getting Pabst Farms Town Centre, which will be, from what I hear now, enclosed, and with some A-level retailers.

    I always wanted to visit Southgate because of its ‘historic’ aspect of being Wisconsin’s first ‘suburban’ shopping center. The interior shots of the mall really speak of its vintage 1971 design when it was enclosed. That is what the mall looked like before It got a full blown remodel in the early 1990s….its last ditch attempt to survive. The reason the concourse is so narrow and low is because the ‘ceiling’ is actually the former canopy of the original building..

    That Gimbles store looks ancient. Doesn’t look like Boston Store did much with it either when they took over.

  4. Darn those big box stores that don’t open into the mall. Curse them all.

  5. The Boston Store sign on that old Gimbels was a major buzkill. Then agian, the building would have had to have been twice as big for BS to have pulled off the one letter per panel thing Gimbels did. 😆

  6. Pill & Puff, I love it! What’s the story with that place?

  7. Pill & Puff is a convenience chain in Milwaukee. Not surprisingly they sell medicine and cigarettes, and other 7-11 type stuff. They apparently still exist in downtown Milwaukee according to the internets.

  8. Although I grew up in San Francisco, my parents were originally from Milwaukee, so we used to spend summers there, visiting family. Gimbel’s Downtown was ‘Mom’s Store’ since she had worked there during WWII, and Uncle Louie still worked in the deli (he was always good for a piece of bologna, helping, even then, to clog our young arteries). What a store Gimbel’s was! They really had everything under one roof. Books, records, furniture, deli, cheese, major appliances, and so on. They even had a bargain basement, where you could find bargains from their sister-store, Saks Fifth Avenue. Since the family lived north and west of the city, we spent more time shopping at Downtown and Capitol Court then we did at Southgate,, but I did venture out on my own one summer in the mid 70’s after I got my license. IIRC, Gimbel’s never really sunk any money into Southgate, preferring to build bland new stores in Southridge and Northridge, and it maintained that warm, 50’s look with tall circular columns; wide, spacious aisles; thick, neutral-colored carpeting; and friendly, motherly sales ladies who wore high heels and pearl chokers. Boston Store didn’t change the look much either, and then, suddenly it was gone.

    The sad irony is that, unlike NY and Philadelphia, the Milwaukee division of Gimbel’s was profitable when BATUS decided to unload the chain in 1986. What a shame that nobody saw fit to buy the company whole and keep a truly historic American retailing name intact.

  9. Thank you so much for posting this! Having grown up in the area in the 1980s, I loved seeing the old Gimbel’s and Southgate I remember. Does anyone know who removed the Gimbel’s sign from the store when it went out? I know a lot of signage companies save them. It would be great to see if the letters still exist.

  10. Wow, looking at the entry on this mall, I see I was right in thinking that this was the abandoned mall that I peeked into, on a vacation I took to Milwaukee in 1999! I also remember the Marcus Theaters multiplex being on the other side of the parking lot from where this mall stood, too.

    Not surprisingly too, Southgate Mall was noticibly gone, the next time I vacationed to Milwaukee, and drove by where this mall once stood.

    Also speaking of this mall, isn’t there a Boston Market right near where this mall once stood? I swear I remember seeing one not far away from here, back when I peeked into the interior of this then-abandoned mall.

  11. I even saw a movie at that nearby Marcus Theaters multiplex, on the same trip I took to Milwaukee in 1999, and saw the then-abandoned Southgate Mall(this was during a family vacation to Milwaukee I went on that year). It’s interesting to think that Southgate might’ve been the first enclosed mall(or at least, one of the 1st enclosed malls) in the Milwaukee area, too.

  12. I believe Pabst Farms is actually in Oconomowoc. They already have housing and a couple of strip mall centers in (Pick n Save anchors one of them) but the enclosed mall hasn’t broken ground yet.
    GREAT pics-I grew up in Racine myself, and just asked my husband (who grew up in Milwaukee) if he knew there was a Boston Store at Southgate at one point (I never knew that!) I live in Phoenix now and miss BS terribly…Macy’s is taking over big time out this way…

  13. As far back as I could remember (I’ve lived in Milwaukee since 1985), this mall was pretty cramped and run-down. I recall the Gimbel’s was still there as late as 1986. Even as late as 1990, the Boston Store (which replaced Gimbel’s as the anchor) was still there, and most of the store spaces were occupied. Still, the entire place always seemed stale and outdated.

    By the late 80s, it was pretty obvious that the mall’s owners weren’t putting any more money into the place, even for basic upkeep. The mall just seemed to get dirtier and more seedy-looking all the time. Even worse, it had a terrible, ancient ventilation system. As a result, the mall always reeked of cigarette smoke and was hot and stuffy inside, even in the dead of winter. Not a very inviting place to linger around and browse.

    By the time the wrecker’s ball fell in the mid-1990s, it had been obvious for quite some time that nobody cared much about this place anymore–neither the owners nor the shoppers. Which is sad, because I’m sure at one point (long before I arrived in Milwaukee) this was probably a very nice place to shop.

    The area around the mall (now Mal-Mart) still seems to be in decent economic shape. There are large and well-maintained chain stores a little bit to the south, such as Kohl’s, Office Max and Pick ‘n Save, and some decent family-type restaurants. Just to the north, Leon’s custard, a famous Milwaukee landmark for many years, is still going strong in its original location. Also just to the north, there’s a major medical center (Aurora-St. Luke’s), which has undergone a huge expansion in recent years.

    (P.S.: Outstanding photo! The green AMC Matador coupe parked in the foreground is really a classic “hideous 70s” touch, and helps to date the photo. I believe AMC made them for only about two years around 1973-75, and it’s doubtful there were many still running by 1980.)

  14. Is that a Malco theater in those photos? I had no idea they existed outside Memphis.

  15. I worked at Southgate in the 90’s. It did not seem like many people were really shopping. Walkers were using the mall for excersise ( on the north end of the mall the floor was higher, so this was a great floor to walk), and the Men’s bathroom was used for sexual activity. There was alot of stealing going on, among the shoppers, not just in the stores. The security guards could hardly walk. It was like a scary movie!!! I heard that it was really GREAT at ONE time… I went through thre empty Boston store and that place was REALLY Creepy. I will never forget it!

  16. I recently got together with some old friends from junior high and as we reminisced, Southgate came up. Now I’m trying to compile a list of stores that I can remember from it: Moon Fun Shop, Gimbel’s, Boston Store, Woolworth’s, Walgreen’s, Hammond Organ Store, Hallmark, a pet shop, a cobbler, The Record Shop… I’m trying to jog by memory and the pictures sure did help, but I know I’m missing quite a few from the late 70s and into the mid 80s. I can’t seem to come up with any clothing store or jewelry store names, but am sure they were present. Can anyone add to the list above?

  17. oh… one more, the T-Shirt Shop where you could buy a T-shirt and they had a zillion transfers for you to choose from. They’d press it onto your new T-shirt before your eyes!

    And traveling south of the mall you’d find 1812 Overture which became Mainstream Music store (and was it ever a Peaches?) I remember camping out in line for concert tickets there for bands like Fleetwood Mac, Queen, ELO, Foreigner and Styx. And Captain’s Steak Joint used to be wear Paul’s Omega is now. They had this cheesy fondue stuff they were always known for. This was a high-classed dining experience for me at the time as I was only used to McDonald’s and Suburpia!

  18. You know how you can tell you’re getting old? Well, one sure way is if you recall the days malls were referred to as “shopping centers,” and they housed stores that offered things you actually needed as opposed to selling you more crap you just wanted: hardware stores, grocery stores, pet shops, sewing and office supplies. Now you go to super big-boxes for all that, and if you don’t need shoes or blue jeans, there’s barely a reason to even go to the mall anymore period. Ack!

  19. Suzie, the T-Shirt store was called Rick’s T-Shirts he is still located on 27th Street across from Leon’s. As far as stores from back in the day, Stones Jewlers, Roger and Hollands, Betty of Winneka, Marriane and Marriane Plus, Dartmouth Clothing stores, Mike Crivello’s, Hush Puppies, Gloria Jeans, Alan Pruess Florists, Time Sqaure, Earring Tree, Two + Two, Regis Hairstylists, Zales, Quality Candy, Buddy Squirrel, Jerry’s Sub Shop, Kay Bee Toys, Hi-Way Shoe Repair, Baskin Robbins, Brauns, Books and Things, Foot Locker, Stein Optical, Walgreens, Gimbels, Boston Store, Woolworths, Pill and Puff, Mainstream Records, Bank Mutual, Payless Shoes, Musicland, Dunham’s Sporting Goods, Captain’s Steak Joint, Krambo, Spic and Span, Singer Sewing Machines, SS Kresge, Earring Tree, Trade Secret, Sizes Unlimited, the Avenue. Lynn’s Hallmark. Anyother questions?

  20. Gimbels had the greatest restaurant inside it. My mother and I still (30 years later!) talk about their chicken pot pie – which was a scrumptious thick mixture of white meat chicken, peas, carrots, an onions all in a rich sauce and topped with a piece of puff-pastry that fit perfectly over the top. It came in two sizes – roughly “cup-sized” and “bowl-sized” and even though we were both hearty eaters we always just had the cup serving. It may have come with some side – a small fresh (!) salad or fruit coctail – and we could always count on the pot pie to be consistantly delicious. The waitresses were all “seriously old” to me – I doubt any were younger than 50 – and they all wore those hideous fitted uniforms and aprons that had to be starched daily, and with those little caps on their heads.

    Speaking of food – I’d KILL for the recipe for Captain Steak Joint’s cheese fondue that was complimentary when you had to wait in the bar for your table. It came with these sinful buttery herbed crouton chunks that were delicious just by themselves.

  21. I remember when I used to work at Rick’s T-Shirts in the mall. After the anchor stores left, and they got new owners, the new owners kept upping the rent every month to force the tenants out, so they could put a walmart in there. I miss that place. You could get a beer at that sub shop, and boy those subs were greasy!

  22. Here are stores I remember from Southgate, 1960’s-70’s. Three Sisters clothing store, Stones Jewelers, Kresge’s (similar to Woolworth), Lane Bryant, Buddy Squirrel Nut Shop, Moon Fun Shop, T Shirt Shop. (Boston Store was originally located in the Point Loomis Shopping Center). And Gimbles, the BEST and classiest store ever with marble and a spectacular candy counter! The lower level had the bargains and a “horsey ride” at the bottom of the escalator. The second level was bedding and other housewares and where Santa Clause waited at Christmas on his big throne and red velvet suit. I played hookie in Junior High School with my friends and spent all day at Southgate. What nobody mentioned was the great Southgate Kiddie Land in the early 60’s. It had all kinds of kiddie rides and a small train that circled it. What a great time that was. No mall or monster retailer could ever compare to the Southgate experience….and remember the big Christmas wreath that encircled the Southgate sign at Christmas time??? Keep the memories coming everybody. Anyone come up with the fondue receipe from Captains Steak Joynt???

  23. Does anyone have any pictures or info on the old Point Loomis Shopping Center that was next to Southgate mall? It seems to me that there was a JcPenny Store there at one time and Montgomery Wards. Isn’t that where Mainstream Records was located?

  24. Boston Store was never at Point Loomis Mall as somebody said earlier. JC Penny’s and Montgomery Wards was at Point Loomis Mall as somebody above speculated. Mainstream records was at Point Loomis in the very late 80’s and much of the 90’s. Right next to Southgate but not actually in Southgate was a record store which was either named 1812 Overture and/or Peaches. It may have been both names at one time or another. Funny that I can’t remember for sure because this is where I made many of my own 45’s purchases as a young girl. I lived within walking distance of the mall growing up on 41st and Euclid. Loved, loved, loved going to Gimbels with my parents and grandparents. All of my Santa and Me pictures over the years were taken with the Gimbels Southgate Santa and I still have them all. It is really a shame what has become of that area. The Walmart is one of the nastiest, messiest Wal-mart in Milwaukee. The parking lot is a complete dumb, garbage everywhere. I’m sure if my Granparents were still alive they would not believe what has become of the area.

    Oh, one more memory. The resturant inside Gimbels was called Tasty Town. They had the best hot fudge sundaes and hot hogs on the yummiest toasted buns!

  25. I remember as a kid when the boston store was still there after the small renovation of the mall my mother was buying jewlery there and i got my pictures taken with santa i might still have them somewhere with the mall background… as i got older the boston store closed and was emptied out every year for easter there was an easter egg hunt in a portion of the old boston store i may have pictures of that too i remember when the mall covered the cinema from 27th Street it was great times i wish i was older then so i could take in more of the memories.. i had stories from my moms old friends that they would leave on lunch break from pulaski high school 2 blocks north of the old mall site and walk around in the mall when it was there… i wish some people had pictures of the inside of the mall from the years i remember… now i tie into all the stories by working at a boston store now in southridge and graduating from pulaski high school too… now i pass the old site and see the walmart being rebuilt into a supercenter now…. i also remember but correct me if im wrong wasnt michaels (the arts and crafts store) in southgate mall ? i remember as a kid making ornaments there with my mother when she had her camaro which now i wish i had… i know michaels moved into the point loomis area now… another question wasnt that office max there a cub foods or kohls foods? and the ZEBBs family resturaunt was a BIG BOY resturaunt.

  26. I remember Southgate also had Brill’s mens store.
    The servers at Tasty Town wore yellow uniforms. Does anyone else remember they had an ice cream sundae called “chocolate lovers dream””
    I also remember Captain’s Steak Joynt- didn’t the hostesses wear uniforms like they were cruise ship director’s? Just thinking about the cheese fondue and those fried chips makes me gain ten pounds. Good memories.

  27. Does anyone remember the bar(disco) Spatz’. It was downstairs. You had to enter in the back & go down the stairs. This was in the late 70 & early 80.

  28. My grandmother worked at SS Kresges (co. later became Kmart) in the early 60s. They would closed the store on a Saturday nite in Dec. and the employees and their families could come shop, see Santa, have cookies, etc. It was great. My brothers and I would have to dress up (so we didn’t embarrass Grandma in front of her co-workers.) It was like a Woolworth; you could find everything, even birds, fish, and turtles. It was like a wonderland to a kid at the time. These are great memories.

    Does anyone remember the Wooden Nickle Stores? They sold jeans. I think they were also at Southgate at one time.

  29. Actually, Boston Store was originally at Point Loomis. I think it was closed right around the time Southridge opened, in the early ’70’s. It (later) became some kind of craft supply store. But I remember as a kid in the ’60’s making the rounds with my folks between Southgate and Point Loomis, hitting Gimbels, Boston Store and JC Penney.
    Grant’s store at Southgate was pretty cool, too.
    I also recall the Grant’s had a neat pet department in the basement. We got a couple parakeets there. I think the store (later) became a Woolworths.

  30. Great remincising with all of you. Does anyone remember the name of the sub shop across the street from Suburpia on Euclid and 27th street during the late 70’s?

  31. Great remincising with all of you. I think Southgate had a craft store called Crewel World (?). Does anyone remember the name of the sub shop across the street from Suburpia on Euclid and 27th street during the late 70’s?

  32. Oh how I miss Southgate. It was part of my life. I grew up in that mall. I got my school clothes there. I ate ice cream with my dad (now deceased) there. Me and my friends hung out there and walked up and down that long stretch over and over again. It actually hurts to think that it is really gone forever. That was part of my life.

  33. Hey, I remember Southgate, as well as the Point Loomis Shopping Center. My memory of the Gimbels there was that it didn’t compare with the one downtown, but was a decent store nonetheless.The downtown Gimbels had a GREAT lunch counter! Thanks for all the memories, everyone! I’ll add one: my memory is really fuzzy on this, as I was a kid, but wasn’t Milwaukee’s first McDonalds hamburger joint near Southgate? I do recall what an amazing treat it was to get a meal there when it first opened. Had to be in the 1960’s. Anyone remember that? And I also remember a big store like a k-mart in Point Loomis shopping center called “u-tell,” or something like that. They had a vending machine on the checkout line that actually sold comics, if you can imagine such a thing.

  34. Was the sub shop “Clarks” there were several around Milwaukee. As for the Captains fondue recipe, it came to us prepackaged in gallon containers. Have to find someone that worked in the commissary for Marcos.

  35. Believe it or not, this mall was the subject of an important lawsuit between Sara Creek Property Co. (owners of Southgate) and Walgreen Co.. Civil Procedure and Contract textbooks used in law schools across the country read about these two as they locked horns over a clause in Walgreen’s 30+ year lease that gave them exclusive rights – to be the only pharmacy in the mall. Walgreen won and established for the record that exclusivity clauses were both legal and enforceable. You probably didn’t know your mall is famous for reasons other than consumer sales. (See Walgreen Co. v. Sara Creek Property Co., B.V., 966 F.2d 273 (7th Cir. 1972).)

  36. OMG I found this by accident surfing the web. I REMEMBER all this OMG how awesome!!!! Thank you for sharing and bringing back some VERY happy childhood memories for me. I also used to go for morning walks every day with my son in Southgate Mall, when he was an infant. I can’t wait to show him and share some stories.

  37. What were the other names for the disco that was at the back end of Point Loomis Mall?

    We can only remember the following names:
    Beneath The Streets

    I’m positive the disco had several other names in the late 70’s and 80’s other than these 2 names. I must really be old, because I can’t remember for the life of me what other names the disco went by.

    If anyone knows, please tell me.

    Thank you!

  38. I went to the elementary school adjacent to Southgate Mall and lived a few blocks south of 27th off Morgan Ave. Southgate was a place I’d walk through on the way home from school, there was a Jerry’s Sub Shop, a Gloria Jean’s, a baseball card shop, a Foot Locker, and it was a place we spent money. But by the mid-90s it was dying, and I wasn’t surprised when the mall was demolished.

    Nearby Leons, Mazos, Omega resturant, Kohl’s, Officemax, and other businesses near the ever-growing St. Luke’s hospital are thriving even in the recession. It’s been ten years now that the Walmart broke ground and the nearby neighborhoods have taken on an accelerated rate of deterioration. I wish it never would have been built. It brought in a very low-class clientele to the area and crime has increased.

    Thank you to the person who provided the excellent pictures of Southgate!!

  39. I’m glad to see someone else remembered Spatz niteclub. Also if you enjoy this website check out Retro There are a lot of good stories on there.

  40. Suzie, I remember another store in the old Southgate Mall, It was All In One Toy and Hobby Shop which was in the center of the mall. I don’t remember the year, but I think that was one of the original stores to open. I also know there once was a store on the north end of the mall where women could pick out wedding dresses. In front of the door of this wedding dress store was a central glass display of dresses too and as a kid I remember running around this display.

  41. @Prangeway, Are you still thinking about doing a Southridge Mall post at some point? I hope you don’t mind me asking this question, since I’ve kept wondering about the status of Southridge from time to time. It seems to struggle the most of all Milwaukee-area malls, based on the times I’ve read the online store rosters for each Milwaukee-area mall.

    Northridge would be another great mall to do an entry on someday, since both malls were sister malls to each other. I understand that it may take a while to do one on it, since I dunno how much info either of the labelscar maintainers have on Northridge(and/or pictures back when it was open).

  42. I just learned the sad news that John Gallo has passed away. John provided the photos on this post and was a valued contributor to a number of retail fansites, including the fine Lakehurst Mall Tribute site, and last year started a blog of his own called “Stores Forever” (

    John took multitudes of photos of stores in the Chicago area (mostly North suburbs) and his native Racine, WIsconsin in the 70’s and early 80’s, and I would dare say his photos are the only record of that period of time for many of them.

    Many of you have probably read John’s comments on this site and others. Although he had a learning disability which affected his writing, (which he acknowledged on his site), his insights were sharp, he always contributed great information, and his love for old retail was obvious.

    I learned of his passing through reading a comment on his site, after which I pulled up his obituary on Google. He passed away in Racine on May 20, 2009.

    John, you’ll be missed!

  43. @Dave, Thanks for bringing this to our attention. John was a very valued “informant” and contributor to Labelscar, and I know Prangeway had quite a bit of direct correspondence with him. He will be greatly missed as a part of this community, especially since–as you noted–he was one of the only ones who thought to take pictures of these places at that time.

  44. @Dave, That’s astonishing and very sad news! I actually e-mailed John somewhat recently, probably about the time he died, to ask if he had any more old photos. Now I feel creepy and terrible. He contributed many photos to this site, and I corresponded with him personally many times over the past few years. I hope someone saves his collection of vintage photos, because that would be an impressive legacy he would have wanted. RIP John!

  45. I was born the day Gimbels Southgate opened, October 1st, 1954. It was a shopping center then, not an enclosed mall. For several years, children born on that date in the surrounding area were invited to birthday parties at Gimbels Southgate which included entertainment, cake and ice cream, and a gift. I had an I.D. card that said “Growing Up With Southgate” on it. After the parties ended, I received a gift in the mail, and then just a card. I don’t remember exactly how many years the parties were given, but I do remember how special they made me feel. Could anyone imagine a store today doing that? I would be interested in hearing from anyone else who remembers this.

  46. My fondest memories were at Christmas time back in the 50s at Southgate. In the back parking lot of Southgate, they built a small building which housed santa’s villiage. One year Santa arrived by hellicopter! OMG i remember the excitement. I think they even had a live deer one year. They must have been competing with downtown, which had the big christmas parade.

    I also remember not too far away were Arlens and Treasure Island. In some of these stores (and at southgate?) where RECORD machines. Kind of like the picture booths where you get a strip of 4 photos…this type of booth recorded your voice. I think it cost $1.00 which was a lot for a kid back in the late 50s/early 60s. When the machine was done recording, out popped a small yellow record, which we couldn’t wait to get home to play it on our record player.

  47. @ Dave: What a drag. I read your comment on here just now while sifting through archives in catching up.

    John’s contributions here and what he did over at his own blog, will be greatly missed.

    If I were mindful in my childhood back in the 1980s and early 1990s, I for sure would have been toting a camera and getting imagery of all the stores and malls long gone. Wisconsin’s had many of them, and few of us ‘retail historians’ who cared to even preserve the memories in an archival manner.

  48. I remember the Southgate Kiddie Land and the train and they even had horse rides . I remember that they had a Midwest Auto Parts store right by the Spic & Span drycleaners . Ahh the memories during the 1960’s my folks shopping there and when in the 70’s built that God Awful Mini Mal to the front of the Center . I still have those memories even though I have been in California since 1982.

  49. I know the answer to this question is “NO” but I need others to confirm as my co-worker and I are in an argument over this question…. Did Southgate Mall have a Younkers. I told my co-worker NO Southgate did not have a Younker’s only a Gimbel’s and a Boston Store as anchors. Who is right?

  50. @BJH,

    Let’s see if this helps put the argument to rest.

    Younker’s never made it to Southgate. The only reason Wisconsin wound up with Younkers in the first place was due to the acquiring of H.C. Prange Co.’s stores in 1992. Just the Prange’s end of it, not the specialty mall stores (id, Peck & Peck, et-al) or Prange Way, both of which were spun off two years prior (1990) into separate companies….Prange Way Inc for the discount store chain, and American Specialties Inc for the mall specialty shops.

    On the flipside, Gimbel’s was a unit of BATUS, who also owned Marshall Field & Co at the time they (Gimbel’s) was shuttered. BATUS, in 1987, changed all Gimble locations, save for East Town Mall (Madison)’s location, to the Marshall Field’s name, while Southgate’s was simply closed down. The Southgate store by 1986 was a dated, cramped space not worth keeping open, with Southridge’s massive store only a few miles away.

    For the record, East Town’s store was given away to PA Bergner / Weiss, who owned Boston Store at the time.

    Boston Store’s tenure at Southgate was very short lived. It was under the corporate umbrella of Carson Pirie Scott & Co. at the time they opened and closed a mere year or two later.

    Hope your co-worker didn’t put any money down on this argument. They’re going to lose the bet.

  51. Northgate became Capital Court. Anyways, was born in 89. So my memories of Southgate are found yet stunningly shitty. I don’t remember much, but I do remember that the Baskin Robins only served like 12 flavors.

  52. I can’t tell you the memories this has brought up! I grew up near 48th and Layton and this was where we all went shopping. I remember the old Grant store and how crowded the basement was. To a small child it was like a maze!
    I remember the remodel into a ‘mall’ which was just simply putting walls around the canopy…….and each store seemed to get a knotty pine diagonal wall with it’s name on it.
    I later worked there. I worked at the Nastel’s Books and Things, which still had it’s original glass storefront from it’s outdoor days. Sometime later, as the mall declined, it became a fruit shop of some kind. It was the first store to the south of Gimbels/Boston Store. At night, when I finished closing, the bus driver on the 27th st route would wait for me and drive me up to the bank on the south side, outside of the mall. I would drop my deposit in, get back on the bus and ride home.
    There used to be a women only Vic Tanny , near the bank and under the grocery store, with its gaudy red velvet wallpaper and gold guilded mirrors.
    In fact, now that I think of it, I think I got my wedding ring at the jewelers on that end of the mall! Yikes!
    This was in 1977-78 so I am a bit foggy on some of this LOL.
    I later worked at a religious book and gift store across from Woolworths, but I cannot for the world remember it’s name! I have an old photo of me standing behind the register in my blue shop smock. I was 18.
    I remember Captain’s too. It was where my folks went for anniversaries and the kids in high school went on dates. It was typical 70’s overkill in design. Dark and stuffed with ‘ship’ themed objects….including a treasure chest for the kids to dig in.
    I am sure more will come to me later and I will post it. As much as it is sad to see the past being leveled, I do like the new Wal Mart and shop there often. I think it is good to have sites like these so we can keep these malls ‘open’ though……….

  53. @Lola, It was also called “city lights”, among other names. I remember when I DJ’d there in the late 80s, early 90s that it had the same owners, but they would change the theme and name of the bar frequently when the crowds stopped coming in.

  54. Anyone have any pictures of Capitol Court?

  55. I spent a lot of time at Southgate in the 80’s my friends and I would walk the mall. There was a store there that I loved it was called “The Yellow Brick Road” or something like that and sold all this Wizard of Oz stuff along with other collectables. It actually had a yellow brick road through the store. Does anyone else remember that? Was the the name of the store?

  56. @Kit,

    Hi Kit if you are serious about the fondue recipe for Captain’s steak Joynt, I have it. I used to to work for the chain. and yes it is the real McCoy.

  57. @Pam P.,
    I have the recipe for the fondue from Captain’s. I worked for the restaurant, and yes it is the real one.

  58. @Joe,

    I would appreciate if you could provide me with the receipe.



  59. @Joe,

    I would LOVE the recipe! My Friend’s and I have reminisced about Captain’s fondue SO many times I can’t even count.

    Thanks SO much!


  60. @Joe,

    I would love to have the recipe for the Fondue from Captains Steak Joynt.

    Thank You

  61. @Ronnie,

    Please send me the recipe for the Fondue from Captains Steak Joynt.

    Thank you.

  62. @Allan, The Boston Market store is in the next block south of Southgate, in the front parking lot of the now defunct Point Loomis Mall. The Boston Market location was originally a Roy Roger’s Roast Beef (early competition for Arby’s).

  63. @Michele, Boston Store WAS one of the original stores at Point Loomis, at the very rear of the shopping center. It eventually moved to Southgate and the old space was taken over by Lee Wards. When Lee Wards left, the main space was divided between Drew’s and Mainstream Records, while the basement level was divided up between several offices and a nightclub/disco.

  64. @Jerry O, The McDonalds was the first one I ever saw, but we never went much further than Southgate for our weekly shopping (on the bus route). I remember that the three of us would get burgers, fries, and sodas for $2.10 and then we would sit outside to eat and watch the workers as they actually peeled real potatoes for the fries.

  65. @Joe,

    Hi Joe

    My husband and I have very fond captians memories. I have been looking for the reciepe and if you would be willing to share it that would be great.


  66. Love reading through all these memories.

    Anyone remember the small, side display window of the Moon Fun Shop? I believe it was along the side of the store in a small hallway that led to an entrance door. For what seemed like an eternity they had a see-saw lava lamp in the window called The Tidal Wave. It had a blue liquid that swirled up and made cool wave shapes as the unit rocked back and forth. My friends and I marveled at it and told stories about how one day, when we were rich, we would own the $100 lava lamp! A short time later a smaller, Tidal Wave Jr lamp joined it’s larger brother in the window. I don’t think either of them ever sold and lived out their lives in that window collecting dust over the years.

  67. @Kit, OMG! I worked at Gimbel’s Tasty Town Restaurant in Northridge during my senior year of High School….that was a trip, with the pea green booths and oblong counters. We had red and white uniforms and had to wear hairnets…mandatory. My favorite was their Plantation Salad that could feed a family of 4…also they had TAB soda on tap and scrumptious eclairs!

  68. @Michele,
    Yes, I worked at Tasty Town in Northridge as a senior in High School with some other kids. They had the best chocolate eclairs! Their hot fudge was awesome!

  69. @Jim, when I worked at Tasty Town at Northridge late 70’s the uniforms were red polyester dresses with white aprons and white capped sleeves. we wore white shoes and hairnets. it was a hoot. Sorry, I don’t remember the sundae, only the choc eclairs.

  70. @val, yes that is where older men would pick up young women…ha ha.

  71. @Suzie,

    I worked for 1812 as manager of the Brady Street store & was also the concert photographer for most of the bands back then. I became General Manager for Radio Doctors wholesale creating the chain of 10 stores & bringing Ticketmaster into the state of Wisconsin. I miss those days. After the music industry took a nosedive I got into computers and became an IT Professional.

  72. Packard Plaza anyone? What stores did I have back in the day? Was Dunham’s a former Woolworth’s?

  73. BJH,

    You will not believe this, but the Dunham’s space at Packard Plaza used to be an anchor store: GIMBELS.

    That little plaza used to be quite the strip. Now it’s changed focus and is home to Aldi, Merchandise Outlet, Dunham’s, Quality Candy, Family Dollar, and Cricket. It has it’s niche.

  74. @Joe, hi – I’ve been periodically looking for the recipe for years. Loved the crackers they used too, but could find a good substitue I’m sure. Please send me the recipe. thanks!

  75. @CJ,

    Do you have any idea how the Tasty Town hot dogs and the toasted buns with the crust cut off were made? They were HEAVEN!

    Thank you,


  76. @Candace Wilson,

    Yes, I remember Wooden Nickel stores. When they first opened all jeans were $5.99. I used to buy The Bugle American there, too. The stores I went to were on North Ave. in Wauwatosa and in Mayfair Mall. From 5th to 8th grades, I think all of my clothes came from there. They had lots of gauze shirts that us “freaks” liked to wear…

  77. talking about bostonstore…i have a question. my father’s 2nd wife-jean was married to the manager of bostonstore, before dad, in the 1950s(?). i never met him or his daughters. his name was stanley-something(polish). i don’t know if it was the downtown bostonstore or what. do any of his former employees or family know the answers to these questions? just curious, nanette

  78. @Suzie, American Handicrafts, was close to the Moon Fun Shop

  79. @BJH, , American Handicrafts, back in the 1970’s. Thanks for jogging my memories of the mall. I so remember the “Buddy Squirrel” shop.

  80. @Candace Wilson, OMG, yes, I do remember the Wooden Nickel, forgot all about that store, thanks for the memory.

  81. @Joe, I would like the recipe for the fondue too can you send it to me?

  82. @Suzie,Some of the clothing stores that I remember were Fields womans clothing, Brill’s and Friedmans mens clothing stores. There was a Stone Jeweler and a Heinemans bakery. I rhink there was a store down the hallway in the middle of the mall called Granny’s Attic. There was also a store that sold fruit, a Hallmark card shop. 31 flavors ice cream store.

    Hope this helps bring back memories.


  83. @Kit, Can you send the fondue recipe to me???? Thanks glen

  84. @Joe, I would appreciate the fondue recipe

  85. @Joe,

    Would you be willing to share the cheese fondue recipe from Captain’s Steak Joynt? What delicious memories!

  86. @Kit,

    Would love the recipe for the Fondue from Captains.


  87. @Joe,

    I would love the recipe for the fondue from Captains.



  88. Wonder what ever happened to the Moon Fun Shop at SouthGate? I loved that place!

  89. @Joe, I would love the cheese recipe, could you send it to me?

  90. @Joe,

    I would really love the recipe for the cheese fondue. Could you send it to me?



  91. @Joe,

    I Have been searching for the Captains’ Fondue recipe for years. Would you e-mail it to me? Thank you!!!!! Pat

  92. @Janet Montenegro, The hot dogs were grilled, and the buns were baked in the back, but I am not sure how they were made.

  93. Hi Joe,

    I would love to have the recipe I worked there also as a second job back in the early 80’s as a waitress living at home with my parents. It is also where my husband to be and I hung out as kids with our friends to dance and have a good time..We would so love to have it so we can share our experience with our kids.


  94. @Joe,
    Can you send me the recipe for Captain’s cheese fondue?

  95. @Joe, Could you please send me recipe also. I am so hungry for some. Thank You…

  96. @Joe, I was wandering if you have The Captains fondue recipe, could you send it to me?

    Thank You;


  97. @Joe, Please, PLEASE may I have the recipe for Captains cheese fondue. It was the highlight of going to Captains along with their fish frys. Would wait for hours for a table and didn’t care. If you have the chip recipe, would love that as well.

  98. @Sue Kulas,

    Sue, could you send me a copy of the fondue recipe if you have it.

  99. @Debbie Smith, sub. I believe the sub shop was called Hero’s. they had two locations at the time. I used to love the cheese and pepper sub. It was just cheese and peppers zapped in an early microwave. This must have been 1976-1979 era. This was my stomping grounds! A Pulaski 77 grad.

  100. @Bill L, Clarks was at Point Loomis. It actually hung aroung into the 90’s. I loved my subs.

  101. @M Evans, I remember this bookstore well. It was the last store before Gimbels. Me and my punky friends would frequent this store during our lunch period. Looking for books or magazines on the latest rock and roll stuff. There were some nice younger ladies that worked there in 75 and 76 that would talk with us about music and such. Cool place.

  102. Woolworths. I worked at the Southgate Woolworths fron November 1978 thru May 1980. I was on the mgmt. training program. It was a busy vibrant store. 2 floors with a very well regarded sporting goods section. I remember a guy named Eddie ran the sporting goods area. We had a great candy counter. The snack bar was ok. It is hard to believe that this much time has gone by. My dad worked for Woolworths all his life. Primarily at Mitchell Street but actually worked at Soutgate at the bitter end.

  103. @BJH,
    Actually the Dunhams store was the JCPenney outlet store from the 70’s to about 2000. Before that it was a Grant’s dimestore.

    Merchandise Outlet was the Gimbel’s store and Joanne Fabrics was the Sears store.

  104. @Michael, I agree. The clientele as well as management of this Walmart have definitely added to the area’s deterioration. Sam Walton would be rolling in his grave if he could see how they treat their employees today!

  105. @Joe,

    Were you able to fulfill all of the requests for the Captain’s Steak Joynt fondu? Can you send it along one more time.

    Did anyone get the recipe from Joe who could pass it along to me?


  106. @Suzie,

    I remember 1812 Overture too and Captain’s Steak Joint. It was high-class for us too, and I absolutely loved that cheesy fondue with the garlic chips. Yum! I remember my sister’s boyfriend got a job there and once he brought me a big plastic bag of those chips.

  107. @val,

    Yeah, loved Spatz. Great bar with cheap drinks. Met my husband there!

  108. @Joyce Miller, Did you ever receive this recipe? I have been looking for it too. My spouses father remolded the captains at Mayfair.


  109. @Joe, Please send me the Captains steak joint recipe for cheese fondue

  110. @M Evans, Is it the Jannuz religious store?

  111. @Suzie, Anyone remember way back to ‘Three Sisters’ women’s clothing store or ‘Kinney’s Shoes’?

  112. B/J Golf and Ski was the first store in the new section of the mall near Gimbels across from Brill’s and Mid-West Auto Supply. It later became Allen Pruess Flower Shop. My step father and his uncle owned the ski shop and I remember hanging out at the mall ALL day on the weekends, especially at the Moon Fun Shop and All In One Hobby! Lunch at Wallgreen’s Woolworth’s, or Gimbles. My grandfather used to buy hamburger patties and candy at Gimbels in the back at their deli. Gimbels also had a automotive center in the back as well. Mid-west Auto Supply also had a garage near the First Wisconsin Bank where they sold and installed tires.

  113. @Courtney, I just now remembered the name! Hammonds. Often confused with the Hammond organs……..It was owned by the Jannuzs (sp?).

  114. @VJ Konter, I had completely forgotten about Roy Rogers!

  115. @D. Spidell, I remember Crewel World….just not sure if it was at Southgate or Southridge. Seems so odd to think you can have an entire store dedicated to crewel and embroidery!! I still have one of my ‘projects’ tucked away in my basement. lol some sort of funky herb chart with plenty of avacodo and gold in it……..yikes!

  116. Worked at Southgate Mall at Woolworth, from Nov. 1981 til May of 1985. Such great memories, working with such great people. Now live in Stoddard,WI. Since1985. I heard things have changed alot. I will cherish all my memories forever.

  117. @Ann M. Otto,

    Did you ever get the recipe for the fondue. I would
    love to have it too.

  118. @Sharon Cassel,

    Did you ever get the recipe for the fondue. I would
    love to have it too.

  119. @Joe,

    I have many good memories of going to Captain’s Steak Joynt with my family and really loved their fondue… could you please send the recipe?



  120. @Joe,

    Do you have that recipe?


  121. @Joe, Please , if you have the recipe for the fondue that would be awesome. We were just talking about it on facebook!!!

  122. My hubby remembers walking from his home on 35th between Howard & Morgan, across an open field to Leons custard stand. NOW THAT WAS LONG TIME AGO! We both remember when Southgate was built. When Schusters on Mitchell Street had a parking attendant in a tower that was about 2 stories tall and the attendant in the tower would direct each car to a parking spot. I remember the wrought iron winding staircase Schusters had going from the main floor to the basement. I still remember when my Mom advised Dad to watch me while she shopped. Guess I was about 4 because I do remember this. As I was sitting on the floor next to the staircase I wanted to see all the people shopping on the basement level so I put my head into the curved wrought iron railing below the brass banister. That was fine but when I wanted to stand up I could not remove my head for it was now in the narrow area of the wrought iron design. Needless to say I screamed and drew a crowd. My Dad had all to do to set this screaming, struggling kid out from the grip to my head and ears. Guess Dad wasn’t doing to good a job watching me, so from that time on we sat in the chairs on the balcony where we watched the money from each register being shot up to the cashier dept. in a metal carrier in a tube. Also got to watch and smell the fantastic carmel corn being made on the main floor.

    I remember all the sales my mother use to get at Goldmans on Mitchell St. So when I started shopping on my own when I was in High School I thought I would follow in her foot steps and save money shopping there. The first item I bought (and maybe the last) was summer baby doll pajamas for her birthday. I liked the color, material and price so bought them. Were we all shocked when she opened her present and found the pants had only one leg hole! No wonder things could be so cheap there.

    I remember when the city improved Mitchell Street by making the sidewalks wider and the street narrower. Didn’t seem like a good decission to me but our young son said it was needed to all the ladies that carried two shopping bags could walk easily on the wider sidewalk. Hmmmm

    I could go on for hours reliving the past in Milwaukee and West Allis. Don’t know if any of you go back as far as we do. Enjoy!

  123. @Joe,

    Do you still have the recipe for Captain’s Steak Joynt’s cheese fondue???? I have been trying to find it for years. If so, could you please e-mail it to me. Thanks.


  124. @Joe,
    I remember this fondue from when I was a kid, if you still have the recipe, I would really appreciate it too.

  125. @Michael,

    were you ever able to get the fondue recipe? If so , can you send it to me? Would love to surprise my parents with it on Christmas. Thanks!

  126. @Joe,

    Can you send me a copy of the recipe? I would really appreciate it.


  127. @Joe, I would love the recipe for Captains cheese fondue. Thanks

  128. @Joe,

    I would love to receive that recipe for the cheeze fondue from Captains Steak Joynt.

    Thanks much, tim

  129. @Joe,

    I just ran across the blog on the captains steak joynt chees fondue blurb and you said you used to work there and have the recepie. would you be sooooo kind as to email it to me also???

    I loved it sooo much. also was it rye chips or bread? any information / recepies you can give me would mean the world to me!

    thank you sooo much!
    SUSAN 🙂

  130. @Sue Kulas, could you please send me the captains steak joynd chesse fondue receipe? Pleasssse? I loved that stuff and have been searching for about 2 years now


    susan 🙂

  131. @CJ Johnson, please send me a copy of captains steak joynt’s cheese fondue! I miss that stuff sooo much!

    thank you so MUCH!

    susan :)(

  132. @Erich, could you send me the captains steak joynt cheese fondue and the chip reciepe? i just found this site and am soo excited. planning on gaining 20 lbs because i will make it and eat and eat and eat…lol.

    was my favorite as a kid and i have flashbacks about it and those awesome oragne hot food lights it was under to keep it warm and gooey.

    susan 🙂

  133. @Sue Kulas, did you get the fondue reciepe????

  134. @Joe,

    Hi Joe,

    Any chance you could email me the recipe for Captain’s fondue? Or, could you post it?

    Happy Holidays!

  135. Has anyone received a recipe from Joe on the Captains Steak Joynt fondue? I can’t tell if Joe is still
    connected to the Labelscar Blog.

    Thanks all.


  136. @Joe,

    I have been searching for that recipe for years… If you still have it, would you be able to email that to me?

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  137. Has anyone received this recipe from Joe? It
    would make a wonderful Christmas gift! Please post it, if you have it.



  138. I went to Pulaski High School and graduated in June, 1965.. A while back I posted a question to the Milwaukee Pulaski High School Alumni Facebook site of who remembers any of the names of the stores in the Southgate Shopping Center???

    You may want to check it out!!! Good reponses!!!

    Milwaukee Pulaski High School Alumni!/groups/29508901985/

    Ken Kumelski

    Who out there remembers the old Southgate Shopping Center?

    And who remembers any of the names of the stores in the center???

    I used to work a part time job at the Brills Men Clothing Store…

  139. @Tim Finley,

    Captains Steak Joynt recipe,

    I don’t think Joe is on this blog anymore…I haven’t seen him respond to anyone requests for the fondue recipe…if anyone has received it, please do post it here.

    Thanks much!


  140. @susan,

    Did you ever get the Captain’s fondue recipe sent to you? I also have been searching for it for YEARS – even contacted the company who owned Captain’s and they told me they wouldn’t give it out as they were planning to open a new restaurant some day and use the recipe. If you have it I would really, really appreciate you sending it my way! Thanks 🙂

    Amy M

  141. @Tim Finley,
    Did you recieve the recipe from Joe?
    I would love to have the recipe for the chips and fondue.

  142. I don’t think Joe is connected anymore to this blog
    Or maybe it was a joke, not sure..

  143. Like Tim said, I don’t think Joe has it or just hasn’t followed up in several years. It’s amazing how this recipe that hasn’t been in use for decades is so hard to track down. I’d pay $100 right now for one cup of the fondue and a plate of those awesome chips!

  144. @Kit, found this old post cruising the net. my wife and i used to live on 18th & euclid and have been trying to find a recipe for captains cheese from our dating years. if you can be of any help, i would be very grateful.

  145. Kit
    I think the guy who originally said he had the recipe was spoofing all of us, and he has no recipe, sorry to say

  146. @Joe, please send me a copy of the captain steak joint cheese fondue recipe have been searching for 10 years now. please send to… please I’m begging you. thank you.

  147. @Kit, do you have a copy of that captains big giant cheese fondue recipe if so could you please pass it on or tell me somebody that does have it thank you

  148. @Joe, Could i get the recipe for the fondue? By the way, my favorite stores were the wooden nickel and moon fun shop! Bell bottoms and black lights bring back fond memories.

  149. @Tim, Joe was probably a joke. I have been searching for Captain’s fondue recipe for years and posted on forum at Taste of Home years ago. Also wrote to food editor at Milwaukee Journal Sentinal who told me they have gotten many requests for this recipe too over the years and would love to print it if found. I have tried many recipes myself but haven’t come close to replicating…..or perhaps my memory isn’t what it used to be 35 years ago:(

  150. @Joe, I am really late finding this blog, but if you or anyone else has the cheese fondue recipe , I would be so appreciative if it could be sent to me!!!

  151. @susan, Did you get the fondue recipe? Can you please send it if you did? thanks so much!! Dennise

  152. @Joe, If you still have the fondue recipe? Can you please send it? thanks so much!! Dennise

  153. @susan, Did you get the fondue recipe? Can you please send it if you did? thanks so much!! Dennise

  154. Around 1970 Woolworth Southgate served up one great BLT. I can still taste it. I was just a little boy enjoying lunch with my mother and sister like it was some royal treat, my first restaurant BLT, wow!
    At the south end of the mall was a little pinball place around 1975.
    I remember that weird Christian merchandise store circa 1980 or so. I was very anti-religious at the time. I snapped “No!” at some sweet, young clerk who came up from behind asking if she could help me. Sorry about that…
    I remember a stone goldfish pond that everyone thought was a wishing well. I used to wonder how the fish could survive with all that toxic dissolved copper in their water. It was beautiful though.
    I bought my shoes at Kinney Shoes next to Boston Store; probably the same style each time and all their stuff was American made. They tried to sell Asian made shoes in the end like their competition, but they were much inferior to their old stock and Kinney (owned by Woolworth) soon shut down.
    There was a picture framing store who sold matted pictures without frames too. He should have had a rule that his pictures’ prices were discounted only if then framed. Many stores lasted a year or less near the end.
    Up until the very end First Wisconsin Bank had a branch on the south end of the mall, attached yet not under the same low roof. It was in an older looking, classier building. It was my bank when interest rates were high, days of milk and honey for a credit-shunning saver like me.
    These days I go to the little GameStop just across the street often with my sons. Rarely have I ever shopped at any Walmart (cheesy décor, way too crowded and its junk only ten cents less than competitors who ante up with even worse stuff).
    Except during cold weather, harmless panhandlers are common, probably because of Walmart and the bus line. But I refuse to encourage them. However it is still fairly safe at night, a working class neighborhood overall, bustling with commerce in and around the former Southgate Mall.
    A quarter mile north, St. Luke’s Hospital has grown to 12 stories with views from the top floors that look down at just the right angle to see for miles yet still read most of the neon signs aimed at the constant auto traffic.

  155. Still no fondue recipe after all these years, darn. I sure did love that stuff. If anyone has it, please email me…

  156. @Jerry O,

    Sorry to bust your bubble “Jerry”, but I’ll pass this along since I happened to come across this tidbit just before reading your post:

    The first McDonalds in Wisconsin opened in early 1957 at 21st and Lathrop……followed by the first McDonalds in Milwaukee on June 29, 1957 at West Appleton Avenue and Capitol Drive.

    Don’t actually know if that’s accurate, but it was from a ‘historic’ website, so I’m assuming it is (and YES, I know what happens when you assume something 😉

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