Then and Now, Central-Montrose

1975--Central Avenue @ Montrose Avenue, view south

1974–Central Avenue @ Montrose Avenue, view south

2017--the same location

2017–the same location

This was the neighborhood where I grew up.  By 1974 I was married and out of my parents’ home, but the old businesses still remained on this commercial strip.  Moving south from Montrose, we have the drug store, the bakery, Mandis the Chicken King Restaurant, Kars Five-and-Ten Store.  At the far end of the block, just past Kars, the old National Food Store has been converted into an Armanetti’s Liquor Store.

Today most of the residential streets in my old Portage Park neighborhood look the same—bungalows are sturdy.  But all the stores in the 1974 photo are gone, their buildings replaced by a giant Walgreen’s.

—30—

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4 Responses to “Then and Now, Central-Montrose”


  1. 1 Garry March 31, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    There was also a trailer rental place around there. I remember my dad renting one once.

    • 2 J.R. Schmidt March 31, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      That was C. Davis Rentals. They were directly across Central from Kars, and they’re gone now. About the only business from my childhood that’s still operating is Hagen’s Fish Market, a half-block west on Montrose.
      –JRS

  2. 3 Andy Polizzi June 3, 2017 at 12:08 am

    I grew up 60 years ago on Pensacola Avenue just west of Central (behind Hagen’s actually.) Spent a lot of time at the Tastee-Freeze on the southwest corner of Montrose-Central, across Central from the Muskrett & Hendrickson Pharmacy on the southeast corner. Later this was Cal’s Drive In and finally Toot’s before closing. There was a hot dog stand stand on the C. Davis property on Montrose west of Central. It was later called Ray’s. Pensacola-Central had a Florsheim Shoes on one corner, a Jewel Tea on the other. Kars was for toy soldiers, bean blowers, and rubber balls for fast pitching that lasted one game before falling apart. Mr. and Mrs. Pizza and Double Z Pizza on Montrose for pizza. There was a store on Montrose that we just called “The Milk Store” if you didn’t want to run to Jewel. And a restaurant called Ted’s north of Montrose on the west side of Central. Hamburgers, fries, and creamy cole slaw served in a red basket.

    • 4 J.R. Schmidt June 3, 2017 at 7:26 am

      I’ve already done posts on Kars and Cal’s, as well as on the prairie of Montrose Avenue. If you haven’t seen them, check out the archive.
      –JRS


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