Unseen Old Town

June’s Unseen Old Town

Photos and caption by “Governor” Burke

Alexandria, VA – Before the advent of large supermarket chains, many Alexandrians relied on local Mom and Pop grocery stores for their food shopping. As recently as the 1960s and 1970s, quite a few of them were still active businesses around town. Many of these stores sold candy, ice cream, and sodas to kids in the neighborhood. Some sold hamburgers, greasy French fries, and sandwiches as well. More than a handful of these former corner grocery stores survive to this day, mostly as residences. If you look closely around Old Town at corner buildings, you may notice some of these former stores. Such is the building at 300 S. Fairfax St., seen in last month’s picture, which was a grocery store until sometime in the 1950s. Another one of these stores, formerly operated by Leon Straight and his mother, is located at the corner of Prince and South Fairfax Streets, where I used to buy the Sunday Washington Post for my dad. It has been the Enchanted Florist for many years.

Have you noticed this around town? Where is it? What do you know about it?

To see more quirky photos and close-up angles of secret and not-so-secret spots in Old Town, Alexandria, and jump in with guesses, and comments, follow the discussion, and submit your own photos for consideration, join the Unseen Old Town Facebook group!

As for the photo above, we will reveal what it is and where it is in our next issue, along with a new one for you to ponder.

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