Category Archives: Retail

Nick’s Snack Bar (Finally)

I recently received an email from Sandy Host with some very exciting pictures of her father’s shop Nick’s Snack Bar included. I am very grateful for her taking the time to scan these pictures in and for her even describing each picture so we know what we are looking at. Thank you so much Sandra for helping keep the memories of your father Nick Calabria alive with all of us.
Without any further delay, in Sandy’s own words…
Nick’s Snack Bar 

These are some of the original waitresses (counter girls). I don’t remember all the names but, left to right
(?), Theresa Gottuso, Grace Gottuso, Rosina Nocera, (? ), Ida Nocera, (?)
One of the little league teams who came to be “treated” after winning their game. My Dad would give the winning team members a free hot dog and soda after every game. You can see a “special” on the chalk board behind the team. Usually the pop would be an additional 5 cents.
My Dad, Nick Calabria, in his usual position behind the counter. There was another counter that opened into the “rec” room to the right of where my Dad is standing. The large grill where his hot dogs and sausages were cooked is to his left.
Nick with a regular customer, to their right is a chalk board where the names of those “barred” from the store were posted along with their term!
My Father and Mother, Ellen Calabria, sitting in a booth, one of which lined the walls of the “rec” room.
A typical group of kids, maybe a bit younger than usual, that posed for a photo before or after a party in the Rec center.
Outside photo of the building with our apartment above.
Four of the dozen or so counter girls in the middle years of the snack bar.

Thank you again Sandy. I can not wait to hear the flood of memories these pictures may unlock. Please leave your memories below in the comment section.

More Nick’s Snack

I have been trying to track down pictures of Nick’s Snack Bar for some time. Luckily, I received an email from the grandson of Nick Calabria, M. H. Lines (Bunny’s son). When his grandmother passed away a few years ago, they found a box of the old order note pads from the Snack Bar. Thankfully he decided to share a picture of them in case it brought memories back to anyone 🙂

Thank you M.H. Lines

Rocco Building Gone and almost forgotten

long-goneRocco Building Gone and almost forgotten. Here is a picture of a structure I have had a difficult time tracking down where it was once located. I was originally told that the building was known as the “Rocco Building” located on Second Street near Division Avenue. However, the background doesn’t really match that description. The building on the left in the background is too far away to be the Workingman’s Social Club as this building sat on the corner of a tree-lined street as you can see on the left. Also it looks like the left of the building is a field of some sort. The picture was taken a couple of days before being torn down.

There have been a number of Rocco’s in Ellwood City and two or three Rocco’s corner grocery stores; this could be one I don’t doubt but I do not know where.

The Rocco Building was razed in the summer of 1974. If you remember this store, please share your memories below or email me at

Miller’s Gift Shop

Millers Gift Shop ad 5-18-1951    Jo Ann (Miller) Oxsen sent me a copy of this May 18, 1951 Ellwood City Ledger ad of the Grand Opening of her parents’ gift shop.
After selling their previous business Miller’s Dairy Store, they decided to purchase a music store and initially called it Miller’s Gifts and Music. The store eventually became simply Miller’s Gift Shop. Note the phone number bottom left of the ad. Apparently in 1951 only two numbers were all you needed back then. However Jo Ann recalls the earliest home phone number she can remember was five numbers. Millers Gift Shop
Jo Ann shared some of her many fond memories of her parents store including how beautifully they made the bows and gift-wrapped the items bought. Her parents would go all out in front window decorating, especially at Christmas time. Sadly, when shopping centers opened in the early 1960’s with less quality items at lower prices, business dropped off and Miller’s Gift Shop went out of business in 1963. The Millers took great pride in the fact that they did not declare bankruptcy but paid off every one of their creditors.Millers
Please share any memories you have of Millers below or email me at

Friday’s Dairy

One of our past “History’s Mysteries” involved Friday’s Dairy. Teressa Jones-Wojton had found an old Friday’s Dairy pint milk bottle in her new home town of Sterling, Virginia and was curious as to where the Dairy was once located in Ellwood City. Many people helped with this mystery and we are appreciative for all the help.

    Bob Baney helped point out that the actual farm was located on Friday Hill off of Route 65 across from Mount Hope Road, however the Dairy itself was in Ellwood City. Thanks to Kirk Zikeli, we discovered the actual Friday’s Dairy shop was located in the alley between Todd Avenue and First Avenue in the 700 block. The building is still standing and is used as a garage today. The sign at the top of the building has been painted over, but if you look at the right angle and you know what you are looking for, you can still make out the name under the new paint.
   Friday’s Dairy was owned and operated here in Ellwood City by Ted Evans. We have heard from a couple of people who recall the two Mr. Softy Ice Cream trucks that were kept at Friday’s Dairy. These were the old fashioned trucks that actually sold soft serve ice-cream cones from the back instead of $3.00 popsicles.
   Rich Kline grew up directly across First Avenue from Friday’s Dairy and recalled playing inside the building while watching Mr. Evans and other employees make their various products or clean up after production. He remembers how thorough they would scrub the place down with cleaner and then hose off the entire inside of the building which was filled with lots of stainless steel tanks, pipes, etc. He also shared with us “I (Kline) remember one intensely cold winter day when the snow was extremely bad and the city and schools pretty much shut down as the roads were impassible for two days. We merely shoveled a path across the street to the dairy to get milk and other goods.” That was not the only things he shared with us, as he also provided the Friday’s Dairy wrapping sheets from their “Creamery Butter” which somehow not only survived his childhood but a move away from home to college, and two household moves.fridays-dairy-bottle
If you remember Friday’s Dairy and would like to share a memory with us, please leave a comment below, or email me at


Pettibon’s opened June 16th 1935 at Fifth Street and Bell Avenue next door to the Water Company. The dairy featured “everybody’s favorite dessert – Pettibon’s ice cream” but also sold milk, butter, eggs, cream and even fresh roasted coffee. A quart of ice cream in 1935 cost a whopping thirty four cents and featured three flavors “scientifically” blended. A pint would cost you fifteen cents, butter was fifty seven cents for two pounds or thirty cents for one pound, and coffee set you back twenty seven cents a pound.

    Willys Opened the Pettibon Dairy Co. out of Rochester, the store was managed by Howard J. Williams. In 1936, Mr. Williams was transferred to East Liverpool, Ohio to manage another Pettibons there but returned to Elwood City in 1937 to buy the Ellwood store but kept the Pettibons name for ten years until he renamed it Williams Dairy Store.
williams-dairy   The Dairy became a very popular hang out for students being less than a block away from the high school and was referred to as Willy’s. The name caught on and people still refer to Williams Dairy Store as Willy’s and similar to when it was open, those that remember still refer to Howard as Mr. Willy. Two generations of Ellwoodians kept Willy’s popular in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, & into the 60’s. Mr. Williams sold the store in 1961 to Mr. and Mrs. Dale Kaufman who renamed it Kaufman’s Dairy Store.
The little shop on the corner has housed a variety of different businesses since Kaufman’s Dairy including a comic book store and the current tenant a cell phone store. If you remember Mr. Williams, Willy’s or one of the other business that called the building home, please share your memories by leaving a comment below, visiting the forum, or you could always just email me at

National Lunch

Carole Wimer Starz had sent me some pictures she took as a young girl of the 1957 Ellwood City Christmas Parade. There were a number of great pictures including the old front of Ellwood Federal, Isaly’s and the Majestic. One picture stood out to me though.

National Lunch

Finally I have a picture of National Lunch. I have pictures of the sign that used to light up out front but a lot of people asked for more. The picture was not taken of the restaurant but rather of her father, whom Carole did not know was going to be in the parade. Her father just happened to be at the Pontiac garage when the parade was about to begin and someone talked him into riding in the procession. This picture, the only picture I have of the National Lunch that so many of you recall, is the result of a young girl’s surprise when her father went by in a new Pontiac. Thank you again Carole.

Pazz’s Coffee Shop

Mr. Ernie Young recently sent me a couple of pictures from Pazz’s Coffee Shop on Lawrence Avenue. The shop was located next to the State Store (now known as Wine and Spirits) during the 1960’s. It was owned by Mr. Young’s mother, Virginia Young and his aunt Kay Paswell from 1960 to 1969. The owners are pictured above behind the counter on the left is Kay and on the right is Virginia. Ernie’s father, Ernest Young Sr. is pictured serving customers in the second photograph as well. This picture gives us a good look at the prices on the menu as well.

Steak sandwich – 40¢

Hamburger 20¢

Milkshake 25¢

Shrimp with French fries and a coffee 99¢

A mushroom steak or pepper steak sub 45¢

Don’t forget – Drink Hires root beer.

Ernest Young Sr Serving Pazzs Coffee Shop

Folino Pharmacy

Some of the most popular posts I continue to get memories about are the former businesses from the downtown area of Hazel Dell. People’s childhood revolved around Paglia’s Corner Store, Pinkey James Gulf Station, Triangle News, and others.
Before the current Fifth Street Bridge wiped out what I considered landmarks, a number of businesses lined Wampum Avenue. A couple of those business included the Northside Cafe, Teolis Shoe Repair, Jim’s Cafe, and of course the pictured Folino Pharmacy.
folinoR. Scott Mackey recalled previously that in the late 50’s and in the early 60’s, Paul Romack had a Roofing business on Wampum Avenue just east of the pharmacy. It is believed there was a Beauty Shop across the street and a little further east close to the old Laurich residence, but a name couldn’t be recalled.
If you remember the Pharmacy or any of the business’s that haven’t been mentioned yet, please share your memories below or email me at

Paglia’s Store

817-second-streetFrank Paglia (also known as Frank Straw) had the commercial building at 817 Second Street built in 1918 for his store. Frank’s first wife died in 1921 and he remarried Linda Giovanno of Naples, Italy. The two of them along with Frank’s children, operated a store in the two story brick building. After Frank’s death, the property was sold to Nick and Emma Rocco who owned the Rocco Store across Second Street at the time. Mrs. Paglia took her share and invested it in a small store with a house at 32 Line Avenue (corner of Line Avenue and Smiley Street). Many people have shared their memories about Paglia’s store across from Barry’s.

We have heard that Mrs. Paglia was the only store in Hazel Dell that would give you the refund on empty soda bottles and PEM Morris shared how his mom often sent him to Paglia’s for milk and DeRosa’s bread. He also recalled getting his first baseball cards of the season at Linda’s as she always seemed to get them before anyone else.
He also shared with us his memories of years later taking his own children to Paglia’s store when they were small to pick out penny candy. Linda, as always, waited patiently for them to make their choices. For the young children, it was one of the highlights of the family trips to Ellwood City and they still remember it today.
If you would like to share your memories of Paglia’s store, please leave a comment below or email me at