Blechle’s Grocery

Blechle's Grocery 1227 Broadway 03-11-1967This corner, just east of Park Avenue on Broadway, looks quite a bit different today. Turn to Google’s Street View to see a recent photo. On March 11, 1967, the buildings on the right housed Blechle’s Grocery (that’s the way it’s listed in the City Directory. Since it’s adjacent to the SEMO campus, the sign emphasized liquors, though).

The the two buildings on the right have been spiffed up. What used to be the Broadway Coin Wash is now a boutique. What used to be the grocery is an empty storefront in the Google photo.

Things that are gone

There are some things in the picture you won’t see today

  • The brick building around the curve used to be Werner’s Super Market. The university knocked down the market and most of the houses in the area.
  • A newspaper rack in front of the grocery.
  • A sign for a public telephone over the fuzzy guy’s head on the right.

The 1968 City Directory said Ruth Froemsdorf lived at 1231A Broadway, which would have put her above the coin wash. Another section, with more detail confirmed that she she was the third grade teacher at Trinity Lutheran School.

Aerial of the area

Aerial of Broadway including Houck Stadium 11-06-2010This November 2010 aerial shows Broadway from just west of Park Avenue and Capaha Park on the left to Sprigg Street on the right. You can see what it looked like in 1966 here.

Click on the photos to make them larger.

17 Replies to “Blechle’s Grocery”

  1. My family shopped at Blechle’s all the time since we lived just around the corner. Mr. John Blechle was such a nice gentleman and always treated his customers right. It was always a pleasure going into his store and knowing that he would greet you with a smile and a warm Hello!! He knew his customers well and with my large family he would always throw in a few extra slices of bologna when we only could afford a pound and never charged us the extra cost. He was always such a nice man and he is greatly missed. The Coin Wash next door was used 1-2 times weekly by my family because we didn’t have a washing machine at the house. I would wash the clothes and call from the payphone on the wall and let it ring once and hang up. That was the signal back at the house that I needed my brothers and sisters to come help carry home the baskets of wet clothes. My Mom would be waiting in the backyard and we would all start hanging the clothes on the clotheslines we had. I know progress takes away our buildings of the past but we always will have them in our memories.

  2. The last place I lived in Cape was on Park, a block south of Broadway. Seems to me I remember a gym of some sort in the Coin Wash building.

  3. A happy surprise this morning – we were houseparents for 12 male SEMO students during our first 18 months of marriage in the white frame house on the left in the 1st photo next to Werner’s Market. The house burned a couple of years after we moved to St. Louis due to a student who had been smoking in bed; it was not the first time he had started a fire by smoking in bed. The second time, he succumbed to the flames. The house was torn down and a parking lot took its place for a while.
    We’re particularly happy to see this photo because we have none.

  4. Amazing picture after driving down Broadway 10 million times it seems like and seeing this view when young. Makes the mind go back to your youth. It is hard to get used to the new look when your only in Cape 3 or 4 weeks a year visiting.

  5. Rumor had it that Miss Froemsdorf (Trinity Grade 3) lived above Blechle’s. I remember seeing her standing in front of the store during a Homecoming parade one year.

      1. Yes, Ken, she definitely did. She was my housemother and I lived with her and several roommates from the summer of 1966 until January of 1968.

    1. I remember Ruth Froemsdorf well from Sunday School. She was a tall, large framed woman with fairly close cut dark hair, a long face and a wonderful smile. She loved children and her life was dedicated educating them.

  6. The corner building houses Mississippi Mutts a dog and cat store that has a dog wash! It’s a busy place and a nice addition to the neighborhood. The last owner of those buildings also lived upstairs and she was a fireball! Always in a battle with the city and county. Now we have a stop light at the top of the picture where it curves….so far I don’t think I’ve gone through it….not use to one being there!

  7. As the sign indicates, the two aisle and a butcher shop store also sold alcohol. About a month after the Blechle’s photo was taken some members of the Class of ’67 asked me to impersonate the secretary of one of their grandfathers who was a long time patron of the store. The order was simple. deliver a case of Jack Daniels to residence’s basement garage – the day of the Prom.

    Mr. Blechle did as requested, and that evening the booze played a key role in a legendary after-party on Pemiscot.

  8. At the time I was enrolled at SEMO dating a guy who lived in a carriage house near campus. One of the CHS students was the son of the landlord and grandson of the benefactor. The latter was not one to look at bills.

  9. Looks like Leon’s Furniture shop to me. I lived on the top floor (penthouse) during the second semester of my freshman year at SEMO which was the winter/spring of 1969. Maybe it was the next one up the hill but looks pretty familiar. Living large in the lap of luxury.

  10. The picture of Blechle’s Grocery brings back memories of the early ’50’s when I was the delivery boy there, back when I was growing up on N. Henderson Ave. John and Bill Blechle were great people to work for. They were very friendly with the customers and were good to work with. They taught me a lot about taking on responsibilities of doing a job, and particularly doing it right.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Ted Miller
    Class of ’57

  11. I remember going to Blechle’s on a regular basis with our mom. It seemed like a supermarket them, always crowed. We had a ‘charge account’ and I recall one month when our dad was railing about a monthly bill of $150–for a family of 8. Do the math. As regards the post by Barb Marudo, much of that story rings a familiar tone to me. I fear a nom de plume.

  12. My dad, L.L. Statler had the store on the corner in the mid 1940′. I still have the wood letters that were over the door.

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