Posting abut the Plymouth Meeting Mall a few weeks ago made me remember Clover, the discount store chain by Strawbridge & Clothier.
There were two Clovers who were the mistresses in my life. The first one, in Andorra (the Philadelphia region, not the country you only hear about during the Olympics) was in the Andorra Shopping Center.
The snack bar in the front of the store was a standard feature at Clover stores. They sold about a dozen flavors of ice cream (bing cherry rocked the hizzy), Icee Slush’s (cherry was always best), soft pretzels, hot dogs and soda. Maybe it was the experience of getting that treat when we were 5 or 6 or 8 or 9 years old, but those pretzels were so good – always warm and toasted and the Icee mixed so well with it.
When the Clover in Center Square opened in 1973, it was the second Clover in Pennsylvania. Back then they built “Clover Kitchens” in the back of the stores. It was a cafeteria serving hamburgers, hot dogs, soup, grilled cheese. A nod to the old five and dime lunch counter. The Clover Kitchen in Center Square shuttered in the early 90’s and sat dormant until all the Clovers went the way of the dodo bird when Strawbridge & Clothier sold out to the May Company in 1996.
I miss Clover and those snack bars. Clover Kitchen I do not remember enough about to miss it, but I do wish I could see it again. Every now and then I remind people walking through the housewares department in Kohl’s “there used to be a Clover Kitchen right here”.