Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest GCrites80s

Woody's - West Carrollton/Dayton

Recommended Posts

What is, er, WAS this? The labelscar says Woody's. I drove through here yesterday and thought it was really cool that the building went over the street. Then I realized that they were tearing it down. What's going on with the colors? Was it some sort of department store? All I could see on the back side were bathrooms. Scope the pix:

 

woodys1a.jpg

 

This one is actually of the liquor store next door.

 

woodys2a.jpg

woodys3a.jpg

woodys4a.jpg

woodys5a.jpg

 

You can't see it in the picture, but somebody wrote 4:20 in huge numbers with their finger on the windows this side.

 

woodys6a.jpg

woodys7a.jpg

woodys8a.jpg

woodys10a.jpg

woodys11a.jpg

woodys12a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! I get first reply! :wave:

 

Woody's was sort of a Dayton based predecessor of the "Jungle Jim's" concept: an independent, locally based, high end grocery store with a vast selection and many amenities, including an in-store restaurant (which was the part that forms the overpass section of the building over Alex-Bell Rd.) The only location was the one of which you posted pictures. Suburbanites from areas like Centerville and Washington Twp. (like a few friend's parents) would show weekly fealty to Woody's by shopping there exclusively.  I believe they had many amenities that targeted older customers like concierge and valet parking services. Back in the 70s there was a certain level of local snob appeal to shopping at Woody's.

 

I believe it went out of business in the mid-1990s, probably a victim of pricing competition in the local grocery market from stores like Meier's.

 

Dot's Market in Belmont and Bellbrook is a much smaller scale, similar concept that still operates and has a loyal local following.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in West Carrollton and frequented Woody's quite frequently.  Woodys closed in 1999 and sat vacant until now.  It's actually a little sad seeing the place being torn down.  It really was a unique building.

 

There's an article on the re-development of this site somewhere on the message boards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was before my time here, but it's said Woody, the owner, also took on the local blue laws, actually being arrested and sent to jail (probably briefly). 

 

Woodys Little Farm was a beer and wine place in the parking lot in front of the store, and now has a state store on site.  When Woodys closed the Little Farm stayed open, and still is, or was a few months ago when I stopped by.  They used to have an interesting import beer section.  The only place here that sold Berliner Kindl.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this: this article (from 2002) is stating that Woody's closed two years earlier. So 1999 sounds right.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/stories/2002/09/30/story2.html

 

And this one:

 

"Former Woody's site finally to be redeveloped":

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/stories/2007/03/12/daily20.html?from_rss=1

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this: this article (from 2002) is stating that Woody's closed two years earlier. So 1999 sounds right.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/stories/2002/09/30/story2.html

 

And this one:

 

"Former Woody's site finally to be redeveloped":

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/stories/2007/03/12/daily20.html?from_rss=1

 

 

 

Ah, I'm friends with a dude who is a consultant for Miller-Valentine Group. I'll see what he has to say about it. That liquor store is still open. By the way, Dixie Dr. will be closed from 4/11-4/15; almost certainly to tear down the rest of the building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I just died a little on the inside!

 

My parents use to take me and my brother there every sunday after church. Lots of great memories. From the huge water/river feature in the restaurant, to the gigantic water wheel that was in the basement. I remember as a little boy watching the chefs make cakes...as they had a window that you could watch them as they decorated the cakes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ yeah me too, that ohio continues to tear out its quirky old buildings.

 

that one sure had a lot of character, too bad it couldnt have been kept and reused as something.

 

at least the article says the new building is staying in the woodys family so to speak and it wont be just some drugstore or starbucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ yeah me too, that ohio continues to tear out its quirky old buildings.

 

that one sure had a lot of character, too bad it couldnt have been kept and reused as something.

 

at least the article says the new building is staying in the woodys family so to speak and it wont be just some drugstore or starbucks.

 

I loved going to Woody's during the holidays as a kid to pick up shrimp. I used to see the water falls and the fruit cakes... even ate at the restaurant once. But it had its chance to be saved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

woody's was my mom's first job. then she began work for GM, but i don't think the style of the uniforms ever changed that much.

 

what was woody's? it was a restaurant, drug store, grocery store, bookstore and bakery.

 

the bakery was arguably the best aspect of the business. after woody's closed, the bakery staff opened up 'a taste of elegance' bakery up the road, having permission from the then owners to use their awesome buttercream icing recipe, which is locally famous. their cakes are really and truly good stuff (i even got my wedding cake from 'a... elegance'). this year (2009), the bakery moved back to the original woody's site, into a new building, and renamed 'ele' (ell ay). not sure if it's still as good as a bad business dealing with them as 'elegance' prompted my wife to vow to never get anything from them again.

 

anyway, a minour correction: the waterwheel wasn't in the basement, it was on the second floor in the corner where the bookstore and bakery was located. the entire store had a flowing water theme. upstairs in the over-the-road restaurant (good food, ate there hundreds of times) a stream had running water. on the second floor, the aforementioned waterwheel, and downstairs in the main entrance (on the elevator side) there was a very large 'mountain' with a waterfall (next to that was an old scale to stand on and get your weight. the mountain part was taken out, as i recall, to make room for a small video rental section). at the other entrance there was a more formal brick fountain that was rarely turned on.

 

once a year they had one cent cookies. yeah, you didn't want to be there that day, it was madness.

 

woody bowman eventually retired and left the business to his family, who turned out to be fairly (that's an understatement) incompetent. the grocery part was never what you'd call reasonably priced to begin with, so with stiff competition from meijer's, kroger's and others, woody's fate was sealed. they simply couldn't roll with the times and the family was already set, so....

 

along with the restaurant building, in the same lot as the elevator was 'the little farm,' where they sold alcohol (now a 'state store' owned by someone else). where the new mcdonald's is located used to be the drive-thru, and, if i'm not mistaken, woody owned the property across the street of the drive-thru and restaurant where there's now a nice car wash. this last property i'm not quite sure about, it's one of those things where no two people seem to give the same response about.

 

a little about woody bowman. he could be a cranky s.o.b. by most accounts, and a sweetheart other times. he never did get along with the city, which, so i've heard, is why he had his building painted those awful colours. it always wasn't like that. rumour was woody liked gambling, and the upstairs of the little farm was a poker room. when the drive thru was torn down, the basement was supposedly filled with gambling tables and such. all rumour, of course, and i say this not out of disrespect, rather out of pride for having such a colourful character in our little town. supposedly. woody is also on west carrollton's hall of fame, along with boyd flynn (who owned flynn's carryout (est. ca 1953 as ridge's, then dorsey's, then fox, flynn's and us), which i now own as lynn's carryout), don ferguson and i believe there's another.

 

to the best of my knowledge, the bowman family no longer owns any of the business properties in west carrollton. for decades, however, people would say, 'the bowmans (or woody) owns west carrollton.'

 

now, i don't remember any concierge or valet services, but i do remember other things about the place which made it interesting and unique and truly sad that it's no longer there:

 

a giant mural of woody's little outdoor fruit and veggie stand graced the wall. this was no small mural as the wall went from the restaurant level down to the second floor above a very wide staircase. hard to describe other than part of the restaurant was a sort of mezzanine (sp) overlooking the bookstore.

 

the butcher area always fascinated me as whole slabs of cows were clearly on display on hooks behind glass cooler doors.

 

the seafood section put anything you've seen in ohio to shame. well, at the time, anyway.

 

the deli and restaurant made the best potato soup ever. anywhere. in any galaxy or plane of existance.

 

notice the round windows on the restaurant part. that was pretty unusual, not to mention the restaurant was over a highway!

 

they had a lighted message sign outside, something you just didn't see around these parts back then.

 

i'm sure i'll remember a lot of other weird, wonderful details about the place later, but for now please correct me if i've been wrong on something.

 

about the clientele being on the swanky side, nah, i'm not sure i'd go that far. the restaurant did have a special section called the 'bandl [sic] room' which featured a few amenities, though the same menu items. other than that, i just think woody's tended to price gouge because at one point in time they could do that, but mismanagement (according to the employees i'd talked to) was the ultimate cause of demise. older loyal customers kept the place going for as long as it did. i honestly believe they priced themselves out of business and had an apathetic management/ownership system. they closed the doors and it didn't take long for the place to deteriorate inside, from what i've heard from people who'd been inside afterwards.

 

ah, well, such is life, i suppose. the sucky part. woody died a couple of years back, and i can still easily find people who like to share stories and theories about him and his once awesome restaurant/grocery/deli/etc.. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ wow, great background info. thx for for sharing it.

 

always a shame to lose such quirky local color. we need more woody's in our communities and less corporate blandness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to live in West Carrollton as a child (1960).  I remember Woodys very well.  My memories include the meat locker, restaurant, and the fact that they sold chocolate covered ants, and other insects, even snake meat.  We never tried the insects but always talked about them.  I do remember the restaurant being over the highway. which I always thought was real cool.  One time I ordered spaghetti, and it had so much garlic I couldn't eat it.  When my father complained to the waitress, we learned that more than one person had added the garlic.  Talk about too many cooks ruining the food! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

silly to think about this now after several years, but rereading it i thought i might correct myself a little.

 

the restaurant wasn't over a highway, it was over a one-way two-lane road leading to the on-ramp of I-75 north (there was a split that lead into the adjacent town of moraine). the on/off ramp, which was always a mess, is being rebuilt.

 

someone mentioned that the restaurant went over alex-bell, which is incorrect. alex-bell runs perpendicular to central (or dixie, people call it either one at that point of the road, though central is probably technically accurate), which is the road the restaurant went over.

 

i'd seen a couple of different numbers on the square footage of the place, from 70K to 100K, the latter which, i believe, is on the historical plaque on the property.

 

a few random memories of woody's from the late 70's to the end:

 

the elevator was located across the street from the main building and it sometimes you were lucky to get upstairs in five minutes.

 

i don't remember chocolate covered bugs, but a big deal was when they had chocolate covered mike-sells potato chips (mike-sells is also based in dayton).

 

you had to walk over a little bridge to get into the restaurant as the stream ran under it.

 

i walked out of the restaurant once as they refused to serve me because i wore a hat. apparently, it was okay for the old-timers to wear a hat while at the diner-part, but not in the main restaurant.

 

on the second floor, the bookstore was always well stocked with comic books, newspapers and porno mags (located behind the counter, of course).

 

there were two main entrances, one on alex-bell and one on central. both had their own checkout lanes. if i remember correctly, you would push your cart into the area with the clerk and they would take your items out for you. i remember the conveyors as being very short. this was probably a part of their 'customer service,' a throwback to another era.

 

as i recall, it wasn't a 'high-end specialty' grocery, it was just high-priced.

 

they certainly don't build them like that anymore. few men have the vision, and few cities would allow it to be built even if you could find such an entrepreneur.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...