Do You Yearn For NorthPark of Yore?

As my wife and I walked the boys around NorthPark this weekend, because it’s too darn hot to play outside, I got to thinking about all of the businesses that used to be there. This was prompted by my thirst for a cool drink as we covered the original part of the mall, and my subsequent frustration when I saw the line out the door at Starbucks.

Back in the day, I could have ducked into McDonald’s and had my choice of five or six registers. I have many childhood memories of eating at that McDonald’s while loaded down with Christmas presents.

Other NorthPark ghosts that were on my mind:

— When I first moved to Dallas in the early ’80s, there was a M.E. Moses or H.L. Green or some other type of five-and-dime store right about where Banana Republic is now. Can you imagine how out of place that would seem today?

— When I was in high school, a friend of mine worked at a Rand McNally store across from La Madeleine. That’s right, kids — a store that sold little more than maps and globes. Another friend worked at the World Foot Locker that had a regulation basketball court and the widest selection of baseball caps I’d ever seen. To my teenage self, that place was da bomb.

— Remember when, prior to the mall’s expansion, you could enter the Gap from either end? Consequently, the one-way Gap has always felt claustrophobic to me.

Are there any NorthPark stores you particularly miss? Comments are on.

37 thoughts on “Do You Yearn For NorthPark of Yore?

  • July 11, 2011 at 10:18 am
    Permalink

    Orange Julius! (Oh, and the Sumpn’ Else TV set with Joanie Prather, Delpha Teague, and Ron Chapman.)

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 10:48 am
    Permalink

    I miss the old movie theatre. I saw Star Was there for the first time when I was five years old, and up until the very end I was going to see midnight movies there.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 10:49 am
    Permalink

    Melody Shop. It was a combination record shop and musical instrument store. I spent many hours there with my best friend perusing the record shelves and trying out electric guitars that I could never hope to afford with my paper route money.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 11:03 am
    Permalink

    The natural history museum/store on the second floor was always so fun to visit as a child as was the Imaginarium. They even had the small door just for kids!

    But really, I miss the lack of crowds. The expansions made NorthPark just like any other American mall, imho. Sigh.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 11:37 am
    Permalink

    It was Woolworth’s, right?

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 11:43 am
    Permalink

    I miss the magic pan, the carriage shop, Swiss colony, neuhaus, and more. It’s just not the same.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm
    Permalink

    Babbages, to the right of the escalators, was my favorite store as a kid. I too miss Orange Julius. Also remember an El Fenix.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm
    Permalink

    I miss the peacefulness before the theater and food court were put in.

    You could go to the mall during the day and not be run over by baby strollers, and at night and not be run over by groups of teenagers.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm
    Permalink

    I spent 21 years walking 4 miles inside the mall before going to work! I remember a tai kwon do class right in the middle of the mall before going up the stairs! Northpark I and II movies, Lester Melnick, even several shoesonly stores! Toy Shops, great places to stop for lunch! Wonderful people! There was a mall policeman who emigrated from Russia who was so kind and helpful and interesting. Those days are gone but not forgotten.
    Beverly

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm
    Permalink

    Woolworths, El Fenix, Kips, Oshmans, JCPenney, Wyatt’s Cafeteria. Those were actually all very useful tenants, ones that I really miss today.

    I too saw the original Star Wars at Northpark. One of the original Fuddruckers was also on the Northpark property at the old Northpark Bank drive-thru in the mid 80s. That Fuddruckers made exceptional hamburgers. The very best. I miss it.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm
    Permalink

    I was gonna say Melody Shop, but 1Zima beat me to it. A friend dragged me in there in 1983 to show me a French guitar he was lusting after. “Are you sure it’s French?” I asked. “Yeah, pretty sure,” he said. “It’s called a ‘Les Paul.'”

    Agreed that Northpark I & II and Orange Julius are also sorely missed. WaldenBooks wasn’t the greatest bookstore in the world, but they always had the latest Star-Wars-related books to look at while your mom was shopping at the department stores. Has anyone else mentioned The Magic Pan?

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm
    Permalink

    Spencer’s Gifts – right where Banana Republic is now.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm
    Permalink

    Crate & Barrel had its first Dallas store in NorthPark. My dad bought suits at Marvin Brown. Brentano’s was a great book store. And wasn’t there a Frost Bros. for about 5 minutes?

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm
    Permalink

    I miss Orange Julius and I had a lot of birthdays celebrated at Magic Pan.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm
    Permalink

    Woolworths and that little theater that was tucked away — saw many a good show as a kid there!

    Reply
  • July 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm
    Permalink

    Orange Julius, Woolworths and the excellent North Park I and II theater. I saw all the Star Wars movies there (I remember the line around the entire outside of the theater for Return of the Jedi), and I LOVED the bathrooms where each stall had its own sink :). Wyatt’s Cafeteria had awesome cherry pie and rolls. Wasn’t there a place where you could get amazing ice cream concoctions too? Was that Magic Pan, or something else?

    Reply
  • July 12, 2011 at 8:59 am
    Permalink

    Kips and El Fenix for dining. The movie theaters are also missed-saw so many big movies (Airport, A Star is Born, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back) there before there were so many chain theaters. It seems to have lost some of its charm.

    Reply
  • July 12, 2011 at 9:44 am
    Permalink

    @Neal- yes, I think there was a frost brothers and also a wolf brothers.

    Reply
  • July 12, 2011 at 10:08 am
    Permalink

    Back when the Mall first opened there was a very popular men’s store, Bond’s, next door to the Woolworth and Titche’s was in Dillard’s space. Also Penny’s was at the end where Macy’s is currently located.(next to El Fenix). Radio Shack was in the mall. Of course the original Barney’s next to Neimans and Lord and Taylor. Good Times!!!My family has been going there since the late 1960’s! Where was Kip’s?

    Reply
  • July 12, 2011 at 11:24 am
    Permalink

    WHEN I WAS A KID, GROWING UP IN “THE GROVE”, MY BIG SISTER WOULD LOAD ME UP IN HER AUSTIN HILLMAN AND WE WOULD GO SWIMMING AT VICKERY AND THEN THROW ON A T-SHIRT AND CUT-OFFS AND HEAD FOR NORTHPARK. WE WOULD EAT AT THE COUNTER AT WOOLWORTHS, LOOK AT THE TOTALLY FUNKY CLOTHES AT PARAPHERNALIA, AND, IF IT WAS A WEEKDAY, JOIN THE CROWD OUTSIDE THE WINDOW FOR SUMP’N ELSE. WHEN I WAS OLDER, MY SISTER WOULD TAKE ME SHOPPING FOR SCHOOL SHOES AT THE SHOE BOX AND WE WOULD LOOK UPSTAIRS AT MAM’SELLE’S (WHERE THE SALE ITEMS WERE KEPT). MY AUNT WOULD DROP MY COUSIN AND HER “POOR RELATION” (ME) OFF FOR THE DAY AT NORTHPARK AND WE WOULD LOOK AT THE BIRDS AT WOOLWORTHS AND THE 45’S AT THE MELODY SHOP. TIME WENT BY AND TITCHE’S BECAME JOSKE’S AND THEN DISAPPEARED. THE BRASS BOOT WITH THE COOL MEN’S SHOES WENT AWAY AND BUTLER’S, BAKER’S AND CHANDLER’S VANISHED AND THEN THE WILD PAIR CAME AND WENT. IT AMAZES ME NOW THAT THE MALL HAS MANAGED TO REMAIN DESTINATION SHOPPING FOR ALL OF DALLAS.

    Reply
  • July 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm
    Permalink

    As a little girl, Noah’s Ark was nirvana….a whole store full of stuffed animals. We would go there after we ate lunch at Wyatt’s.

    Reply
  • July 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm
    Permalink

    @ D King,

    Kips occupied the space where Corner Bakery is now located, across from the fountain.

    Reply
  • July 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm
    Permalink

    Personally, I miss the Highland Park Village of yore. It’s a food court now!

    Reply
  • July 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm
    Permalink

    I had forgotten all about the Shoe Box! I can’t remember where it was located in the mall. It did make me remember Young Ages. It was where Tiffany’s is now.

    Reply
  • July 13, 2011 at 8:47 am
    Permalink

    I think Shoe Box was at that corner near where the Brighton store is (more or less across the mall from Starbucks)…speaking of Young Ages, do you remember its previous location in preston center where the new Schlotzky’s is now? (I guess that officially makes me old — that’s the YA location I remember!)

    Reply
  • July 13, 2011 at 10:03 am
    Permalink

    @hpmom, I am older because I remember when Young Ages was on Fairmount about a half block off of McKinney!

    Reply
    • August 30, 2019 at 8:54 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you for this address! I’ve been trying for years to remember where this store was. It seems like the shoe store was across the street from the clothes store, and I remember a swing and/or slide in the yard. Were the shops in little houses rather than actual shops?

      Reply
  • August 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm
    Permalink

    Wyatt’s Cafeteria. As a graduate of Bishop College I would always visit North Park on return visits to Dallas because it had a Wyatt’s long after many other locations closed down. Had to get my nostalgic fix of fried fish filet, toasted bun, apple pie with that brown sauce slathered on top and an ice tea that the cashier ALWAYS stuck the receipt on the outside of the glass! Those were the days, my friends…

    Reply
  • September 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm
    Permalink

    Here’s a few more – Cullem & Boren, Toy World, a liquor store, English pub/restaurant, Skillerns (or Ward’s Drug Store), Jas K Wilson, Wolff Brothers, Russell Stover, Linz Brothers Jewelers and Margo La Mode (?).

    Reply
  • January 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm
    Permalink

    Don’t forget Toy World!

    Reply
  • Pingback:Joanie prather | Silkskinessent

  • March 3, 2019 at 7:32 pm
    Permalink

    Christmas Village at Titche’s, The Shoe Box, Toy World, and The Carriage Shop. Lunch at The Magic Pan and our mother-daughter shopping day was a success. So miss those days!

    Reply
    • May 18, 2020 at 4:40 am
      Permalink

      We bought our wedding rings in 1973 at Linz Jewelers across from Neimans. I’m not sure if it’s exactly where Tiffany’s is now, but it was close. I walked by there today in the midst of COVID lockdown times and It felt good to remember when we shopped there almost 50 years ago.

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Angie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *