In Floyd County, the opening of a national chain operation, brings grumbles about the area losing its local identity.
Dollar General added its second county store earlier this year on U.S. 221 just north of Check and the company is considering another place at Willis.
Many remember the long, drawn out battle over Hardees coming to down and Food Lion opening — both on Main Street in Floyd.
Thought about that while reading The Roanoke Times “50 Years Ago” column and seeing a story about Pizza Hut opening its first chain location in Roanoke at 1016 Hershberger Road — the start of the company putting eight more in Southwestern Virginia.
My first taste of pizza came from that Pizza Hut in Roanoke. At the time, I lived in a “singles” apartment complex just off Hershberger Road and worked at The Roanoke Times. It would be five years later before I got a real taste of Pizza after moving to Illinois.
Such chains were rare, even in Roanoke back then. No McDonald’s yet, although a Burger Chef had opened near Towers Shopping Center along with an Arby’s across the street.
Lendy’s and Kenny’s dominated the hamburger market back then. Kenny’s had fast food and Lendy’s was a derivative of “Big Boys” and had Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Woolco planned a store on Hershberger Road as the latest attempt by Woolworth’s to expand its operations. Both Woolworth and Woolco are gone now and KMart appears headed for the dumpsters along with Sears, which operated “Sears Town” on Williamson Road in the 60s.
Floyd had chains too in 1967, including a Western Auto on Main Street, a Piggly Wiggly and a Ben Franklin at the corner of Main and Locust at the stop light.
Now we have Hardees, Subway, Dollar General and Family Dollar.
(Corrected on 2/26/18 to change the fast food franchise at Towers Shopping Center to Burger Chef. Thanks to Twig Gravely for catching the mistake.)