Sunday, April 15, 2012

Former Kmart and Rini-Rego in Amherst, Ohio

Nicholas Eckhart

I am uncertain when this store opened as a grocery store. I believe (based on design) it may have originally been a Fazio's Supermarket before becoming Rini-Rego. In the late 1990s (right before Rini-Rego was acquired by Giant Eagle) a new Rini-Rego store (now Giant Eagle) in the same shopping center replaced this one. The address of this former Rini-Rego grocery store is 1953 Cooper Foster Park Road in Amherst, Ohio.
There was also a former Ames and Hills store nearby (not pictured) The Ames store originally opened as a Hills department store. Hills was re-branded as Ames after Ames acquired  Hills Department stores in 1998. This store was closed in 2001.The former Hills/ Ames currently operates as a food company's warehouse.

The Pat Catan's Craft Center is in the former Kmart foods area of the former Amherst Kmart store. It is surprising how much of the store's Kmart look is still intact today. The strips of exposed lighting and the massive circular heating vents give the interior an over-powering Kmart feel (still almost 20 years after Kmart left this site). The street is store is on is still called Kresge Drive today!

I am unsure when exactly this Kmart opened, but to me it looks like a late 70s or early 80s store. The parking lot lights look like a 70s design as well. The old Kmart Canopy seems very well intact. It appears the canopy was also lengthened when Kmart expanded this store (look at how the first three parts in the canopy look older and then the other two look newer). Kmart left this site in 1993 for a new prototype Super Kmart Center store across the road in Lorain. (see the Lorain Super Kmart post for more on that store).

 This store did recieve an addition later on in its Kmart days. That addition area is now used as the Tractor Supply Co. store. 
Now on to what I found nearby.
The 1,636 Square foot former Taco Bell and Don Tequila restaurant as it sat on March 23, 2012.

The old entrance to the restaurant (added on after Taco bell moved to a newer site nearby in the 90s).

This appears to be a 70s style Taco Bell build.

A look at the back of the Taco bell from the old Drive-Thru area. The Stuccoed part was added on later on (I think possibly while it was still Taco Bell) 

Dead-End Drive-thru! The Drive Thru has been blocked off by an addition since Taco Bell left.

The 90s style Sears Appliance and Hardware store across the street in Lorain. The store apparently has only two cars in the parking lot.

A look towards what looks to be an old Garden Center. I think the other two cars are for employees.

A site plan  made with Bing Maps imagery.


  1. The Bobels office supply store used to be Giant Eagle. The former Ames/Hills store is actually further down the street and has since been converted into a warehouse with an addition built into the former parking lot.

  2. I knew there was an Ames in Amherst, but I did not know the exact location. When I went out for photos of the former Kmart I automatically assumed that store next to it was Ames. Are you talking about the pierre food wharehouse nearby? I know that store was not a Giant Eagle though. The current Giant Eagle in that shopping was built as a late 90s style Rini-Rego (right before their acquisiton by Giant Eagle). Now that I look at that store it kind of looks like a Fazio's (which would have became Rini-Rego).

  3. The warehouse is the one across the street from the Burger King on Cooper Foster. You are correct the office supply store was a Rini Rego before it moved to its current location before being turned to Giant Eagle.

  4. Also used to shop at the hills when it was on cooper foster. Grandparents still live in Lorain just down the road. All this old info is bringing back lots of memories. Have you reviewed the old gold circle that was out at midway mall?

  5. Yes, I did review the Gold Circle there. There are some pictures of that store as well as hundreds more we did not feature on this site; they can be found on our facebook page! I am only familiar with the last 15 years of retail in the area, so I often rely on others to find places to cover. I heard there is an old Clarkins in Lorain, do you know where that was?

    1. There was a Clarkins in Elyria at the corner of Broad St. and Abbe. I'm thinking this was around 1971.

  6. I was born in 1976 and had a relative who lived at the Pentamen Arms apartments near this Kmart on Cooper Foster around 1981. (If anyone knows anything about the situation where a second-floor balcony collapsed with several women on it in the early 80s, that was my aunt's balcony.)

    The KMart was definitely established by the early 80s; I have no memory of it ever not being there. I'm pretty sure that the same shopping center also used to house a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop (on the front end, perpendicular to the road) and a music/guitar shop. I don't know what might or might not still be there. My most reliable memories would probably be prior to 1987 and more likely 1983-86.

  7. The Don Tequila actually moved to a larger place so it's not a bad thing that they left that building :-)

  8. Nick, the old Clarkins in Lorain was on Leavitt Road on the east side. The building is still there but was converted to non-retail use.

    I know this area well, we used to shop at the Gold Circle in the early 70s. My daughter lives less than a mile from this location now.

  9. Worth noting that ALL Sears Hardware stores are now closed including the one pictured above.

  10. Can someone tell me when the Fazio there in Amherst Ohio closed there doors I used to work there as a stocker/courtesy clerk thank you


Message from moderator:

Commenting on this website is available for all online users without registering for an account. Please be respectful of other people and their opinions. Be sure to direct any concerns regarding this website to