Historical photos of the Wards Corner Giant Open Air Market

May 10, 2013

Photos provided by the Virginian-Pilot.

Wards Corner Giant Open Air Market opened in 1963.  Photo provided by the Virginian-Pilot.

Wards Corner Giant Open Air Market opened in 1963. Photo provided by the Virginian-Pilot.

In 1963 Giant Open Air opened its new Wards Corner mercantile center. The 80,00 foot store is the largest retail food store under one roof – at least in the south – and it can boast among many innovations the largest individual departments in several categories.  Boasting 450 employees, the supermarket features a pancake shop, doughnut center and pizza ovens for in store consumption or takeout orders. A spacious bakery with eating facilities, largest in the chain, with charcoal cooked steaks, seafood and BBQ.

A candle shop, garden shop, greeting cards, household accessories, gift shops, hardware and a self-service Laundromat round out the shoppers experience in this state of the art shopping center.
The store was constructed at a cost of $2 million and features 600 customer parking spaces. The store will remain open 24-hours a day.  Pilot staff photo by Charlie Meads.

Giant Open Air was located where the Farm Fresh is today.

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