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Big Bear: 3700 Riverside Drive

This store opened on the same day as the grand opening of Upper Arlington’s Golden Bear Shopping Center.

Store #: 46
Opening date: July 14, 1965
There now: Post office


The Big Bear store anchored the shopping center.


Jack “Golden Bear” Nicklaus (third from right) attended the grand opening of the shopping center named for his high school nickname.


Big Bear Stores Co. founder Wayne Brown cut the ribbon at the grand opening.


A Columbus Dispatch article noted Nicklaus was “the first customer.”

MSS 1355 AV Box 2 Folder 7 Jack Nicklaus Article.tif

Customers waited in long lines to check out.


Like other store departments, the frozen foods section was meticulously organized and labeled.


Related Video

The History of Big Bear Stores

Former Big Bear Stores Co. president Stephen Breech and historian Doreen Uhas Sauer reminisce about the Columbus company, its growth to 65 grocery stores and numerous department stores across multiple states, the sale of the company and its eventual demise.