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Big Bear: 386 W. Lane Ave.

The first location of Big Bear Stores opened across from Ohio State University on Feb. 15, 1934. Prior to the opening, the building had housed a dance hall, a roller-skating rink, horse shows and polo matches.

Store #: 1
Opening date: Feb. 15, 1934
Closing date: June 1985
There now: Riverwatch Tower

This aerial photo shows the view of the first store from above (in the middle), with the building’s distinct oval shape.


The storefront was adorned with Big Bear’s signature bear logo.


Inside, the store featured elaborate displays.


The store’s wood floors harkened back to when the building was previously home to a roller-skating rink.


Meat sold for for less than 60 cents less per pound.


Customers waited in long lines to checkout during the grand opening.


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.