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Spickler's Market still on the move

December 14, 1998

Paul and Bob SpicklerBy JULIE E. GREENE / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




Spickler's Market is on the move again after 15 years.

The market has been part of the Roslyn Building at 15-25 E. Franklin St. in downtown Hagerstown since 1978.

With the city in the midst of a $900,000 renovation of the building, Spickler's is playing musical chairs with the first-floor retail space so the store can stay open while crews renovate different areas.

Bob Spickler and his son, Paul, who owns the grocery store, moved the family operation from the west end of the building to the east end on Friday.

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That puts Spickler's back in its original location at 25 E. Franklin St. A June 1983 fire from a light ballast forced the family to move the store to the building's west end.

When the first-floor renovation is complete by the end of April, the store will move into its new spot at 17 E. Franklin St.

"We like our customers. They are very dedicated to us," said Bob Spickler, 71.

Customers come in to buy a small amount of groceries such as an onion and two potatoes, he said.

Spickler can rattle off the other grocery stores that have come and gone downtown since World War II, but his family has kept a store open since then with low prices.

Low rent from Vincent Groh, the former owner of the building, allowed him to offer low prices, Spickler said.

Spickler followed his father into the grocery business. His dad opened Spickler's Deli at 127 E. Antietam St. during World War II and ran it until his death around 1959.

Before opening in the Roslyn Building, Spickler owned the Economy Market at the corner of Mulberry and Antietam streets and another store on South Potomac Street.

He closed the Mulberry Street store more than 30 years ago because the landlord raised the rent, then closed the South Potomac Street store in 1975 as part of a divorce settlement.

"I have been in the grocery business over half a century," said Spickler, who works at the store despite having retired 11 years ago and handing ownership over to his son, Paul, 32.

With Spickler's relocating, crews can begin demolishing the southwest corner of the building and construct a stair tower, said George Andreve, manager of the city's Department of Community Development.

The tower will include an elevator shaft, but won't have an elevator until city officials have enough funds to renovate the upstairs for city offices.

The $900,000 project includes renovating the first floor, part of which has already been done to create space for the Hagerstown Home Store.

Community Housing Resources will manage the Home Store, which city officials decided to open to promote homeownership and various financial assistance programs.

A grand opening for the 21-23 E. Franklin St. store will be held on Jan. 5, but part of the staff has been hired so people who walk in can get assistance before the formal opening.

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