Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
Dick’s Drive-In Predecessor – the Motor-In Market

Where Dick’s Drive-In now stands, the Motor-In Market opened Oct. 17, 1930 at 500 Queen Anne Ave. N. The innovative market was the first of its kind in the neighborhood.

Its eye-catching tower lit up at night to ensure people could find the location. The pioneering L-shaped building had parking for 100 automobiles, with a Shell gasoline filling station onsite. Attendants parked cars for motorists, according to an advertisement in The Seattle Times. While shopping, customers could have their groceries delivered to their cars, and a special numbering system ensured that the right packages were delivered to the correct cars.

(Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Archives, circa 1937)
(Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Archives, circa 1937)

…Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
Dick’s Drive-In Predecessor – the Motor-In Market”

Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
S&M Market

2201 Queen Anne Avenue North: 1933 – 1989, 56 years at Queen Anne location

S & M ca. 1985 (source unknown)
S&M Market ca. 1985 (source unknown)

At the top of Queen Anne Hill, on the corner of Queen Anne Avenue North and West Boston Street, stood a small, independent grocery beloved by many on the Hill. The owner of the store was Morris Mezistrano, a self-made man and extraordinary entrepreneur.

Morris’ story is an inspiring one.  He overcame the hardships of his youth to lead a remarkable life.  He was born in Gallipoli, Turkey in 1909.  His father was a well-to-do businessman who owned an import-export business and a successful store.  But his family lost everything when trapped in the chaos of the First World War.  His father was killed, his father’s store was bombed, and their business and all their material possessions were destroyed.  Earlier, his sister had moved to Seattle to enter into an arranged marriage. When Morris was nine years old, his mother and her four sons, including Morris, escaped Turkey and made their way to Seattle, sponsored by Morris’ sister. …Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
S&M Market”

Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
Nelsen’s Grocery (1919-2001)

Photo Courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Archives
Photo Courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Archives

Many Queen Anne residents recall Nelsen’s Quality Grocery on 325 W. Galer Street, which is currently Top Pot Doughnuts.

Run by Donald Nelsen until 2001, it was the longest continuously-operated grocery store on Queen Anne Hill. It began business across the street in 1919 at 401 W. Galer as Nelsen’s Fancy and Staple Groceries, owned by Don’s aunt Elizabeth. Her brother Magnus — Don father — worked at Helgesen’s Grocery, a Norwegian market, and later joined his sister at Nelsen’s. The family had emigrated from Norway. …Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
Nelsen’s Grocery (1919-2001)”