Chapter 65:



The Malt Shoppe and Rainbow Gifts, at 43 - 45 East Main Street in 1994. This is where the Galleria is now. Courtesy of Carrie W, UD '94It’s a toss-up. What has evolved more since the '80s: Main Street or the UD campus? You could easily make arguments for both. Either way, their parallel evolution is no coincidence; the university has been strongly involved with Main Street’s redevelopment, as there is very much a symbiotic relationship there.


I hope you agree the eventual goal of this chapter (and the next) is pretty ambitious: a comprehensive timeline of the evolution of Main Street, from the mid ‘80s until today. Absolutely need your help, so we can at some point populate a decades-spanning spreadsheet, similar to this PDF (will open in a new window) from 2007.


As you know, dozens if not hundreds of Main Street establishments have come and gone over the years, but many have endured to survive economic downturns and change with the times. What follows below are some notable openings and closings over the course of almost thirty years, broken down into five eras. The bullet-points are not necessarily in sequential order, but do represent changes on Main Street within each era, respectively.


1986 to 1990


Hello, Goodbye…


• Café Sbarro opens (corner of Main Street and Academy), originally sharing the space with Hillary’s Gourmet Ice Cream and Coffee.

• Volume II Books opens in the Mini-Mall at 58 East Main.

• East End Café opens, it was formerly a pizza place.

• Lollypop Fashions at 144 East Main closes, it was formerly Marker’s Florists.

• Newark Farm and Home Supply closes after nearly 40 years of business at 123 East Main Street.

• Main Street Stationers at 90 East Main closes.

• I Like It Like That record store at 42 East Main closes in 1987, after over a decade in business.

• Gypsy Trader closes, but the same owner later opens the Outer Limits clothing store at 42 East Main.

• Neal’s Book Stall at 44 East Main closes.

• Rhodes Pharmacy at 36 East Main closes.


And also…


• Among the businesses in the Mini-Mall at 58 East Main in 1986, were the Galaxy Arcade and David’s Bookshelf.

• Goodwill moves from 136 East Main to the building next door, that had been the Western Auto supply store.

• Shamrock Printing Co. moves from 92 East Main to 261.

• Institutions demolished! The State Theatre at 39 East Main and the DeLuxe Luncheonette are both flattened.


1991 to 1995


Hello, Goodbye…


• Jeremiah’s opens in the Mini-Mall at 58 East Main.

• Summer of '95 demolition of 45 - 49 East Main to make way for The Galleria. The Malt Shoppe, Crystal Concepts, and the Corner Deli had been there.

• Summer of '95, construction begins on The Galleria. The Gap, Grotto’s, and BrewHaHa are among the businesses with letters of intent for space there. Also under construction is the Market East Plaza. In all, five new Main Street retail complexes are due to open in the second half of the '90s.

• Café Sbarro closes at 93 East Main. Machiavelli’s takes their space, but is short-lived.

• Lattice Works leaves Main Street, after nine years.


And also…


• Klondike Kate’s upstairs fire in 1993. The subsequent renovation and opening of the second floor hugely increase business.

• Balloon ownership changes.

• Businesses on Main Street in 1993 / 1994 include:


o Treats at 36 East Main

o Mail Boxes Etc at 40 East Main

o The Head Shop at 40 ½ East Main

o Outer Limits at 42 East Main Street

o Rainbow Cards & Gifts at 43 East Main

o The Malt Shoppe at 45 East Main

o GrassRoots at 46 East Main

o Crystal Concepts at 47 East Main

o The Corner Deli at 49 East Main

o SilverWorks at 50 East Main

o Rainbow Books & Music at 54 East Main

o Sub-0 (in the Mini-Mall) at 58 East Main

o Jeremiah’s (in the Mini-Mall) at 58 East Main

o Volume II (in the Mini-Mall) at 58 East Main

o The Days of Knights (in the Mini-Mall) at 58 East Main

o Newark Camera Shop at 63 East Main

o Scissors Palace at 65 East Main

o National 5 & 10 at 66 East Main

o Newark Newsstand at 70 East Main

o TCBY at 72 East Main

o Scott’s Gourmet Ice Cream at 76 East Main

o Charlie B / US Travel at 77 East Main

o Wilmington Trust at 82 East Main

o Ninety East Main at 90 East Main

o A Cut Above at 92 East Main

o Great Impressions at 92 East Main

o Machiavelli’s at 93 East Main

o The Stone Balloon at 115 East Main

o Campbell Travel at 126 East Main

o Main Street Florist & Plant Shop at 133 East Main

o Margherita’s at 134 East Main

o Copy Maven (formerly Gnomon Copy) at 136 East Main

o Jude’s Diner at 137 East Main

o Goodwill at 140 East Main

o Cat’s Eye at 144 East Main

o Post House at 145 East Main

o Travel Travel Newark at 146 East Main

o Taylor’s Inks at 150 East Main

o Klondike Kate’s at 158 East Main

o Happy Harry’s at 164 East Main

o Cameras, Etc. at 165 East Main

o Subway at 165 East Main

o Gershman’s Things to Wear at 168 East Main

o New “U” Hair Design at 169 East Main

o Tye 1 On at 170 East Main (Downstairs)

o Formal Affairs at 173 East Main

o Patio Pizza at 175 East Main

o Sinclair’s Café at 177 East Main

o You’ve Been Framed at 179 East Main

o L & N Cleaners & Laundry at 179 East Main

o Don’s Billiards at 181 East Main

o Space II Pizza at 203 East Main


1996 to 2000


Hello, Goodbye…


• There’s all of a sudden a lot more competition for drinking dollars on Main Street, with the opening of Grotto’s, The Brickyard, and Iron Hill.

• Einstein Brothers Bagels takes the place of Treats at 36 East Main.

• Peace of Pizza opens at 44 East Main.

• bloom opens at 92 East Main.

• Caffé Gelato opens at 90 East Main. The previous café there was literally named, “Ninety East Main.”


And also…


• GrassRoots moves into the ground floor of the Newark Opera House building at 93 East Main.

• Rainbow expands, moves into the renovated 58 East Main, which had previously been the Mini-Mall. Among the stores that had to find new locations were The Days of Knights.


2001 to 2007


Hello, Goodbye…


• Fatty Patty's shuts.

• Central Perk opens at 42 East Main.

• Quizno’s opens at 170 East Main.

• Echo opens.

• California Tortilla opens at 57 East Main.

• Panera Bread opens at 138 East Main.

• Clothes in the Past Lane opens at 56 East Main.

• T'licious opens.

• Bert’s shuts, with Caffé Gelato expanding into their space.

• Cold Stone Creamery opens at 168 East Main.

• Sweet and Sassy Cupcakes opens at 134 East Main.

• The Gap closes its location in The Galleria.


And also…


• Home Grown Café at 126 East Main expands and adds bar.

• Goodwill moves off of Main Street, to Newark Shopping Center.

• The Brickyard goes through multiple name changes; becomes Main Street Tavern and Grill then Main Street USA then to Shaggy’s on Main.

• Rainbow Books and Music, Delaware Book Exchange, and Old Market Road do a three location swap: Rainbow Books and Music moves from 58 East Main to 54 (which was their original Main Street location, prior to being at 58), Old Market Road moves from 54 to 46, and Delaware Book Exchange moves from 46 to 58!

• Wonderland changes ownership.

• Hot Dog Lady Diane Smith sells her cart to Bennie Dollard, at which time it becomes Cuisine Fantasy.

• Renovation of the Deer Park.

• The Stone Balloon at 115 East Main closes, and is demolished.


2008 to 2013


Hello, Goodbye…


• Catherine Rooney’s opens in 2010 at 102 East Main Street.

• The new UD Bookstore / Barnes & Noble opens in August 2011 at 83 East Main Street.

• Taverna opens in 2012 at 121 East Main Street.

• Melt Down Grilled Cheese opens at 145 East Main Street.

• The Washington House Condos and the Stone Balloon Winehouse open on the former site of the (real) Stone Balloon, at 115 East Main Street.

• East End Café at 270 East Main Street closes in March 2010, to re-open as Mojo Main later that year.

• After 75 years at 70 East Main Street, Newark Newsstand closes its doors in December 2012.


And also…


• Shaggy’s on Main in The Galleria becomes Kildare’s, in 2008.

• The Korner Diner at 137 East Main Street becomes Cheeburger Cheeburger.

• Switch Snow and Skate takes Rainbow’s space at 54 East Main Street, with the Rainbow entrance moving to the alleyway along the right side of the building, in Fall 2010.

• Chris Avino sells Rainbow Records to Miranda Brewer in June 2013.

• The Stone Balloon Winehouse becomes 16 Mile Brewery in Summer 2013., Glory Days at Delaware, and DelGrads are © 2006 – 2015 the guy who made this site. Website designed by Digger Designs.