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BY MIKE AVITT
This week’s picture comes from the Eleanor Hacker collection by way of Michell Ricker. We see what appears to be a dirt parking lot in front of the West End Market at 1004 W. South Street (Highway 2).
The West End Market was opened June 16, 1950 by Leo Hacker and Nick Duros. A grand opening was held two weeks later with free Coca-Cola, balloons, cigars, etc. Hacker left the firm in October 1952 when he traded his interest in the business to Earnie Kimball. I don’t have any further information on Mr. Kimball.
Nick Duros’s store had stiff competition in those days, especially from Hy-Vee and Don’s Ayrliner. Hy-Vee had bought out United Food Market in 1962 and was now in a modern building. Don Solliday opened his food store in 1965 in a new building on the highway. As a result, Duros closed West End Market in July 1967. Nick then began working the meat counter at Ayrliner.
Nick’s son, Steve Duros, hosted dances in his dad’s old store building which Steve called The Happen Inn. But, in 1971, the building would become a restaurant and bar with well-known owners – Pete and Ruth Cavender. April 9, 1971 saw the opening of Ruth’s Steakhouse and Pete’s Escape Room.
Kenny and Pat Scott bought the bar and restaurant from Pete and Ruth in October 1978. They called their new business The West End Restaurant. Alice Reynolds and Marvin Rice would be the next owners in February 1980. The restaurant was now R & R Cafe.
The next occupant was Dredge Feed about 1990. It became Triggs Feed about 2015.
This building was erected with a flat roof but it now has an arched roof. That’s because Royce Dredge salvaged the arched trusses from the old Hy-Vee building in 1994 and put them on his building.
In 1950, there were five grocery stores in Mount Ayr. Now, there is one. But, before you let loose an expletive, think about this: In 1950 there were about ten filling stations and now there are none!