It’s Berks Nostalgia’s 1st birthday… Share YOUR Nostalgia!

Wow, hard to believe I started this blog one year ago today. Thanks for subscribing, and improving the content of this site by adding your stories and memories! For our 1 year anniversary, I’m leaving the nostalgia up to YOU. Send in your favorite nostalgic photos or videos. They can be of anything; places, people, things. Whatever makes you say, “Remember when!?”…

Feel free to email them to or if you are on facebook post them in the comment section of this post!

I’ll start…below is a pic of my Mother, her sister and cousins being a couple of crazy kids back in July of 1969!



Volkswagen Dealership – 1211 Lancaster Ave – 1960s

Pictures were taken by my Grandfather of the Grand Opening of the Volkswagen Dealership located at 1211 Lancaster Ave in the 1960s. It was diagonally across the street from the Red Barn Restaurant. Today, it is occupied by Glass & Son’s Collision Repair. Did you ever buy a car here?

4th & Penn, Before & After CNA

Before 4th and Penn was torn down in 1980 to give way for the construction of CNA, there were multiple businesses on the block. On the corner all the way on the left was Saylor Food, a fresh produce and goods store. To the right of that was a State Liquor store, which was once Liner’s Furniture, and besides that was an Acme Food Store.

photos from the Collection of M. Willett

4th & Penn 1970s
Before (1970s)
4th & Penn 1980
After (1980)
4th & Penn
Today (2018)


What ever happened to Carrols?

According to Berks Nostalgia followers, there were quite a few Carrols in Berks County. They were located in Sinking Spring, on Penn Avenue where the current notary shop is; also in Muhlenberg on 5th Street, and on Lancaster Avenue.

Carrols Restaurant Group is an American franchisee company that was founded in 1960. The original Carrols chain ceased operations in the United States in the mid-1970s. The last unaffiliated Carrols Restaurants existed in Finland. The chain was eventually bought out by another Finnish fast-food chain, Hesburger. In 2012, Hesburger announced that the brand Carrols would be discontinued.

An offshoot of the Tastee-Freez company, it was named for the daughter of Tastee-Freez co-owner Leo Marantz, Carol.

Herb Slotnick bought the franchise rights for the New York area and started opening restaurants in the Syracuse, New York area in the early 1960s. They expanded over the years throughout New York State. During the 1960s, a yellow slug character served as Carrols’ first mascot, replaced in 1974 by a young blonde boy wearing a tweed suit and a Fedora hat.

Most Carrols restaurant locations were converted to Burger King franchises in 1975, with less profitable stores shuttered. –Source

Nichols Discount City

There used to be a few of these in Berks, one being located at  3001 St. Lawrence Ave, another in Shillington. They are credited with being one of the first major “Drug Stores” in the mid-Atlantic region, with having over 40 stores at one point in the region.

Nichols Discount City Nichols Discount City

Nichols Discount City

A former regional retail discount chain in the Northeast, founded in 1938 as a variety store chain in and around New York City. Nichols opened the first Nichols Discount City store in 1960 in Lancaster, Pa.. These stores ranged in size from 80,000 to 100,000 square feet and were usually located in secondary markets. In 1990, Nichols converted their stores to PharmHouse, a discount drug and housewares store. –Source