• Back at the office or school? Still working from home? Need to vent, or just connect with other planner and built environment types? Come join us!

    Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing or masks required.

Weird businesses in your area

DA Monkey

Cyburbian
Messages
84
Points
4
When I was growing up, there was a shop next to the main highway and it was called the "Big Cow". It always had packs of people in it and, surprise surprise, it had a huge display statue of a frisian dairy cow out front. I think it was a bit of a tourist thing that concentrated on the "Big" description and the statue as an advertising thing. I have also seen other shops nearby variously called:

The Big Didgeridoo
The Big Mower
The Big Pinapple

and I have visited the town with "the Big Banana" and yes you guessed it, the shop was fronted by an enourmous Banana :-D
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,899
Points
25
DA Monkey said:
When I was growing up, there was a shop next to the main highway and it was called the "Big Cow". It always had packs of people in it and, surprise surprise, it had a huge display statue of a frisian dairy cow out front. I think it was a bit of a tourist thing that concentrated on the "Big" description and the statue as an advertising thing. I have also seen other shops nearby variously called:

The Big Didgeridoo
The Big Mower
The Big Pinapple

and I have visited the town with "the Big Banana" and yes you guessed it, the shop was fronted by an enourmous Banana :-D

I have to ask what a shop called The Big Didgeridoo would have as merchandise. Was it a nick-knack shop or did they really just sell oversized didgeridoos?

The Big Banana sounds like the name of a male strip club or a gay bar, so I'm not even going to ask what they sold in there. :-0
 
Messages
7,628
Points
29
DA Monkey said:
When I was growing up, there was a shop next to the main highway and it was called the "Big Cow". It always had packs of people in it and, surprise surprise, it had a huge display statue of a frisian dairy cow out front.
Hmmm. Does anyone know if Columbus, GA still has a huge statue of a cow on the endless green lawn of (I think) the headquarters of some dairy company? And does anyone know the name of the company that has (or had) said cow? :-D
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,937
Points
39
I noticed yesterday that Toronto has a store called "Cajun Corner", which purportedly sells products exclusively from the great state of Louisiana. I have no idea what the market for that would be up here...
 

ingridt03

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
Weird Businesses...

Hi All! I was bored outta my mind, looking through some of the forums from waaaaaaaaay back, and came cross this one called "Weird Businesses" - it had people sharing stories about the quirky local joints in their town that had unexpected combinations of services/products.

Me, for instance, I live in upstate New York where we have the (in)famous Pepi's Pizza and Bridal Shop (classy, huh?) They sell pizza and bridal gowns, all under one roof. I kid you not.

Make me feel better and let me know what the weirdos in your town are cashing in on!
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,937
Points
39
This is the thread Ingridt03 was referring to (welcome btw - you should go introduce yourself!).

The only business I've come across since this thread lapsed is "Carlaw Carbureations". Yes, a whole shop dedicated to carburetors. Staffed by an angry looking old man who is usually sitting in the window.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,837
Points
26
Hmmm let's see... around here and actually in all main chilean cities you can find coffee shops that not only serve coffee but also you get it served by nice ladies with few clothings... :-D (For some weird reason, men that came for the APEC summit last year here loved it... :p) So yes it's like some kind of mix between a topless bar and a coffee shop, except that the girls aren't topless, but in their undies or in bikinis... around here we call the the "Coffe with legs"(direct translation) since that's what they mostly show. ;)

Ok that's not very weird... but still. I bet a few Cyburbians would want to come around here and drink some coffee ;)
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
More of a weird transition of uses, than one actual strange use, but we have a building here that started life as a family restaurant, became a large funeral parlor, and is now a Greek restaurant/biker bar. :victory: All in the same building, all without any obvious major changes. Needless to say, I have never eaten there--in any of its incarnations.
 

MitchBaby

Cyburbian
Messages
198
Points
7
DA Monkey said:
When I was growing up, there was a shop next to the main highway and it was called the "Big Cow". It always had packs of people in it and, surprise surprise, it had a huge display statue of a frisian dairy cow out front. I think it was a bit of a tourist thing that concentrated on the "Big" description and the statue as an advertising thing. I have also seen other shops nearby variously called:

The Big Didgeridoo
The Big Mower
The Big Pinapple

and I have visited the town with "the Big Banana" and yes you guessed it, the shop was fronted by an enourmous Banana :-D

Ah, good old Coff's Harbour... the Big Banana...

Don't forget the Big Merino Sheep, the Big Prawn, the big Advocado, the Big Barramundi, the Big Shell, the big Pelican... some of it is cool, most of it is strange...
 
Messages
1,580
Points
21
Dan said:
Are there still any real hat stores -- not baseball cap, but old fashioned hat stores -- in business anywhere outside of NYC?

...

A few doors down from the air filter store is a store that sells nothing but parts scrapped from elderly computers...

If anyone is familiar with Port Moody in BC, there is a new development called Newport Village and it has no less than TWO hat stores. I bought a fedora from one of them, actually. For some reason there seem to be more hat stores in this development of 1500 or so people than there are in downtown Vancouver.

In Coquitlam, BC (amongst other cities in greater Vancouver) there are a great many used computer stores, also equally overpriced. I have no idea how they stay in business because new computer parts in Vancouver are at least 30% cheaper than on the East Coast (right off the boat parts and Asia-style low markup computer dealers are to thank, no doubt).

There is a business in my town of Port Coquitlam that I have no idea how it stays in business. It's some sort of outdoor goods store but is focused more on hunting, archery, and very niche markets. The thing is, its hardly ever open and I have not ever seen anyone buy there.
 
Messages
146
Points
6
Plannerbabs said:
More of a weird transition of uses, than one actual strange use, but we have a building here that started life as a family restaurant, became a large funeral parlor, and is now a Greek restaurant/biker bar. :victory: All in the same building, all without any obvious major changes. Needless to say, I have never eaten there--in any of its incarnations.

Along those lines we have a former Pizza Hut that's now Tandoori Hut.
 

ingridt03

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
Holy cow, are u serious?! Were all three of these owned by the same people?! He must have been going through some major identity issues in his lifetime lol!

Plannerbabs said:
More of a weird transition of uses, than one actual strange use, but we have a building here that started life as a family restaurant, became a large funeral parlor, and is now a Greek restaurant/biker bar. :victory: All in the same building, all without any obvious major changes. Needless to say, I have never eaten there--in any of its incarnations.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,986
Points
31
In Ness City Kansas I once stopped into a place that sold conveince store food, gas and diesel, farm supplies, guns, beer, ammo, more guns, and....wait for it....bridal gowns. My guess is it was a husband and wife deal where their respective busineses shared a common roof. What a place. Oh, they also sold live bait.

"Were did you find that lovely weddin' gown Nora-Jeane?"

"Down at Jim's Bait, Bath, and Bazooka."
 

gobayview

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
A place in Milwaukee...

Repo Man said:
A place in Milwaukee...

There used to be a store in the Walker's Point neighborhood of Milwaukee called "Valerie's Gallery" which was a bit of a curiosity shop, selling one-of-a-kind antique novelties as well as your run-of-the-mill modern kitsch. You could spend days in there. They had a antique collection of glass eyes, 19th death masks, and canes made from mummified bull schmekels (for lack of a better term), all for sale. A sad day when they closed in the late 90's.

Still open in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee is "Stemper's" 10,000 square feet of used church decorations, nik-naks and architectural peices. Everything from chalices to 12 foot crucifixes (crucifi?). They also sell new liturgical supplies. Walking through, its sort of sad to think of all the old churches that must have gone belly up to stock the place.

Spice
 
Last edited:

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,262
Points
30
gobayview said:
, and canes made from mummified bull schmekels (for lack of a better term), all for sale.

There was a meat market in Lansing, Kansas that sold golf putters with the shaft being made of "mummified bull schmekels". The place closed about 4 years ago and since the day it closed, I've regretted not buying one.
 

spokanite

Cyburbian
Messages
202
Points
9
This summer in DC a friend took me to this great South American restaurant that made mostly broiled chicken. It had a great name: Crisp and Juicy. Amazing food. Best chicken I ever had. Fast-paced, very much like the Soup-Nazi on Seinfeld.

There's a store here in town called the White Elephant. I used to love this place as a kid. They sell an interesting combination of "Guns/Ammo and children's toys". I love the place. It's a great local store with a dedicated following.

It's also home to the largest collection of Expo '74 memoriabilia in the world. Anyone need an Expo '74 wall plate or spoon to add to your collection? I can get you one, cheap! Maps? Stickers? foot-shaped ashtrays?
 
Last edited:

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Toledo used to have a store, on Sylvania Avenue, called "Hollywood Dream Factory". They had all kinds of hollywood-type stuff, including a great collection of movie posters. I bought a few there, including "Doctor Strangelove" and (the original) "Attack Of The Fifty-Foot Woman"....or was it "Thirty?". :cool:

This store was there long before the internet made it easy to find these types of things. The store is long gone.

Frankly Bear, I Don't Give A Damn
 

MitchBaby

Cyburbian
Messages
198
Points
7
There was a small town in Australia that my ex-gf and I drove through recently and it had a combination Pornography store and Pet store... Thought that was an odd combination...
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,463
Points
25
MitchBaby said:
There was a small town in Australia that my ex-gf and I drove through recently and it had a combination Pornography store and Pet store... Thought that was an odd combination...

Not if your Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford :gagged: :m: :w: :victory: :f: :victory:
 

jsk1983

Cyburbian
Messages
2,531
Points
25
MitchBaby said:
There was a small town in Australia that my ex-gf and I drove through recently and it had a combination Pornography store and Pet store... Thought that was an odd combination...

That sounds vaguely familiar, I think Bill Bryson wrote about about it in A Sunburned Country or Down Under as it was titled for the British market.
 
Top