A bit of the past has resurfaced on Dempster Street, just east of Bronx Avenue. That’s because the recent demolition of a retail building’s exterior wall has revealed an even older original brick wall with five nicely-preserved mid-century ghost signs painted on it.
What a flashback. Westpoint Pharmacy boasted that it gave away S&H Green Stamps—and who didn’t back then? You could get your hi-fi repaired at Allen Lee TV. My favorite is the ad for Pagliacci Pizzeria, which used a 1960s comic book-like “POW” graphic to tell you they delivered. And look at the phone numbers. No need to fumble around with area codes, because unless you were somewhere in the Illinois hinterlands where Mabel the Operator still connected your calls, everybody had the 312 area code. All five businesses have the old Orchard telephone exchange, but Pagliacci expressed its telephone number in the modern, seven numerical digit way.
Davis Cleaners is the only establishment still in business, at 4047 Dempster. The cleaners has the same Orchard telephone exchange, but an otherwise different number.