Tacoma South Shopping Center

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The Mega Foods shopping center was constructed in the late 1980s. The main anchor store, Mega Foods, was one of the first of the mega warehouse-type stores, and was the largest in Washington at the time. Now, there are some interesting stories about some of these places.

The Round Table for example used to be across the street in its own building which is now an International House of Pancakes. It moved a few years later into the end of the complex, where it has remained for almost 20 years and will remain, as seen below. The SRO Video has a personal history to me as well. Back in the days when movies cost $100 or more to purchase, I really wanted a copy of Hunt for Red October. I was finally able, after some issues, to get a used rental copyŠfor about what the full DVD goes for nowadays.

Over the years the center went through some changes but was always full. The Mega Foods added and removed departments, the Drug Emporium became a Longs Drug, Fantasy World Toy replaced the video store and Hobby, a large import/export and craft store opened and the Petco was replaced by a children¹s consignment store. The movie theater in the past couple of years was converted to Pure Fitness. But again, any empty storefronts weren¹t empty for long.

Other stores in complex in the early years included the following:

  • * Drug Emporium, a large drug store, part of a chain (also the beginnings of the move to larger drug stores)
  • * The first Petco in the area
  • * SRO Video, a video rental store.
  • * Hair Salon
  • * Car rental agency
  • * Round Table Pizza

Outparcels included the following:

  • A Precision Tune (eventually became a Cartec, probably after the many customer complaints this place had against them)
  • A Mitzels (closed after they were bought by Elmers, now a bank)
  • A large movie theater

The biggest change has come in the past few months however. Lowe’s has been eyeing the property to open a new location (conveniently close to a preexisting Home Depot). The deal has been signed and so therefore, all the storefronts are now empty except for the Round Table. It has been rumored yet not proven that the owners of the Round Table owned the whole complex. This could be possible, since the plan is to demolish the whole structure except for the end structure where the Round Table is located.

So, as of July 2004, the Longs Drugs has closed (replaced by the many Rite Aids and Walgreens in the area), most of the other stores have closed and a few have moved to other strip malls in the area. Fantasy World actually moved about 1/2 mile away back to another strip mall where they were at originally. As to the Mega Foods, it is closed and there is no known replacement.

While having a Lowe’s in the area will be nice, losing many of these unique stores and especially the Mega Foods store will be a major blow. And of course, also lost are all the memories. This was a place I used to go to for many years while in school, when back home from college, and while visiting from my work. Many hours were spent in Longs, in Mega Foods, walking in front of the other stores. All to now be replaced by yet another big box home improvement store.


Here’s a link to some of the photo of the demolition and these by Benagain Photo

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Tacoma WA
47.2528768, -122.44429059999999

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