Local store to become WalgreensPublished 10:31am Saturday, December 1, 2012
An Alexander City landmark will close permanently Wednesday after 42 years of operation in the city.
Horseshoe Food Store and Package, located at 3146 U.S. Highway 280, has been sold to Walgreens, and former owner Bobby Chapman said he will miss the business.
“Hundreds of people have worked here, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them,” Chapman said. “Literally thousands of customers have come through over the years.”
Chapman also sold Horseshoe Inn to Jignesh Patel of LaGrange, Ga.
Patel said he hopes to brand the property back to a national franchise but preferred not to comment further until the official closing of the purchase.
Chapman said he had been considering selling the properties for a couple of years and just decided it was time – even though he’ll miss the people he’s used to seeing there.
“This is where my friends come to see me,” Chapman said. “It was kind of a gathering spot. Lots of local tradespeople and Russell employees used to buy the best breakfast biscuit in town here, drink some coffee and start their day at Horseshoe Food Store. For lunch we had fresh vegetables and a great salad bar. For many years we fed the Benjamin Russell football team for the first game of the season.”
The motel – 50 rooms and a restaurant – was originally built in 1958 by Clyde Arnold and U.S. Congressman Bill Nichols, Chapman said. His parents purchased the properties in 1967, and Chapman took over in 1970.
In 1967 the restaurant was closed and the building was remodeled to house the convenience store. Chapman said that was also when they added the Stable Club lounge, which closed in 2005.
“The Stable Club became something of a local “Cheers” for a bunch of regular customers in town,” Chapman said. “If I looked back on it, I could probably say we had our Norm and Cliff and maybe a Sam and a Carla or two.”
The motel saw the addition of 28 new rooms in 1989, and from 1999–2011 it operated under the Best Western franchise.
Kathy Okrongley, president of Connolly Net Lease, LLC., spoke on behalf of Walgreens and said they plan to start construction in January on the current Horseshoe Food Store site and open the store in fall of 2013.
“Walgreens is excited about the opportunity to open a store in Alexander City as they have looked at this market for several years,” Okrongley said. “Their decision to locate here was based on the strength of the community, Russell Medical Center and the tremendous draw of Lake Martin.”
Chapman said he will continue run the nursing homes he owns.
“A heartfelt thank you goes out to the people from the Alexander City, Lake Martin, Coosa County and Auburn/Dadeville/U.S. Highway 280 communities for their business and support through the past 42 years,” Chapman said.