One time, while dining at a dairy bar on Route 66 in Commerce, Okla., I chatted with this older gentleman who was traveling through the region. We started talking about vintage businesses along the Mother Road.
“Just down the street, there’s a place that when I walked in, it was like being in my hometown’s grocery store back in 1947,” he said.
He was referring to the Star Cash Grocery at 209 Commerce St. (map here), on an old alignment of Route 66 that goes through downtown.
Star Cash Grocery has been there since 1937. The “Cash” in its name came from the original owner refusing to accept credit for purchases. As a result, it was the only grocery in Commerce that survived the Depression.
Not only does Star Cash look like something from the 1940s or ’50s from the outside, but the inside, too. It still uses wooden shelves for its goods and some produce:
You just know that Mickey “The Commerce Comet” Mantle shopped here.
Check out the retro-styled lettering on this cooler for the perishable produce:
Here’s the old-style meat counter:
I’m not sure what Soft Goods were 40 years ago, but today it is for chips:
This is an old display for food dyes, still being used:
This is a collection of knickknacks. Artwork and other collections are all over the store:
The Star Cash Grocery is surely one of the oldest grocers on Route 66. It’s a well-stocked store and sells a bit of hardware in addition to food items. In the winter, it sells locally made peanut clusters and other candy near the checkout.
And on the day I was there, I bought a cold, 24-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew for 99 cents. So there are bargains to be found.