B&J Sporting GoodsApril 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Posted in anchorage, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: 1970s, B&J Family Store, old anchorage, restoration, retail
Wow! I am bowled over in early ’70s Anchoage memories today, after visiting B&J. It has moved back to its old location and setup after a couple decades plus of banishment to part of its own basement stockroom.
Like many others, I was surprised to learn it was still there during its basement era — just an innocuous entrance, a single door on the side of the building. Still some nice bargains and interesting items to be found, even looking for them in a cramped, dark subterranean space.
But they did the big work now! The bingo hall that took the store’s place is gone. The wall to wall glass storefront, looking out on a small parking lot on Northern Lights Blvd. was filling the place with light! There’s lots of room in every aisle to back up and get a good look at everything. There’s a beautiful beam and decking exposed structure ceiling. New carpet in the front part.
The layout is just the same as back in the day — the fishing gear in the back corner, boots on the right side wall, knives and specialty camping gear in the middle, coats and clothing in the front. I totally remember walking these same aisles and looking at everything when I came in here 40 years ago with my mom and brother and sister to buy snow boots, gloves and winter coats at the beginning of the school year. It’s not quite as large a space as back then, but pretty close — must be 2/3 or 3/4 the size of the old one.
So screw you, REI [and Sportsman's Warehouse, and every other non-locally owned competitor] — this place is where it’s at!