Jun 222013
 
Smith Haven Mall - circa 1970s

Smith Haven Mall – circa 1970s

Only months before the 70s decade rolled in, the Smith Haven Mall opened its doors to the public. Centrally located in Lake Grove, it was a welcome sight to a populace fed up with driving to Roosevelt Field for their shopping. Today, it is much like every other mall in the country. But back in the day, it was quite the sight to see.

For one thing, how many malls today have fine artwork displayed? The Smith Haven Mall included works of art by Larry Rivers, noted sculptor Alexander Calder and psychedelic artist, Peter Max. There were numerous fountains, murals, ponds and sculptures located throughout the structure, including a large fiber optics fountain where small beads of oil made their way down each optic strand. The center of the mall was comprised of a sunken circle surrounded by seating, where they would hold various events and exhibitions.

Different Strokes

Different Strokes

And then, there were the stores.

Here is a list of businesses that inhabited the Smith Haven Mall in the 70s. It is by no means complete. Should you notice a glaring omission, we hope you’ll share it in the comments section, so we can continue to expand this resource. Also, it should be noted that I’ve only found two pictures of the mall from the 70s (both of which are shown above). If you have any interior or exterior shots from the era, we would love to include them here. (please see our submissions page for more info.)

Without further ado, a list of 70s stores (in alphabetical order):

Today, few of these stores exist. They were systematically replaced by national chains that can be found in just about every mall across the country. The loss of unique shops and the wonderful artwork have left the Smith Haven Mall a shell of its former self, but at least we can remember the glory days together.

We would love to hear your recollections of the Smith Haven Mall from the 70s era, along with any pictures or information you can offer to help us remember the past. Share your stories in our comments section, and if you have pictures to submit, they can be sent to submissions@longisland70skid.com.

  198 Responses to “Smith Haven Mall”

  1. Ah, good old Smith Haven. So many memories… going to meet Bob Nystrom and Garry Howatt at Herman’s, the McCrory’s time warp, and being deathly afraid of walking all the way into the back of Time Out arcade because I thought I’d be killed.

    Oh, and does anyone remember that huge bird cage down one of the wings? Or did I just make that up?

    • Great memories, thanks for sharing!

      And no, you didn’t make anything up. There did indeed used to be a large birdcage there, although I’m not sure of which wing it was in.

      • Great site. In was a mall rat hanging out at Time Out. Gene and Joe working the change and tokens. Wasn’t there a little piano shop near the appliance store that was across from Asian Gifts? This was where the bird cages were. Also what was that pizza place that was in the Sears wing? Jimmy was a maintenance guy there. His wife worked as the manager of the cookie factory. Remember IBI security?

        • The appliance store was Layfette’s. (I think that’s how it was spelled-pronounced; Laughy-ettes.). They were a chain store.

          Not on the list was also Radio Shack. (There was one in the mall and outside at the Fox Shopping Plaza (Pathmark, Fox Liquors and a jewish deli).

          The piano shops were; Wurlitzer and Nelson Varon’s.

          There was a “Ticket Master” (where you bought concert tickets) on the mezzanine of A&S. The mezzanine was a restaurant. (There was also a beauty salon.)

    • One of my favorite stores in Smithhaven was called Asian Gifts. It was just that. I used to buy this Asian Orange Ginger candy that were wrapped in rice paper. You could eat the candy and the paper it was wrapped in would melt in your mouth. There were head shop items in the back of the store. The owners were really nice.

    • Yes! I thought I was remembering something that didnt exist. I do have fuzzy memories of the big birdcage, must have been around 78 or 79. I thought it was in the center circle but I could be mistaken. On another note, I rode an elephant in that circle when I was 9 in 1980

    • The bird cage was down the Sears wing out side of dr x pets and buster brown shoes.

  2. My brother worked in CHess King, Used to go to MCCrory’s/Wicks /Sticks. I remember when it opened Batman/Robin came by helicopter. I remember getting a warm salted pretzel in Sears. Andre’s I’m pretty sure is now down here on Hutchinson Island on the Treasure Coast in Florida where I live now.

    • Thanks for sharing that, Kathryn! I used to love how you could cut through McCrory’s, which had two entrances. Made it a much quicker walk to Time-Out. 🙂

      • “Cut-through” McCrory’s…..everyone said it that way!

        There was a pet shop in there and a shoemaker by the parking lot exit.
        There was also a carousel of Brach’s candy by the pound. Everyone would eat them but no one ever paid for it!

  3. Waldman Books and The Cookie Factory. I remember the large one screen theater!!

    • Thanks for reminding me of those places. Much appreciated! Are you sure the Cookie Factory was there in the 70s?

      Saw many movies in the Smith Haven Mall theater, from all the great disaster movies of the era, to the Pink Panther series, and plenty of James Bond as well. (That’s what my parents liked to see). 🙂

    • Century Mall Theatre.

      We started a protest outside the theater. They put too much tanglefoot on their sign that birds fell to the ground. It was a small protest but powerful. They removed it.

      After the late movie let out the mall guards would usher you out the side corridor to the parking lot.

  4. I was there opening day. They had golf carts to drive people from a&s to macys. You need to include g & g shirts….walacks (dad got all his suits there)….. shelleys tall girl shop….danskin leotards…spencers gifts. I remember in the early 70’s miss universe was there.

    • Thank you, Susan! I’m going to research those a little.

      Wow, really appreciate all the comments coming in. Please keep them coming, and make sure you check out the rest of the site. Lots to see here. 🙂

    • I rememb er dans kin tights…I think it was by sears. There was also a fabric store and a piano storm next to it. I remember because we would go there for mom to buy patterns and fabric and dad would sit outside the store listening to the man play the piano in the store. It was by Macy’s or a&s. Remember the open air restaurant in a&s ? Sears had a restaurant too…

    • Wallach’s and Florshiem.

      So many famous people “appeared” at the SHM. If not there then across the street at Korvettes.

      From the hill at Korvette’s we would gather to watch the closed circuit boxing matches playing at the Smithtown Drive-in across the street.

      The fabric store was Frankel’s. The piano store was Wurlitzer.
      Your dad was listening to MY dad playing the piano!

      My father opened that store. Both my parents worked there. My sister was “Miss Wurlitzer”. I just hung around creating trouble 🙂

    • Yes, it was Amparo Munoz, Miss Universe 1974, who appeared at SHM. My sister got an autographed picture of her.

  5. I remember dropping “Salvo” tablets in the fountains and watching the water suds up. I would not be happy if my kids did that!!

    • That made me smile. Thanks for sharing, Lisa!

    • We did that, too. Only we used laundry detergent. (I still do it today. Life should be spontaneous and exciting!)

      We also used to raid all the coins those starry-eyed lovers and dreamer threw into those “ponds”.

  6. I remember the excitement when the mall first opened. Used to cut class and hitch hike to hang out at the mall. I stood outside of A&S to try to get tickets for the concert for Bangladesh, they sold out in minutes. As soon as they sold out Macy’s started to sell the tickets, the crowd turned as one and raced to the other end of the mall. It was all over in a matter of minutes and no I did not get tickets. Sure spent a lot of time hanging out at the mall tho’.

    • Thanks for sharing those memories! You are not alone; I think a lot of us spent many a day at that memorable mall.

  7. Hey maybe I’m remembering a piece in my childhood that really wasn’t there ( as my big brother says) lol but,
    I precisely remember going to a movie theater at the smith haven mall when I was 4/5 years bout 1971 and costumed Snow White and goofy and others would come out and greet the kids .. It was the old movie theater at SHM when you first walked into the mall, it was on the right and always had a gate up so we couldn’t go through the mall..
    Does anyone else remember these costumed characters or am I wrong?

    • Carmen, so glad you found us over here and thanks for sharing those memories!

      I don’t remember that specifically, but it sounds exactly like the promotional stuff Disney was doing in the early 70s. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if your memory is correct. Hopefully, someone else can come along and confirm. Thanks again!

  8. Love your website! I remember G & G in the early 80’s, not 100% sure about the 70’s though. Pretty sure that Mrs. Field’s store was not around in the 70’s OR 80’s. I remember the Naturalizer shoe store being there forever, and I worked there in the early 80’s. The senior citizens loved it, but it certainly wasn’t the ‘coolest’ place to work! It was me (as a teenager) and a bunch of old men haha…..

  9. What about Pet Doctor and Asian Gifts????

    • Thanks for commenting, Al!
      I believe the Asian Gifts place was called Import Alley, which is on our list. Or are you thinking of another place?

      • Asian Gifts was not Import Alley. That was like a Pier One type place. Asian Gifts was just what it said… Asian Gifts. One of my favorites! Holiday Spa… Which became Jack La Lanne’s.

        • Thanks, I appreciate the confirmations! We’ll update the page soon. 🙂

          • Also;
            It was called “Doctor’s Pet Shop”.

            I worked at Import Alley.
            Walter, the owner, was an alcoholic.

            One day he was so drunk he began pulling up ladies dresses (yes, girls wore dresses!) He passed out in the mall in front of the store and I walked over him and down to Different Strokes and took a job there.
            They were both “head shops” and sold pot paraphernalia.

            Different Strokes was outrageous. I could go on with so many stories!

  10. Who remembers the elevator at the main entrance before they added the food court?

    • Ah yes, the elevator that took you to the vast wasteland that was the second story. Rode it many times. 🙂

      • I rode it during school hours when I was in my teens. Security told my friend and I a person has to be 16 y.o. to be at the mall alone at that time. Security then told us to leave the entire mall premises.

        • Shouldn’t have been on that elevator… 😛

          I was working at Block’s Luggage (formerly Rubin’s) when a black woman threw herself off the “bridge” above.
          I remember her shaking and shaking. I learned later she had died.

          The SHM was its own little world. Who needed Jerry Springer?

  11. I am pretty sure there was a store called Asian Gifts in the mall at one time.Maybe the name changed??? The late 70’s early 80’s was the time I would have gone into such a store. However, given my state of mind at the time, anything is possible… Lol

    • yes Asian gifts was in there Sears wing and if I’m not mistaken a pizza joint was right next store

      • I seem to remember Friendly’s being in the Sears wing, but not a pizza joint. I do remember Sbarro’s over by Different Strokes though.

        Thanks for the comment!

        • There was a pizza place that wasn’t Sbarro’s. If remember correctly it was small but the pizza was good.

          • It was Expresso pizza. I use to work there from 1979 till it closed in 1984. Best pizza in town.

        • I think people are remembering Orange Julius. I believe it was next to Asian Gifts.(Hot dogs, hamburgers and smoothies.)

  12. Thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions. Keep ’em coming!

    I’ve added a few stores to the list today. If you’ve suggested something and don’t see it added, please don’t take offense. For the sake of accuracy, I try to confirm every store from at least two sources before I add it. Not only that it existed, but that it existed there during the 70s. Thanks for your patience!

    • anyone rember the ‘mall moonster” and how the kids were afraid of him. Also remember Frankels,,pet shop.

      .

      • I remember the mall monster, and Zappa’s Dungeon.

        Also:
        Expresso pizza
        Craft store (don’t know the exact name)
        Huffman Cohen Vision (Turned into Pearle Vision)
        Hodor Dinettes
        Seamans Bank
        Organ store (again don’t know the name but they had a round platform where a guy would sometimes play the organ as it rotated)
        Leather shop – not sure if that was 70’s or 80’s
        Michael’s Trading Post – used to love to walk past the windows and look at the pocket knives
        Sbarro Pizza
        EAB
        Sam Goodys

        Many many happy afternoons and evenings spent at that mall, first with my Mom and siblings on Friday (pay day for my Dad) and then later with friends. Never knew “Calder” was a person until a couple of years ago. Still mourning the loss of the center pit and the A&S restaurant that looked out on the mall.

        • The Mall Monster!!! I forgot all about him!!

        • I will confirm;
          Expresso Pizza.
          Cohan’s Optical (later Cohan’s Vision Center)
          Hodor Dinettes (They even advertised on TV.)
          Seaman’s Bank for Savings.
          The organ store near Sears; Nelson Varon’s.
          Sbarro’s Pizza
          European American Bank (EAB)
          Sam Goody’s (Music store – “Goody’s Got it!”

          If these are not on the list, add them!

        • The store that became Pearle Vision Center originally had the name Hillman-Kohan. The name change was announced in a TV commercial featuring basketball superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who himself had changed his name and was using his tremendous height to put up the new sign!

      • OMG I just thought of him the other day! He was an icon when I was “mall age”

      • I also remember the mall monster (he was terrifying), and Zappa’s Dungeon but it was my early teens in the mid 80’s.

      • The “mall monster”.

        I worked at Pathmark and he waited on my line. You could tell he was around because the smell was pungent.

        When he got up to me I actually asked him why he wore 2 winter coats (all year) and what looked like motor oil dripping all over him.

        The question started a friendship/acquaintance.

        He told me he had been in a fire and most of his skin had burned away.
        The oil was vasoline (old and dirty because it was a medical “event” to bathe). He had to have it because it coated his flesh and prevented infection. His body could not regulate heat, that’s why he wore 2 coats.

        He was the kindest man I met at the SHM and we chatted every time we met there.

        It was unfortunate that people actually make fun of him to his face.
        (I remember two teenaged girls yelling at him, telling him he was ugly and stunk and using the term “mall monster”.

        The man was always in pain and had been through so much.

        I learned that he had acquired an enormous sum of money from the accident but it never gave him any comfort.

        I will never forget him.

        • I grew up with him his name is Mike Randazzo he was very kind he became schizophrenic in the mid-70s he was an excellent baseball player He use to drive me in his mothers 1970 sport satilite car had a 383 in it and was supposedly fast but he drove it real slow I’ll never forget that he was a huge fan of deep purple he was a. Very kind person just had mental problems wish they gave him medicine he probably would have been fine all and all he was a good person it’s was just a shame

  13. Asian Gifts was definitely its own place. Went there all the time. Barricinis was another store. And wasn’t there a Bentley’s Luggage?

  14. I use to deliver papers in the mall to all the stores Asian gifts was down the Sears wing a pizza parlor was right next store and the birdcage was right there too

  15. OMG! I remember Thom McAn! I believe that’s where I got my “earth shoes”, if that is what they were called! They were my favorite shoes!! And I loved Record World, had to run in to get my 45’s all the time!

    • Glad we could help you remember, Eileen! 🙂

    • Thom McAn had a nickelodeon. We used to watch it for a nickel. It was an old, OLD “movie”.

      Macy’s had a jukebox in the petite section. They purchased it from my Dad who ran the Wurlitzer piano store.

      Macy’s also had an intercom system that broadcasted throughout the mall.
      Here’s how I learned about it;

      One evening my father sent me out to find my Mom. He needed her back at the store (Wurlitzer). He told me to look in Martin’s (a store of fashion) so that’s where I went. She wasn’t there.
      I looked in Macy’s calling out;”Mom! Mom!”
      The employees of Macy’s asked if I was lost. I told them no but I was looking for my mom because SHE was lost.
      Well they figured I was a cute confused kid and took me upstairs (Macy’s only had 2 floors then) to the main office to broadcast over the mall intercom that a young boy was lost. I argued that I wasn’t lost, my mom was. They laughed.

      My father heard the announcement and was furious because he had to leave the store to get me.

      It was so horrible at the time but so funny today!

  16. Great site and memories from the Smith Haven Mall! I worked there while I was at Sachem High School in the late 70’s at a store named Intrigue (owned by Spencer Gifts). In the early 80’s I worked at GNC, which I believe was there in the 70’s as well.

    • Thanks for the kind words and for sharing those memories, Charlie. Much appreciated.

    • At GNC around that time there seemed to be an endless amount of vitamins, protein mixes, and other supplements claiming a weight lifter can put on a lot of muscle.

  17. I remember across from “time out” there was that pet store…puppies in the window, and there was an stereo store towards the front of the mall I think it was called (lafayetts), also there was a gym in the mall I think a jack lalane or something like that.

    • Thanks for contributing those confirmations, Mike!

      • Yes Lafayette’s!! Used to love to stop in and play “Mars Lander” on the TI computers.

        • Of course I remember Lafayettes,,that where I got my CB and stero for my car. Anyone remember Friendly Frost or the Tobaconist where at age 9 I bought cigars for my father..Ah the good old days.

          Also lets not forget the restaurant outside of the mall Coco’s and the Plankhouse…Or good old Service Merchandise as well.

          • Yep Lafayette and Cocos. There was a Toys R Us and a mom and pop computer shop in that strip mall with Service Merchandise.

          • My sister (Miss Wurlitzer) ran Lafayettes during her college years. They used to give her the latest equipment to try at home. We had the latest in electronics!

            I worked in Toys R Us. When people called the store all the phones rang. it was anyone’s job to answer them.
            We had a very mean manager. (He was almost as bad as the manager I had working at Macy’s) One day I picked up the phone and insulted the caller. They demanded to know who I was and I told them I was the store manager and gave them HIS name. He was fired.
            That’s how its done!

    • Layfayette was in the wing that was the shortest, IIRC.

  18. record world…confirmed

  19. “DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS” THAT IS THE QUOTE JOHN DOUGAL SR. NAMED THE STORE AFTER !!

  20. I can’t count how many movies I saw there, but i know one of them was Disney’s Fantasia… I remember walking out thinking “What the hell was that”…

    • Now, that’s funny. 🙂 The movie I remember most vividly was Rocky II. The reason being, right as my family was walking into the theater, some kid walked out and said loud enough for everyone to hear “It was so cool when Rocky won!” … sigh.

      Thanks for sharing that!

  21. What about smithaven ministries?

  22. I used to live within walking distance of the mall and was in the sixth grade when the first stores (Macy’s and A&S) opened. Macy’s gave out buttons that said “I like A&S the best” under which, in small print, it said “next to Macy’s”. A&S gave out similar buttons with the store names switched. Since the mall was so close to home it was routine to walk over there and just hang out. Loved to go looking in Sam Goody’s, get an ice cream at Barracini’s, etc. There was another ice cream shop in the small hallway just off the main Sear’s entrance, but I don’t remember the name.

    One shop that’s missing from the list above is Zum Zum, a restaurant that served German food. It was down near the entrance to Macy’s. I think there was also a Castro’s Convertibles nearby.

  23. I remember riding a baby elephant down in the pit before they filled it in…

  24. expresso pizza on the sears side and hermans side of the mall

  25. nuts n stuff on the macys side

  26. Unfortunately my earliest memories are from about ’88-89 when we moved to Smithtown. I was only 4-5 years old, but I do vividly remember many stores. My mom used to always park right by the exit by Time Out. I used to beg her every time to let me go play some games. I do remember the food court having tons of windows all over the roof. It’s all changed now, unfortunately. I went back and can’t even recognize it anymore. KB toys was also a favorite.

  27. I remember the big bird cage and the elevator before the food court was installed, I also remember riding an elephant in the center ring area of the mall, which I believe, is where the big bird cage was originally located.

    Ah, the many family dinners at Beefsteak Charlies, what I didn’t realize at the time is that it was alll you can drink (beer/wine) on Sundays so no wonder my parents dragged us there, I thought it was for the unlimited shrimp!

    It may have been more of an 80’s thing but does anyone remember hiding out in “Zappas Dungeon” and smoking, then spending the day in Time Out playing games?

    • Great memories, Chris! Thanks for sharing them.

    • Beefsteak Charlie’s (near McCrory’s outside entrance) had all the beer, wine and BIRCH BEER you could drink. Also; they served peanuts. you shucked and threw the shells on the floor. (I remember the cockroaches well!). Beefsteak Charlie’s became Steak and Brew. (Their sign actually said; “Steak and Brew and Steak and Brew” I don’t know why.)
      Coco’s was next to where Chase Bank is now behind the mall. (I think its Fortunoff’s lawn furniture now.)

  28. Cardinal Ties!! Tiny little tie store, in the movie theater ” wing” , but on the opposite side. 🙂 And Martins Department store! Had an escalator in the middle of the store.

  29. Also, Sid’s Pants was next to Foods of All Nations!

  30. Fluf n Stuf

  31. Don’t forget Pants Place Plus. They were next to Macy’s. Spent many a paycheck there!

  32. Don’t forget Zum Zum, Rubins luggage , The plum Tree down by Sears, and orange Julius

  33. I worked at lechters in the 90’s but remember a lot from when I was a kid in the 70’s.
    This End Up (across from time out) Anthonys Pizza (opposite Orange Julius on sears wing near center) and the Metal foil art Manniquins by the glass elevator that had flashing neon behind them. That used to scare me as a kid. There was an appliance store by sears called Frost King I think (very early 70’s). There was Audio Den, also EAB. There were some old photos of the mall at the mall management office, second floor by elevator when it was run by G + G management in the 90’s. Who knows if Simon management left them up when they took over in the 2000’s.

  34. Great job! The stores I miss most….Asian Gifts, Import Alley, Beefsteak Charlie’s and Wick and Sticks…yeah you have your Pier 1s and Yankee Candles, but they just lack something these stores had. Thanks for the memories!
    It would be great if you could do something for the South Shore Mall too. I remember as a kid being amazed by the huge bird cage they had in the middle of the place…you won’t see that anymore!

  35. By reading others, I guess it was the Smith Haven that had the birdcage!

  36. wow again will have to think about this but i can remember shooting pucks at john tonelli in the center (prob early 80s). but for sure i bought my 45s at sam goody in the 70s.. my mom loved orange julius, boaties from thom mcann… dang great site

  37. I jnow the mall opened befire April 1969. I git married the and bought all my clothes there for my honeymoon

  38. I remember most of the stores on the list too. Asian Gifts and Import Alley were definitely two different stores. Import Alley was in the hallway very close to Macy’s and Asian Gifts was in the hallway near Sears. Also, on Rte 25 before turning to go down the roadway to park outside of Sears, there was a Korvette’s store too. Does anyone remember that? 🙂

    • E.J Korvettes.
      It didn’t stand for “eight Jewish Korean Veterans as the rumor would have you believe. The founders used their first names initials E and J and Korvettes came from the name of a battleship “Corvette”.

      They were a little store in NYC that was laughed at by the large chain stores. Eventually they became the number 1 department store. They made more money from their electronics and record departments. The man who created those departments was Max and he used his name backwards as a brand name for their electronics; XAM.

      Korvettes rivaled Billy Blakes, TSS, Modells or Grants and made more money than Sears or Macy’s. Korvettes held the food chain; Hills Supermarkets. (One was located north of the mall in the Rickel’s shopping Center, where Waldbaum’s just closed.)

      If you google images you will find one of the SmithHaven Korvettes.

      Another tidbit;
      The original Macy’s was only 2 stories. When they added the third the architect didn’t account for air flow. The store got so hot many people passed out.

      I was working at Macy’s when it went into bankruptcy protection (1992). It was the most unusual business experience I ever had. No one, NO ONE entered that store for MONTHS. Not a single customer. You knew Macy’s was sunk. Once the pending doom hit the media EVERYONE flocked in. They all wanted to see it before it closed. Customers actually cried. During the proceedings, Macy’s was allowed to stop paying creditors. MANY smaller companies closed as a result of Macy’s debt.

      Macy’s negotiated with larger suppliers. These companies agreed to restock Macy’s with new merchandise (floor merchandise was 3 years out of date!) so Macy’s could survive and eventually pay up their debts to these larger companies.

      The old merchandise had to go. We were ordered to destroy it. They handed us utility knifes and ordered us to slash all the old merchandise.

      I’ll never forget how destructive my Macy’s experience was.

      Sorry. This is supposed to be a site of happy memories.
      Besides being caught shoplifting at Sears (later I became a manager there), this is my only negative memory of the SHM. 😛

      • Wow, I recall the XAM branded electronics at korvettes. As a teenager, I was Leary of that brand. Always went with name brand.

  39. The mall monster. Rumor was that he was a chimney sweeper. How about Foods of All Nations by Baskin n Robbins? Mcrorys was the best cut through from the Sears wing to I believe the Macy’s wing. That store seemed so huge. The Macys side actually had seats by the food consession. The pizza was scary looking under the heat lamps.

    • Thanks for the memories, Fred! I ate at the food counter at McCrory’s many times as a kid, although I think I stayed away from the pizza. 🙂

      • Good move on the pizza. Friendly Frost was the appliance store. We used to play Odyssey video game in there on their tv..lol The Chins owned Asian Gifts. I know lots about the mall because I practically lived there.

  40. I worked at “Art Frame and Photo World” beginning in 1976 (I was 15 but lied about my age…don’t tell Andre! (The salon owner also owned the art store next door.)
    We did custom framing, sold art supplies, sold cameras, and developed photos. I worked there till I went to college, and then on college breaks.
    A quick story about the bird cage…
    One day when I was working a green parrot flew into the shop. I called the pet store…it wasn’t theirs.Then I called Mall security that told me that it must have escaped the big cage in the center and would probably just fly outside and perish in the cold. He told me if I could catch it I could keep it. Had that noisy unsociable bird for years!
    I’ll try to post a photo.
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t1.0-9/227248_1019387161243_908_n.jpg

  41. I came upon this site because I was just in the Whiney Museum this weekend and they have a whole Alexander Calder exhibit – and I said “Mom didn’t the Smithaven Mall have a Calder sculpture” – forgetting it was actually called Calder Court lol.
    How about these stores

    Orange Julius
    Flagg Bros. Shoes

    Yes I remember the Mall Monster!

  42. National Shoes is missing from the list.

  43. Didn’t Mcrory’s sell hot dogs? I remember loving their hot dogs (which were probably loaded with sodium). Later on, (90’s) I remember a store that sold a lot of nature-inspired gifts and decor including fancy stones and wind chimes. A lot of native-American inspired stuff. Natural Wonders maybe? And I still have a silver polishing cloth that has the Sterns name on it. Before they closed my mom bought some of their metal clothing display racks and uses them all the time to this day. I worked at the GAP as holiday help in 1998. I saw Titanic for the first time at the smithaven movie theatre and I met a cute guy at Mrs. Fields named David who gave me a free soda. I came back and gave him my phone number and we went out a few times. ; )

    • Yes, they did sell hot dogs. Ate many of them as a kid. And no, they probably weren’t good for us, but they sure tasted good. Today? Maybe not so much.

  44. My Mom loved Natural Wonders. I remember wacky but cool artwork/decor in food court in the 80s. And VIM!!
    And Red Robin and the restaurant in A&S and the soft serve at Barricinis was incredible! And the petting zoo in the sunken in center of the mall!

  45. Sears used to sell candy and pretzels. Would love going there for a treat.
    And they used to have a circus in the middle of the mall. Fashion shows also.

    • Yes I remember the circus in the center pit. They strung a tightrope and trapeze setup across it with a big yellow safety net underneath. It was thrilling to be so close up to the performers!

    • The SmithHaven Mall had fashion, flower, antique, car, art,and boat shows.

      They would feature “stuff” from the girl scouts, boy scouts and local organizations.

      The mall, in my memory (as a kid) was a real community place.

  46. Does anyone remember the name of the local (to Long Island) head shops that had the exclusive right to sell the WBAB Homegrow Album?

    • it was record stop it was on portion road .. by the burger king .. in the strip mall ..we used to cut out of sachem and go buy our albums

  47. Had heard as a kid that someone had put LSD in the mustard at McCrorys(?) and some little kid died! Over the years as I got older thought it was a typical urban legend – has anyone else heard of this??

    • Urban legend.

      So is the old; “They were breaking into the mall and fell through the roof and died” story. 😛

  48. I sem to remember Record Town and Record World. Tape World came later.

  49. This is great! remember the Pet store in mccorys.. WAsnt Burger King there for a short time?? N the smell of warm pretzels in sears… Fun! Fun!

    • wow i do remember the Burger King and i don’t know why we always ate at Sbarros and nothing else… I also remember the wood paths around Macys that looked like roads..i’d just wander around them pretending to be a car.

  50. My second job was there at Kinney Shoes..1984

  51. OMG – this story makes me so happy. I LIVED in this mall in my youth, and started working in Thom McCann at age 16. I also worked in The Cookie Factory, Chess King and His Place (which I don’t think was on your list, but that may have been very early 1980s). Another store you left off, definitely from the 70s, was Sue’s Place – a women’s clothing store. My mother won 2nd place in a chess cake baking contest at Abraham & Straus (in the upstairs balcony restaurant) and Regis Philben gave her her award. I think my mom still has the picture. I will definitely be writing more. Thank you for this.

    • The clothing store was called; “Susan’s Casuals”. The sign had a flower in it created by NYC artist. Bruce Friedle. When they removed it I tried to get the flower but they destroyed it taking it down.
      Friedle work is now becoming quite valuable!

      BTW;
      The SHM was planned to incorporated a theme of modern art That’s why so much art existed there. (The collage of stuff suspended in front of the elevator is now in a museum. We called it “the legs” I remember it was featured in our 1973 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia under “modern art”)

  52. Also Baker’s Shoes right in the center, between the A&S & Sears aisles.

  53. And, of course, there was a pet store next to Asian Gifts. We bought a great dog there that lived for 19 years!

  54. Beefsteak Charlie’s was originally Steak n’ Stein.

    • Actually it was called Steak and Brew….. I worked there from the very beginning ((early 1973 ) . Married in July, 1975 and two months after it went Chapter 11… Changed its name to Beefsteak Charlies

  55. In the 70’s and possibly 80’s, my dad and I would go to the mall and enter from the entrance currently where the tools are located. You would walk down the isle to the end where the men’s clothing section is currently located. Back then there were appliances along the right side and a candy booth. Dad would get me pistachio nuts or cashews. Then you would walk through the woman’s section and that would lead into the mall. Nowadays they opened up the center of Sears so you can get the the mall through the jewelry section.

  56. I remember in the mall by Sears, there was this fountain with long wire strands that had glistening beads running down the wires. Read in previous posts about it being oil beads. Would like to see a photo of this fountain.

    I remember the elevator in the front of the mall with Lafayette electronics, used to love that store! I had a Lafayette stereo record player with radio and 8 track tape recorder. Taped all my albums that I bought at Sam goody.

    I remember mc crorys dept store. Anyone remember the toy called squirmels? It was a furry pipe cleaner type worm on a fishing string. It would appear to move between your fingers as if it was alive. Bought it there, had lots of fun making people think it was real.

    • I remember squirmels!! It came in either orange or neon green. Such a tough choice as a little kid… Both colors were cool!

    • As of now, 2016, you can still buy squirmels. They still make them!

      I seem to remember them dismantling the oil fountain and putting it into a dumpster,
      They were very popular in MUCH smaller versions for the home.

      They dripped mineral oil on fishing line.

      • I actually bought one of the recent squirmels.

        In mc crorys, I used to get t shirts printed. It was located near the pizza counter. Someone mentioned a comic book store, I remember buying coins (still have them).

        There was another store that would do iron on t shirt transfers. Anyone remember the name?

  57. Does anyone remember the meeting the Mets there in 1970/71? I was only 7 years old, but remember it was PACKED!

  58. I have many memories.
    The “piano store” that everyone is referring to is called Wurlitzer. I used to take lessons from there!! I’ll never forget watching and hearing the player piano play music by itself using those rolls with holes in them. It always amazed me.
    I also clearly remember getting a portrait made of me in 1976 by the elevator at the front. The artists name was Buche’ or something like that (it was torture having to sit there for so long). I still have the picture!
    We used to ride our bicycles there all the time. There was a bike rack at the entrance and that entrance road seemed like it was 1/8 of a mile long! Now, as soon as you pull into the mall you have to turn left or right.
    I also remember buying my first 10 speed bike from Sears as well as playing with Pong and Atari 2600 when it first came out.
    Lafayette was the coolest store. I bought an electronics kit from there so I could make my own projects. I also remember that they had a tube tester. We had to test the tubes to repair our tv set when the vertical or horizontal hold would weaken…..remember those days?
    How about the Cheese that used to hang from the ceiling in Sbarro pizzeria? I can still smell that place.
    These memories are priceless! I really hate the Mall since they updated it.

  59. My mother worked in Martins which became Martins/TSS (times Square Stores) for years.

    Does anyone remember Friendly Frost (appliance store) ? or the Tobacconist? I remember being 11 and buying my father cigars there. I know it sounds crazy today, but back then all you had to say it was for an adult.

    Also the mall had that cool fish tank…That mall was so cool then now it is completely antiseptic and look like any other mall.

    Does anyone remember the 2 restaurants off of Nesconset highway in front of the mall Coco’s & The Plankhouse?..which later became El Torito.

  60. In the store Different Strokes there were two levels separated only by a few stairs. The upper level was for adults only as they had various you know what paraphernalia there. I remember as a teenager loitering near the stairs waiting for the store clerk to help a customer. I would then sneak up the stairs and check out the stuff.

    • Ha… my Dad was the owner.

      • I remember the “stair” up to the display cases. I worked there. Maybe you bought “pipes” from me? (We wouldn’t sell you any if you called them anything else.)

        Hello John!
        I only saw you in the store when you’d come in and raid the cash registers!

        I got the job because my dad knew your dad. (He sold him a piano.)

        Everyone employed there was into some sort of “illegal” activity? Hobby?
        Addiction?
        I was the only virgin in the place…. LOL!

        I remember telling very old ladies who wanted to see the paraphernalia that I had to I.D. them!
        Ha!
        They LOVED it!

        I used to make transfers on shirts for local gangs. No other place would do that for a gang. I charged them the regular price and an additional $20 that I pocketed! (I wasn’t they only one selling stuff and not ringing it up….)

        We sold exotic lingerie and the only place to try it on was the bathroom.
        I told all the girls they had to come out onto the floor to model it – and they did!

        Those were great fun times!

        • I worked there too in the very early years. Perhaps I sold you a waterbed – or pipe – or some sort of funky oil. What a blast. Great times. Hugh smile just thinking about it 45 years later.

          Best to John and Kenny.

  61. The bird cage was in the sears wing and the birds used to get out and fly over peoples heads

  62. I’d love to find a picture of the giant tv you could play in at the Children’s Outlet store…it used to be where i think a Cinnabon is now right outside the exit of Macys.

  63. Does anyone know the name of or anything else about the restaurant that used to be above (I believe) A&S? Was it just “the A&S Restaurant?”
    Also, there used to be a comic book shop tucked away inside McCrory’s , don’t know if it had a separate name.

    • The Abraham and Strauss restaurant had a name but it escapes me.. The shoe department was just before it on the second floor. The restaurant jutted out over the entrance and suspended into the mall. It had a glass wall that folded away and out of view when the store was open.

      By the time I worked there the restaurant was closed.

      A&S had a small basement level with warped parquet tile. It always flooded and smelled awfully moldy.

      They put me to work in the stock room sorting men’s underwear.
      The room was to the right of the mall entrance. I was stuck in that dark, concrete, dingy area when all of a sudden the whole building shook!

      I came out to see what happened and I was almost run down by stampeding woman!

      It was one of the first door-busters events.
      I thought the world was coming to an end!

      • Pianoman, could you post photos from your family’s collection? I am also curious about this mall monster, not sure if I remember him? Any photos? Post photos here or any site, even Facebook. Thank you!

    • The comic store in McCrory’s was called Serendipity. They also had baseball cards.

  64. Bakers and G&G were definitely there in the 70’s. I spent my allowance there and at the pizza place that was next to the McCrory’s entrance, I believe. I remember that I could get a slice and a coke for under a dollar. I bought some feather earrings and brown suede moccasins at the head shop near the main entrance.

    • i remember when it was a grass field. you can see from Rt25 to Nesconset Hwy. I worked at the Circus snack bar late 60s early 70s serving ice cream & pretzels between after school activity (Sachem). There were two stores,striped walls red & white same as the striped shirts we all wore. Good memories!

  65. I remembered across from Time Out when you cut thru Mcoys 2 entrances 1 had a pizza, fries & hotdogs sit down eaterie

  66. I remember the rainbow shop and the mall monster..was a big homeless man who hung around

  67. Hi everyone!
    How about fluf n stuf
    Or childrens place w that little circle you could fit yourself in?
    Also i remembr a western store near theentrance near jack la lanne
    As well as fountains while walking along and the overpass thing filled with vines a water fountains and parts of mannequin bodies…

  68. Can remember how thrilled everyone was when the Mall was built, till then we would drive into Roosevelt Field, for Easter and school shopping.

  69. Our family was brought out to Long Island so my father could open the Wurlitzer (pianos) store. As kids we practically lived at the SmithHaven Mall. (The name was derived because the mall was built on the Smithtown/Brookhaven townships line.)

    The mall opened in 1969. It was an event.

    My sister was Miss Wurlitzer. She was 5 years old and drew crowds walking on the pedals of a theater organ as she played the keyboards. The organ was pushed out into the mall for her performances.

    We were “mall brats”.
    There are a thousand stories I could tell about our escapades at the SmithHaven Mall, the most interesting is when we accidently set the mall on fire.

    We were playing with Kenner’s Piccadoos in the back booths of Wurliter and left the little oven on while we raided all the half and half from McCrory’s.

    The smoke billowed out and the fire department arrived and evacuated the mall.

    There were regular car shows, antique shows, sidewalk shows, flower shows, fashion shows, RV shows…
    (The SmithHaven Mall touted itself as “the largest indoor mall” with the “most events”.)

    There were restaurants in Macy’s and Abraham and Strauss (and of course McCrory’s).
    Macy’s had a toy, pet, book, and electronics departments.

    The myth that there was a tunnel to Korvettes across the street were false. The stories about Zappa’s Dungeon were mainly true. (This was an emergency exit that went way back to a stairway, under some stores and came back up. It was never well lit. It must still exist.)

    The property was a horse farm and was originally purchased for about $1.5 Million.
    In the 1980’s Prudential purchased the mall for about $16 million. (Ironically the man that owned the horse farm parlayed his $1.5 mil into $16 mil also.) Prudential restored the Calder sculpture (mobile) and brought it back into the mall. (It was rotting in an enclosed fenced area on the SE part of the parking lot for years.) (It was later sold for about $1.5 Million.) (There is a picture of a mural taken at the SHM in the 1973 WorldBook Encyclopedia. Our family has some other pictures of the mall.)

    I worked in many of the stores at the mall; Frankel’s, Different Strokes, Import Alley, Macy’s, A&S, Block’s Luggage (formally Rubin’s), Sears, Kay Bee Toys, Herman’s.

    Some of the stores on the main list did not open when the mall opened. (Some came in the 80’s) Another artist (omitted from this mall history) was Bruce Friedle (NYC) (originator of the 60’s “sunburst”).Sears was not completed when the mall opened.

    Some stores I recollect; Orange Julius, Nelson Varon’s, Buster Brown’s, Frankel’s, Seaman’s Bank for Savings, Kinney Shoes, Striderite, Suzie’s Casuals, Sbarro’s, Life Uniforms, Lerner’s Shops, Dalton Books Kinney Shoes.

    My father eventually left Wurlitzer and opened 16 piano stores across Long Island.
    I was still a brat and anywhere there was a place to explore, I went! (Billy Blakes, Korvettes, Hills, Gertz, Modell’s (White-Modell’s) Pergaments, FoodFair, etc… I always raided their board records and office files. Billy Blakes was the best fun. They closed before liquidating stock became the norm. The shuttered store was completely filled with stock. It was paradise to a kid!)

    Other tidbits;

    The corridor leading to the new food court has a second level. The original plan was additional stores on the second floor. (In fact the mall was designed to carry a second level all around.)

    I woman jumped off the upper bridge and eventually died from the impact.

    The bird cages everyone mentions was originally a cage of monkeys furnished and maintained by Doctor’s Pet Shop. Doctor’s was closed several times for animal neglect.

    I could go on and on. It has been fun going back..

    • Wow Pianoman, thank you so much for sharing that comment. It would seem that you and I have a connection beyond this site.

      I am a professional musician who started playing organ around 1974. Because I showed some talent at the time, my parents wanted to invest in a quality instrument. We headed over to the Wurlitzer store at Smith Haven and, after much wrangling while I paced around the store (I was eight) my dad ended up purchasing one of the top of the line models – three tiers, a beautiful instrument. I spent countless hours learning how to play music on that organ and did so for over 20 years.

      My sincere thanks to your family for helping to make that possible. I’m glad you have enjoyed the site!

      • 70sKid;

        Wow!
        Its really great to hear that.
        The SHM came into my life the day it opened and I spent so much time within it. (I think I worked in every store!).

        My Dad would appreciate hearing your story.
        My father was a concert pianist and violinist. He studied with and accompanied many greats in the industry.

        All my life I have heard so many kind words about him from musicians who were helped or inspired by him.

        Back in the 60’s I was torn from my safe little life upstate NY and dragged to Long Island because my father had to open Wurlitzer in the SHM.
        It was traumatic for me.
        Now, reading this site, I can look back with a better perspective of those simpler years and understand that they were wonderful times.
        (Especially accidentally setting the mall on fire. Where would this site be if the whole place burned down? LOL!)

        I appreciate all the efforts you make to present this site. (Probably more than most people.) I probably contributed more than necessary but
        this site is a time capsule and if people don’t contribute then all their memories will be lost forever.

  70. Does anyone remember the name of the make up store in the mall with the hair/nail shop attached? I believe down the sears aisle??? Help!!

  71. Who operated the mall before Simon in 1995? There has to be photo’s of the mall when they 1st opened in 1969. Robert Moses was on hand. Im wondering if the newspapers or local television stations covered the event. Does anyone have pictures of the inside and outside of the mall during the 1970’s

  72. Anyone remember the great Christmas decorations? They had so many animated elves and white cotton snow and Santa’s workshop. I always knew when the holidays were approaching because dad would say, “Do you want to go see the holiday decorations at the mall?” Then we’d go to Sears and play free video games on the Tv’s there.

  73. I worked in Different Strokes way back then. Great place to be and met a nice bunch of girls that worked there. Made tee shirts, sold jewelry,etc.

  74. Great memories – I remember in the 90s a time when “clubbing” was big (husband thinks I’m crazy) there was a clothing store maybe near Macys that used to have a DJ playing. Cant remember the name… anyone else?

    • I remember it also, but not the name.

      The dressing rooms were in the back and up on a platform. There were chairs below for the guys to sit and watch the woman under the dressing room doors.
      It was a very “progressive” place.

      (Give your husband a Bronx cheer and tell him you are right!)

  75. My dad used to own Different Strokes.

  76. My Dad also owned a store called Feet Street. Dont see it on the list though.

    • John, I’ll make sure we add it. Thanks for telling us!

    • I worked at Feet Street in the late 80s. At that time I believe it was owned by the Bush family who owned Shoes n Things. Spent most of my paycheck there. Loved Foods of all Nations. Saw the Mall Monster all the time. There were so many different stories about him. He kept to himself. Drove a big Lincoln.

  77. Wow — it’s quite gratifying to see many comments already mentioning some of the most memorable things about what I knew as THE mall in my childhood: the artwork, the birdcage that never seemed to cage them all, the Doktor Pet Center (yes, with a “k”), the Wurlitzer store with the rotating platform, the fountains, and so forth. How many times did I cut through McCrory’s to the smell of those hot dogs! We never bought any, though. Our place to eat was the Friendly’s, and it was the first restaurant in which I ever ate on my own.

    When I was very little, I often wanted in the worst way to go up to the A&S balcony restaurant, just for the view. My mother would just as often explain that that privilege was reserved for those who’d pay the outlandish price to eat there. (Come to think of it, I rarely saw anyone actually up there anyway!)

    My favorite hangouts were the Waldenbooks (one place to kill time while the others shopped), the Time Out (of course, but I watched more often than played), and the KB. For a while, the KB was my chief place to purchase games, until Waterloo opened in Stony Brook. In general, we must have done the most business with Sears; most memorably, we got our first video game console there (an Odyssey), and in later years, a number of the Sears versions of Atari 2600 cartridges. (I laugh to remember that one Play World ad called them “Atari tapes” from their resemblance to 8-track tapes.)

    One store I haven’t seen mentioned so far on this thread is Parklane Hosiery — I don’t believe we ever went in there, but it was located right between a department store and an exit corridor; it was just a storefront that I remember often seeing in the background while I was sitting around waiting for others.

  78. I was there in 1969 as SHM was just opening.I remember Baker’s Shoes and 2 park Lane hosiery stores. My Mom worked at Martin’s (now Penney’s) for many years in the fine China department. In the days of Sunday blue laws,the towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown were operating with 2 different rules. Martin’s, being right on the two towns borders,had to close half the store that was in Smithtown only on a few Sundays.
    THANKS for the memories!

  79. OMG! What memories just came flooding back! I remember sitting in the center circle of the mall with a friend and smoking cigarettes. We were only 15 and I was practicing blowing smoke rings. Needless to say, my mother happened to be shopping there and saw us. She came right up to me and grabbed me by the ear. The ride home was a doozy! I loved that mall. Beefsteak Charlie’s was awesome! When I turned 18 (the legal age to drink back then), I remember going with friends to eat there and getting the all you can eat peel your own shrimp and pitchers of tap beer. Those were the days!

  80. Stroll-n-shop/mall information booth/lost & found/security guard station: I worked there with my sister & mother in the 1970’s. Great memories. There was a Tuxedo shop & I remember Joel Gray being there. Also, members of foghat, riff raff, & twisted sister shopping there. And I went to school with the Dougals that owned Different Strokes.

  81. Wow, that was my mall while growing up. I loved that place. Used to hang out there all the time with sister and friends. I remember all those stores. I loved seeing all the interesting things in the ,’Intrigue’store. They were owned by Spencers and was similar but better imo and was down another wing of mall from Spencers. Mcrorys used to sell food too. I didnt care for Time Out..too scary inside. Always went to Sbarro for pizza or Friendlys. Dad used to drop us off at mall and we would be there all day. Artwork was cool and interesting in a way but I didnt like it as a kid. I never really liked abstract so it didnt make sense to me. I remember the giant leg at the entrance and the neon signs of the guy tumbling. I used to think all that was strange..very odd. Found out later on that much of it was done by famous artists like Calder from a boyfriend of mine who knew him. Such fond memories of SHM and of growing up around there in LI. (Ronkonkoma) in ’60’s and ’70’s. when everything felt fresh and new and unexplored..down to earth yet exciting. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  82. Does anyone remember what restaurant was at SHM at Friday’s location

  83. The guy that ran Andre’s Head Factory was the biggest degenerate horseplayer I ever saw. I was a 14 year old kid at the time and used to sneak into the OTB (in the shopping center next door where Pathmark was). Andre would come in with hundreds or thousands of dollars, blow it on the ponies in a few hours and then throw stuff, curse and storm out. Ended up bankrupting that place.

    I later worked at the Walden Books in the mall, managed it for a year before I went back to graduate school.

  84. My mom used to LOVE going to McCrory’s when I was a little kid and she would always bring me along. It remember it would take her HOURS to go from the Macy’s side to the Sears side while shopping! Sometime after the cafeteria on the Macy’s side closed, they opened up a smaller concession on the Sears side selling mostly (only?) hot dogs. Where was the food court before Calder Court opened in the 80s? I assume there was one because my mom would leave me to eat at McCrory’s and come back to join me a few minutes later with some other food from the mall. The food at McCrory’s wasn’t good enough for her but apparently it was good enough for me! Lol

  85. I remember when Spencer’s Gifts was so popular in the 80’s, they opened up a second store in another part of the mall and called it Spencer’s II!

  86. My mom worked in A&S for many years and we used to walk around the entire mall while she worked back in the early to late 70’s, McCrory’s, Pet Doctor and Ice Cream in the restaurant up above the A&S Department Store are always good memories.

  87. When did Lum’s restaurant open there? It was across from Marine Midland bank on the Macy’s wing. Thanks.

  88. Disregard my last comment. I was thinking of Zum Zum. Lum’s was a restaurant in upstate NY (where my parents liked to take us in the 70s).

  89. I didn’t see it mentioned here but there was also a store that sold sewing machines. Not sure if it was the fabric store or Singer. Anybody remember? It was in the sears wing. My dad bought my mother one for Christmas.
    Also didn’t see any references to the enormous Christmas decoration in the pit. I absolutely LOVED it!! It was a huge tree type thing with all kinds of characters and reached the ceiling. It was magical to me…
    I also remember the “blue laws” that split up the mall, half was closed on sundays and half opened. Some stores had late nights. I worked at Sbarro, Thom McCann and Macy’s. That was the early 80s tho.

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