Buffalo in the ’80s: Hills at Transit & Main

By Steve Cichon

Not sure what Buffalonians will have more fun remembering: Hills or gas prices at $1.13.

Buffalo News archives

Buffalo News archives

The shopping plaza known as the Clarence Mall, complete with empty Ames, G&G Fitness and Burlington Coat Factory stores, was bulldozed in 2005 when the name was changed to the Shops at Main/Transit.

Barnes & Noble, Old Country Buffet and Bed, Bath, & Beyond now fill the retail strip between the Eastern Hills Mall and Main Street along Transit.

Bells Markets and Liberty Shoes were among the stores at the Clarence Mall in 1981.

Bells Markets and Liberty Shoes were among the stores at the Clarence Mall in 1981.

When the Clarence Mall held its grand opening in 1967, ads called the place “the shopping plaza of superlatives.”


Grant City, the fourteenth store in the W.T. Grant chain, was by far the largest at 135,000 square feet when it opened. The 30,000-square-foot Park Edge grocery store that opened at the plaza was the largest in Western New York, with “the area’s largest dairy case,” measuring 80 feet long with four levels.


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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.