Backstory and Context
East Charlotte was home to a generation of baby boomers during the 1950s and ’60s when families flocked to the sprawling new neighborhoods in the area. This migration from center city brought about the development of large shopping centers which were closer to home and more convenient than downtown retailers.
Eastway Shopping Center was built in 1960 in the heart of East Charlotte, providing food, medicine, fashion and fun to the surrounding neighborhoods. Colonial was the original grocery store, and it was rebranded as Big Star grocery in 1969. Winn-Dixie joined the shopping center during the late 1960s, beginning a forty year run there until the chain exited Charlotte in 2005. The Atlantic Farmers Market is a large international grocery store currently located at Eastway Crossing.
Kiser Drug Store provided the first pharmacy and served delicious burgers at their lunch counter. Kiser later became King Drugs in the early years, and a local doctor practiced family medicine at the current site of EastSide Local Eatery.
Ruth’s Fashion Shop was a lovely dress shop for women in the 1960s, and clothing stores such as Cato’s have always been part of the Eastway lineup. Other small local businesses have included boutiques, pet shops, restaurants, beauty salons, video stores, and family-owned Eastway Paint, a Charlotte treasure in the shopping center since 1988.
In the late 1980s Walmart moved into the shopping center where Chef’'Store now resides. There have been many changes throughout the years, but Eastway Crossing Shopping Center today is exploding with excitement and possibilities for the future.
There are 11 brief videos below. The first is an introduction to the sampling tour of the center with CharlotteEAST board member Michael Haithcock. In the next 9 videos meet the store owners or managers:
5-EastSide Local Eatery
7-Armada Skate Shop
Michael ends the tour with the wall murals in the final video.