Westgate Publix, 1956

If you lived in west Bradenton in the late 1950s, chances are you bought your groceries at the brand-spanking-new Publix at Westgate Shopping Center. When it opened on April 3, 1956, it was the very first Publix in either Manatee or Sarasota counties—and the 34th in all of Florida. (Compare that to the 1,218 Publix stores in operation today.) Is that space-age arch with the S&H Green Stamps sign in the middle meant to evoke McDonald’s golden arches, which had debuted five years earlier? Who’s to know. 

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