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MailTribune.com
  • Baza'r once reigned on Biddle Road

  • Before Food4Less opened on Biddle Road, there was another store named "Bazaar." I'd be interested in knowing when Bazaar had its big going-out-of-business sale and then closed.
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  • Before Food4Less opened on Biddle Road, there was another store named "Bazaar." I'd be interested in knowing when Bazaar had its big going-out-of-business sale and then closed.
    — Earl S., via email
    After scouring archives at the Muddy Tributary along with our extensive collection of phone books dating back to the Eisenhower administration, we were able to uncover some information for you, Earl.
    The Bell telephone directory shows listings for the Baza'r Department Store, located where Food 4 Less is now at 2230 Biddle Road, first in 1968 and last in 1978.
    Listings show the store had about 15 departments, including major appliances and television, hardware and sporting goods, an optometrist's office, a supermarket and a gas station.
    The 1979 edition next shows a listing for a Thunderbird Market at that address, which lines up with the timeline Thunderbird and Food 4 Less founder Sherm Olsrud gave in a Sept. 13, 2000 interview. The store was first listed as "Food4Less" in the 1986 phone book and Polk Directory.
    We weren't able to find information about its going-out-of-business sale in our clipping archive, but the store was mentioned in our archives.
    Clippings note that actor Robert Conrad, star of the TV series "Wild, Wild West," made an appearance at the store on Oct. 25, 1968.
    The store celebrated its fifth anniversary at the Biddle Road location with a 4-by-8-foot cake on Dec. 7, 1972.
    The last mention in our archives was during the gas crisis. The Feb. 12, 1974, Mail Tribune noted that Baza'r Gas continued to supply gasoline without any limit system. The article said that lines were between 80 and 110 cars at a time with drivers waiting between an hour to two hours for service.
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com.
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