Merchants Square, A & P Store
Exterior view of the A & P Store (south side of Merchants Square), from the corner of Duke of Gloucester Street and North Henry Streets, 1935. The A&P Food Market, which was later converted into the Craft House, stands at the street corner. Next door is the National Barber Shop and Rose's 5-10-25 Store. A group of residents are relaxing on benches along the sidewalk while several others converse with occupants of automobiles parked along the edge of the shopping district.
When Colonial Williamsburg first opened as a museum in the 1930s, Duke of Gloucester Street consisted of a combination of exhibition buildings and commercial establishments, and several grocers operated small food markets in restored or reconstructed structures. The A&P Food Market, shown here in Merchants Square on the southwestern corner of South Henry Street and Duke of Gloucester Street, offered a place for town residents and tourists to pick up refreshments.
Merchants Square, a "retail village" located at the far western end of the Historic Area on Duke of Gloucester Street "...near the Wren Building of the College of William and Mary...was America's first shopping center and remains a national landmark."
(Source: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Colonial Williamsburg, A Pocket Guide: Essential Information for Touring the Historic Area [Williamsburg, Va.: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2011], 74).