LOPO'S CAMERAS AND TRAINS: DO YOU REMEMBER THIS LIONEL DEALER AND ITS LOCATION IN DETROIT?

My father would regularly take me to Lopo's, and this is where we would obtain the Lionel Catalogs, with the 1959, and 1960 being favorites as a result.  My brunswick, 5 Stripe Lionel GG-I was probably bought here.

Do any of you have any fond memories of shopping at Lopo's, and, where it was located?  I know we would pass the Cunningham's Drugstore, and Sander's Ice Cream Parlor on Whittier Avenue, in northeast Detroit  on the way there and back -- well, we didn't always pass the Sander's Ice Cream Parlor...Both my dad and I loved their hand made hot fudge sundaes, made with that famous Sanders Ice Cream and Sanders  Hot Fudge topping!!

 

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

Original Post

I did a little searching...Here's a post from the DetrotYES website about the Houston-Whittier area in NE Detroit.  Looks a bit like mine:

"Lopo's camera and trains. Rode my bike to that store many times to buy model train items and magazines and would stop on the way back at Alinosi's ice cream shop for a sunday. Another world in another time."

Ah yes, Alinosi's Ice Cream Shop...

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

Cunningham's and Sanders where down by Whittier and Hays and Lopo's was on Chalmers just south of Whittier.  Owner Mike Lopo always treated his customers with respect.  Used to be jammed during the Holidays.  When he moved the business to Whittier about tree blocks east of Kelly, he already had dropped O gauge and S gauge.\

Marty

"Buy another round of track for the boys"

Martin Derouin posted:

Cunningham's and Sanders where down by Whittier and Hays and Lopo's was on Chalmers just south of Whittier.  Owner Mike Lopo always treated his customers with respect.  Used to be jammed during the Holidays.  When he moved the business to Whittier about tree blocks east of Kelly, he already had dropped O gauge and S gauge.\

Marty

Thanks Martin!!  Chalmers is the answer.  Definitely jammed during the holidays, and my father and me were frequently in that jam.

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

Dennis,  I grew up on the west side of town, 7 Mile & Evergreen area. 19 area code.  There was a shopping center on that corner just like yours. Cunningham's, Kressege and Sander's with great hot fudge Sundays.  Bushie's Hardware at 7 Mile and Westbrook was our closest train store, but that was for Christmas only.  I know my dad bought some of our train items at Piedmont Jewelry and Appliance on Joy rd. near Southfield rd.  Besides a trip to Hudson's I always looked forward to our yearly trip to the Ford Rotunda. Loved seeing the fabulous Christmas scenes and trains layouts.The Rotunda burned down in 1962 just before Christmas. It was disappointing that it wasn't there to take my kids to.I read once that Henry Ford II regretted that he did not rebuild it.   Time for a Vernor's    Azgary

 

AZGARY, All three of those stores were in that shopping center!  I too remember the Ford Rotunda, and remember when it burned down, as I also missed going there with our family.  The Henry Ford museum and Greenfield Village were always special places to visit.  Fortunately the latter two are still there, and, nicely renovated. Bushes and Piedmont Jewelry sound like great memories.

There was a hardware stor, Bidigare Hardware,  on Kelly, north of 7 Mile Road that carried Lionel trains.  The year after I received my Super "O" set for Christmas, my dad went to the hardware store, and the store was getting out of the Lionel business.  My father bought a number of sections of Super "O" and a ZW at the final closeout.  That was  a huge boost to the size of my layout.  

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

Well Detroit-ers • Do you remember the "Train Clinic" at Schoolcraft & Grand River on a side street.  They were excellent for service and ever thing for American Flyer and Lionel. Yes, Downtown Train and Camera............

Cheers from Train Room Gary Pan 2 View 

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Martin Derouin posted:

Cunningham's and Sanders where down by Whittier and Hays and Lopo's was on Chalmers just south of Whittier.  Owner Mike Lopo always treated his customers with respect.  Used to be jammed during the Holidays.  When he moved the business to Whittier about tree blocks east of Kelly, he already had dropped O gauge and S gauge.\

Marty

I bought my first MPC train set from Lopo's. at his new shop on Whittier   His daughter sold me the CP Service Station Special set and they still stocked PW parts for repairs.  At the time, I was part owner of the 25 cent car wash across the street..  I remember that area well.  The big Civic theater, the A&P on the corner, the  iconic Sanders, Manufacturers Bank and who can forget Freds Fine Foods on Kelly where in the early 70's  you could get six takeout hamburgers for one dollar...

Joe

With regards to the Train Clinic, the side street was Hubble, owner was Jim Hoff.

The area got pretty bad and he moved to Woodward norh of Eight mile.  When he retired he went to work as the main repairman at Madison Hardware in Detroit..

Marty

"Buy another round of track for the boys"

My father was a truck driver and was all over the west and north side's of town. He would drop my Lionel 2016 off for repairs at the Train Clinic and pick it up when done. I never did go there. Around 1959 he started bringing home Honey Baked Ham at Christmas and Easter from the original store on Livernois.  Now a nation wide franchise we even have in Tucson. Speaking of Livernois Ave. in the late 1950's and early 1960's it was the used car capitol of the US.  More used car lots per mile than anywhere else.   Azgary

 

trainroomgary posted:

Well Detroit-ers • Do you remember the "Train Clinic" at Schoolcraft & Grand River on a side street.  They were excellent for service and ever thing for American Flyer and Lionel. Yes, Downtown Train and Camera............

Cheers from Train Room Gary Pan 2 View 

Great Pic!  I never made it to the Train Clinic.  I suspect Lopo's was the farthest "west" that my family ever went train shopping, and the shop was on the northeast side of Detroit.  

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

For those who might interested, many Forum Members added some wonderful memories about Lopo's Camera and Train Shop to a thread that I had previously posted. It was obviously pretty special to find the carbon copy of the bill from Lopo's with my original Super "O" trainset from Christmas 1960!

 

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

Very cool, Bill!  I moved to Ann Arbor as a Freshman on Labor Day weekend in 1969, in Bursley Dorm, on the beautiful, pastoral, North Campus of U. of M.  That was actually Bursley's second year, and it was spectacular for that era, although the rooms were still quite small by today's standards..  By that time, my trains had been put away, so no trips to Lopo's!

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

   I don't recall exactly where we went within the city.  I'm a bit younger and Downriver, I didnt know my way around the city at all then.

  I did spend hours last night search, hoping to see a Sander's railroad car of some type. (MTH contest.. and personal ) I read there were 57 Sander's counters in the area at it's peak. Sort of a Starbucks of days past.  I think the butterscotch was best on Earth as well.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





While I wont remember that shop as I didn't grow up in Detroit.  I think all of us have fond memories of childhood hobby shops.  I grew up in the late 70s and early 80's for my initial Lionel years of childhood.  For me, it was Harmon's trains on US31 near Arcadia, IN.  And Casey Jones trains on Shadeland Ave in Indianapolis.  I found many more once I got my first car and could travel and hunt down shops still carrying Lionel trains.   I went on to become Harmon's repair tech once I could drive.   There are times I wish for a time machine to go visit those great shops in late 1940s and thru the 50's.  So many came and went before my time.      Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's...I have Asperger's Syndrome! 

artfull dodger posted:

While I wont remember that shop as I didn't grow up in Detroit.  I think all of us have fond memories of childhood hobby shops.  I grew up in the late 70s and early 80's for my initial Lionel years of childhood.  For me, it was Harmon's trains on US31 near Arcadia, IN.  And Casey Jones trains on Shadeland Ave in Indianapolis.  I found many more once I got my first car and could travel and hunt down shops still carrying Lionel trains.   I went on to become Harmon's repair tech once I could drive.   There are times I wish for a time machine to go visit those great shops in late 1940s and thru the 50's.  So many came and went before my time.      Mike the Aspie

That would be a lot of fun to be able to visit those old time hobby shops!  Too bad there was only 8MM film which was very expensive to purchase and process -- and often required the use of blinding multi bulb floodlights indoors!  Videos of those old hobby shops would be wonderful.

I wonder which currently opened hobby shops still have the character and charm of the old shops?  The now closed, "Wild Bill's Train Shop" in our area attempted to recreate some of that charm, although with currently produced item's.  Bill said that he even wanted to duplicate the "feel" of the old time barber shops, and had a large table, and very comfortable chairs where customer's (mostly male) could sit and talk model trains, or, discuss sports and current events.  (That table is now at Great Lakes Hobby Store, which is also nearby.)

I have always wanted to visit Nicholas Smith Trains in Broomall, Pa.  I wonder if that store still has that "old time" feel.  I'm sure that other Forum Members may know of other such hobby stores.

 

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

“I wonder if that store still has that "old time" feel.  I'm sure that other Forum Members may know of other such hobby stores.”
 

Model Railroad Shop in Piscataway, NJ still has that look and feel. They primarily have HO and N scale, not as much O scale as they used to have but good for an odd or end or two.  

 

My own little slice of happiness in 5' x 9' 

DaveP posted:
 
Model Railroad Shop in Piscataway, NJ still has that look and feel. They primarily have HO and N scale, not as much O scale as they used to have but good for an odd or end or two.  

 

Sounds like a fun store to visit. Very interesting that the store has moved to HO and N scale.

P&D Hobby Store in our area has carried Lionel trains for decades, and also has a large selection of HO.  That's actually the first store where my young son and I heard Lionel's RailSounds for the first time - on New Years Eve.  I still have that loco, and, it was a great "family" New Years eve running the layout with my son.  He's still my "Train Buddy".

P&D Hobby definitely has that "old time" feel, even though they moved to a larger store in a shopping center many years ago.  I'll have to stop by and see if the owner remember's Lopo's, since he would be the right age.

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

We have Whistle Stop, P & D and Great Lakes Hobbies on the east side. There is also  Empire Hobby shop in Troy Mi. As for Lopo's I remember his last 2 locations. He was not a hobby shop, sold trains and cameras.

TCA - Glancy Trains Modular Group
   

Im aware of the good things they do for the hobby but.....

The last time I was at P&D the counter help "toy shamed" me for asking about Lionel... I didn't go deeper into the shop than the counter.

Ended up seeing Rainy Day Hobby as I took the long way home, I found a 2r scale shop willing to hunt happily for my semi-scale requests. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Growing up we had Taskers Train store in Pontiac, Mi, and Models Hobbies in Ferndale, (the 60's)   Later we would go to Downtown Train and Camera in Detroit, (the 70's).  Now its P&D in Roseville, Great Lakes Hobbies in Utica,and Empire Trains in Troy.

Adriatic posted:

 

The last time I was at P&D the counter help "toy shamed" me for asking about Lionel... I didn't go deeper into the shop than the counter.

Ended up seeing Rainy Day Hobby as I took the long way home, I found a 2r scale shop willing to hunt happily for my semi-scale requests. 

That's too bad about your recent experience at P & D!  They do have a gorgeous array of O Scale models, and can be very knowledgeable about "toy trains" too.  Personally, I've only purchased Lionel items at P & D through the years, and have had all positive experiences.  I have only gone there a few times for a number of years though.  Wild Bill's had a much larger selection and specialized more exclusively in the items that interested me.  Great Lakes also seemed to have a larger stock of such items.

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

WM1400 posted:

Growing up we had Taskers Train store in Pontiac, Mi, and Models Hobbies in Ferndale, (the 60's)   Later we would go to Downtown Train and Camera in Detroit, (the 70's).  Now its P&D in Roseville, Great Lakes Hobbies in Utica,and Empire Trains in Troy.

That sounds like fun!  Was Models Hobbies the Hobby Shop with the railroad cross bucks?  That's interesting that there was another Train and Camera Shop.  That seemed like a unique mix to me with respect to Lopo's.

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

Dennis GS-4 N & W No. 611 posted:
WM1400 posted:

Growing up we had Taskers Train store in Pontiac, Mi, and Models Hobbies in Ferndale, (the 60's)   Later we would go to Downtown Train and Camera in Detroit, (the 70's).  Now its P&D in Roseville, Great Lakes Hobbies in Utica,and Empire Trains in Troy.

That sounds like fun!  Was Models Hobbies the Hobby Shop with the railroad cross bucks?  That's interesting that there was another Train and Camera Shop.  That seemed like a unique mix to me with respect to Lopo's.

Yep, Model Hobbies had the cross bucks on top, a great place!  Carr's Hobbies in Duluth, MN still had the old time flavor last time I was there - 2 summers ago.  Hope that it's still there.

 

John23 posted:
Dennis GS-4 N & W No. 611 posted:
WM1400 posted:

Growing up we had Taskers Train store in Pontiac, Mi, and Models Hobbies in Ferndale, (the 60's)   Later we would go to Downtown Train and Camera in Detroit, (the 70's).  Now its P&D in Roseville, Great Lakes Hobbies in Utica,and Empire Trains in Troy.

That sounds like fun!  Was Models Hobbies the Hobby Shop with the railroad cross bucks?  That's interesting that there was another Train and Camera Shop.  That seemed like a unique mix to me with respect to Lopo's.

Yep, Model Hobbies had the cross bucks on top, a great place!  Carr's Hobbies in Duluth, MN still had the old time flavor last time I was there - 2 summers ago.  Hope that it's still there.

 

I was at Carr's about 2 yrs ago also. Got a few postwar things. Big layout in the very back room too if he's in the showing mood.

JOHN23 posted:

"Yep, Model Hobbies had the cross bucks on top, a great place! "

That was a great place!  Although an unfortunate time, I was at their closing sale with my then young son.  They were quite pleased if you made them an offer for boxes of things that they likely had lying around for decades.  I bought some bus bars for Super "O" track and the the ground and power contactors for Super "O".  I remember that they were selling an original "Lady Lionel" that likely was never been sold!  

 

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

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