You've probably shopped at this Tuscaloosa pet store without thinking about its hidden history. That's right: Pet Supplies Plus is more than what meets the eye.

Located in the McFarland Plaza, the unassuming shopper will simply see it for what it is--a lovely little place to buy the dog treats and kitty litter that many families need for their furry friends--but there is much more to the story.

McFarland Plaza wasn't always a simple shopping center--it opened in Tuscaloosa in 1977 as an indoor mall. Meadowbrook Mall had over 30 different stores (plus a movie theater) and was anchored by a Kroger grocery store.

You can see how the L-shaped shopping center was once one indoor mall (Google Maps)
You can see how the L-shaped shopping center was once one indoor mall (Google Maps)

How cool must it have been to head to the mall for a Saturday of shopping and then just walk down the main corridor into Kroger to pick up any groceries you needed?

The good times didn't last at Meadowbrook Mall--it suffered a decline when University Mall opened in 1980. The mall allowed its remaining tenants to move their entrances so that it could become a shopping center.

Over the years, the Kroger grocery store survived several transitions. It became a Delchamps and then a Bruno's before becoming the Pet Supplies Plus we know today.

Did you ever shop at the Tuscaloosa Kroger? I lived in Kentucky for 10 years, and Kroger was like THE preeminent grocery chain up there, so I admit I sigh wistfully at the thought of being able to hit up a Kroger in my neighborhood.

It would have also been cool to see the store as a Delchamps or a Bruno's. I grew up in the suburbs of Birmingham and have fond memories of both of these long-gone grocery chains.

Share your Meadowbrook Mall memories with me using our app chat. I love hearing stories about our city's hidden history.

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