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This was once the Twenty-Fifth Street Fish and Oyster Market

… and a Pure Oil Company filling station for 15 years or so, and then the Triangle Inn Restaurant for more than 3 decades.

This vacant (and for rent) little triangle commercial spot at 1000 North 25th Street has been in use since at least as early as 1902 (though the distinct brick cottage was not built until maybe 1920).

The earliest Hill Directory available at Richmond Main Library is from 1902. This record shows that from that year through at least 1906 one R.S.Gooch, a resident of 2313 Venable Street, was at this location as a barber.

The available records jump to 1915, at which point the location is listed as vacant. In 1916, though, the company of Hilliard & Feitig (owned by Clarence P. Hilliard & Louis E. Feitig) is listed as operating here offering “cleaning and pressing.”

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1000 North 25th Street (2014)
1000 North 25th Street (2014)

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Both the city records and the registration form from the Union Hill application to the National Register of Historic Places list the small cottage structure at the back of the current building as having been built in 1920.

The 1921 directory has the location down as the Twenty-Fifth Street Fish and Oyster Market. From 1922-1924, this was the West Brothers (HJ & JH) fish market.

From 1925-1933, this spot was the Triangle Filling Station. After sitting vacant for part of 1934, the location was home to a Pure Oil Company filling station though at least 1949.

While the small cottage building type is strongly associated with the Pure Oil chain of filling stations, they did not start building them until the mid-1920s. The Pure Oil cottages also seem to have been of a different shape, with the peeks on the side, not the front as this building has it. So, while the small building later became a Pure Oil filling station, it seems that it was built 5 years before its use as a filling station and well before the location’s connection to Pure Oil.

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Pure Oil filling station (1950s)
Pure Oil filling station (1950s)

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The site sat vacant in the early 1950s, but then hosted a restaurant for at least the next 35 years. Dad’s On The Spot, listed as a confectionary, was there from 1955-1958.

(I’m not sure that confectionary in this context means a bakery, I was told while researching 325 North 27th Street that this could be more like restaurant or bar. Anyone? – JM)

The little building that could had its heyday as the Triangle Inn Restaurant, operating from 1959 through at least 1990.

The property is listed as vacant in 1996 and 2000, and then as Triangle Takeout in 2002. It has sat vacant since the mid-2000s.

Either the Triangle Inn Restaurant or Triangle Takeout offered a balogna burger that people still talk about. On man on 25th Street this morning described it a bologna and steak burger with cheese, and offered that it was really great if you had been drinking.

17 comments

Eric S. Huffstutler 09/10/2014 at 1:57 PM

I had thought all Pure Gas stations were a thing of the past until I saw at least one (maybe two) operating in the mountains around Lexington and Staunton or Steeles Tavern areas.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 09/10/2014 at 7:43 PM

John, I believe a confectionary in the sense of the 1950s was basically a lunch counter with a soda shop that served ice cream?

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Anne 09/10/2014 at 10:51 PM

My great-uncle Charlie Soffee ran the Sunny Day Confectionery on Sheppard Street and that sounded mostly like a bar, from the stories I heard.

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John M 09/11/2014 at 2:01 PM

From Tyler at Storefront for Community Design:

The owner has applied to work with Storefront to develop a concept for façade + interior improvements as she seeks a tenant. We’re still looking for a designer to volunteer to assist her, so any mention of that would help!

Church Hill Triangle Walk-Up Façade Improvements
05.20.14

Lifelong Church Hill resident Erica Plush remembers the days of the Plush Burger, a reputable sammy served up in her family’s former walk-up deli, Triangle’s. She’s excited about happenings in the neighborhood and is ready to develop a design plan to make the exterior more inviting within the guidelines of both national and local preservation districts.

Drop’em a line at tyler@storefrontrichmond.org if you can help out.

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Walter Griggs 10/02/2015 at 8:33 PM

My grandfather, Martin Feitig, ran a grocery store at 1001 N. 25th Street. I believe the name of the Pure Oil operator was Mr. Haines.

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Christian Austell 10/17/2017 at 12:13 AM

New to RVA from North Carolina
Some similarity to old Texaco station in Reidsville, NC
The English Cottage style was very popular in both Greensboro and Charlotte, NC neighborhoods. (Myers Park and Tangier Arboreum)

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