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Ralph and Jerry's Market (#139)

Ralph and Jerry's Market
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copyright © 1999 Chris Gregerson. Available format: 35mm negative


The Market on the right is a neighborhood institution of sorts. James Lileks wrote that he used to work there. I went there as a 5th grader when visiting my grade-school friend Shane Barach, who lived nearby. Also as a young adult living on University Avenue, I relied on this small market for staples at all hours. The record shop "Positively 4th Street" used to be next door, but the space has different occupants now.



  • Kay   down the street -- 2001-03-01

    Ralph and Jerrys also has new occupants. I'm very sad they closed the place down... Santana's is nice enough, but I miss being able to get the MN Daily, City Pages, and a SoBe there after work!!

  • ryan   Mpls. -- 2004-01-27

    Rumor has it that Bob Dylan lived in one of the sets of apartments across from this location. I drove by the other day and if I remember correctly, the church was torn down as well...

  • Suzanne   Portland, OR -- 2005-02-08

    This place used to make the bomb subs.

  • Candi   Minnesota -- 2005-05-26

    I used to work there. Bob apparently lived in the apartment right next to the milk sign and also in the middle brownstone across the street.
    My tenure at R&J's was one of the best times in my life. Granted, I was poor, intoxicated and pissed at the establishment, but, hey, that's what living in a subversive college community was all about.
    Thanks to Rick for giving us freaks a place to hang out, eat and make some friends, music and money...

  • John G   Plymouth, MN -- 2005-06-03

    This building was Bassett's Drug Store in the '30s and '40s. Dr. Halvorson, a dentist, had his office upstairs. The church is St Andrews Presbyterian, and had a two-lane bowling alley in the basement. Pins were set by hand. I delivered papers in the area and would have a fountain lemon coke at Bassetts after my route. Birchwood Apartments were across the street. I attended Marcy school on 7th St. and 11th Avenue K-6, then went to Marshall.

  • afh3   Woodbury, MN -- 2005-08-10

    If this picture had been taken from 10' further to the left, you could see the old apartment I lived in circa 1978 or so.
    R&J's was an institution even back then. (Wiping tear from eye.)

  • Josh G   Austin, TX -- 2005-12-11

    I worked the 11-7am shift at R and Js for 2 years. Despite getting robbed once at knifepoint, I had a total blast working there. Fun times indeed!

  • Craig   Cincinnati -- 2006-10-28

    Ralph & Jerry's is an institution. I lived near here in 1967-68. We depended heavily on it for everything from cigarettes to rotiserrie chicken.

  • Mike   Oregon -- 2007-08-03

    "Eat and Spend Money."
    That's the motto printed on the T-shirt I bought there in 85/86.
    The shirt eventually fell to pieces.
    Thanks for the pictures of the neighborhood. They're priceless.

  • Lounger   Pittsburgh, PA -- 2007-08-08

    In the '70s the matchbook read: "Culture Center...Groceries Too." Just to fool ya, it also had a black line printed at the bottom the matchbook opposite the real striking surface. I'm embarrassed to tell you how many times I tried to light a match on that dang stripe. Still it was a more reliable matchbook than the King Edward Cigarallo cheapies they gave out at the Valli.

  • JM   Golden Valley -- 2007-11-19

    I remember I met an actor girl (Pam?) around 1969 and got up the nerve to ask her out. She lived above R&J's and when I went to pick her up she said come on in. Her roommates were walking around topless and acted like this was totally normal. I tried not to stare. The date went bad when she told me her "boyfriend " was coming with us. That is something I hadn't thought about in a VERY long time. I was incredibly naive by any contemporary standard.

  • Greybeard   Minneapolis -- 2008-01-21

    More info on the church can be found in comments under photo #35 in this series.

  • Greybeard   Minneapolis -- 2008-01-21

    The church was indeed torn down. If I remember news reports correctly, its north wall developed hazardous structural problems and it was too expensive to repair. The last time I drove by, there was some sort of commemorative plaque on the former church site. On that day, 12/28/2007, the Santana Foods that took over Ralph & Jerry's space had closed, too. The building was posted for lease. The other Santana Foods at 601 University Ave. S.E. was still open.

  • MARK   SCOTTSDALE -- 2008-05-16


  • josh s   richfield -- 2008-05-20

    my dad was ralph of ralph and jerry's
    i wish i could've been around to see that place, i've heard so many stories

  • James   St. Paul -- 2008-07-07

    I worked at Ralph and Jerry's in the mid to late nineties up until it was bought out by Food and Fuel. They did not do so well and the mighty Rick came forth and bought it and turned it back into Ralph and Jerry's. I worked there again and miss all my friends from that time. Paul and Rick and Candi especially. Hope you all are well!

  • James   St. Paul -- 2008-07-07

    Oops... I just realized I was typing Rick and It was Rich! Sorry Rich... also I better add Chuck and by proxy Amanda to my miss them list. :)

  • John   Champaign, IL -- 2009-11-13

    Great memories and thanks to all for the comments! I snacked here often during my tenure at the U from 1998-1999. There was a girl working there from Keshena, WI and I never got up the nerve to ask her out......ah, opportunities lost.

  • Indira   Minnesota -- 2010-01-27

    I worked there in '85-'86. Would love to get in touch with Karen Stowell. Epic place in time.

  • Chris C   Prior Lake -- 2010-02-17

    I was going through old documents and I found a postcard that my dad received in 1980 regarding a returned check from 1967. I remember dad saying that he never picked up the bounced check. If anyone has information on how I might be able to pick up that check that would be fantastic. Please email at Thanks.

  • Rob Wozniak   Easton PA -- 2010-02-21

    I visited Ralph and Jerry's a few times a week in the mid 1970s. I have thousands of baseball and football cards purchased from that store. I lived on 4th street and went to the Marcy School so passing by the grocery store to buy some candy or cards with some change stolen from my mothers pockets was a regular event. My best friend Ben lived just a few blocks away and we ran wild in those days... It was a great flash back moment to see a picture of that store more than 30 years later... I can still picture exactly the location of the cards.

  • Bobby N   Denver, CO -- 2010-02-25

    I lived around the corner & worked the night shift back in 90-91...a very epic year and wouldn't trade it for anything. Can't remember the dude who came in every morning for coffee & his jelly doughnut...hmmm, miss the people and the late night antics.

  • Scott   Los Angeles -- 2010-07-08

    I worked next door at Positively 4th St. in 77-78. Some of the best memories I have are from that era and that place.

  • Adrian   Edina -- 2012-12-13

    Loved the life sized DeNiro taxi driver poster with its stern anti-shoplifting message!
    In 1991 I bought my first Ben & Jerry's ice cream here. I was immediately addicted. Most days that summer, I'd come home from work on the bus and grab two pints of Ben & Jerry's at Ralph & Jerry's. One for me and one for my best friend, and hang out at his apartment on University to finish them in one sitting.
    To this day I can't look at Ben & Jerry's ice cream without remembering Ralph & Jerry's market.

  • Gordy   Tulsa -- 2013-04-07

    Great place. I worked there starting the last year of their "world famous" calendar came out.
    I was the one that come w]up with the idea of the black line opposite the striker. It started when we had some plain matchbooks and I would draw the line with a magic marker. "Eat and spend money" was the work of one of my co-workers at the time. Stayed there off and on until I went back to school in 1977. Sad that it is gone. It was actually known across the world. My last day there a couple from New York came by and wondered it this was the real "Ralph and Jerrie's" as they had a friend that had an old calendar on the wall.

  • rich henning   -- 2013-06-29

    yepper! Worked for the guy that bought Ralph and Jerrys, from Ralph himself.
    after a messy take over by Food-n-fuel, I eventually purchased Ralph and Jerrys and brought back the name, but added the word market for legalities. It was always a great place to be. I loved all my employees and let the culture of the store be brought on by them...many stories I could tell. hi to everyone that worked for me and thank you for the memories!

  • Poet   Fargo -- 2014-10-06

    I used to have a travel mug that said "Serving the World until 3:00 am." I think it was 3:00 am. One of the things I'm saddest to have lost over the years. And I'm very sorry that the church is gone; we used to sit in the courtyard before going off to shows.

  • Poet   Fargo -- 2014-10-06

    I used to have a travel mug that said "Serving the World until 3:00 am." I think it was 3:00 am. One of the things I'm saddest to have lost over the years. And I'm very sorry that the church is gone; we used to sit in the courtyard before going off to shows.

  • Chuck Peterson   Lakeville -- 2017-08-15

    Been there many times while a student at the U. Circa 1969-70

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2000-01-07 provides quality stock photos for commercial, fine-art, education, and non-profit use, with an emphasis on pictures of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, China, and the Philippines.

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