Friday, April 20, 2018

Yes, There IS a Woolworths!

There is still a functioning Woolworth’s Luncheonette counter in the old Woolworth’s building in downtown Bakersfield, California!

Yesterday was a double duty lecture day – one for the Cotton Patch Quilters of Kern County during their morning meeting, and one hosted by Thimble Towne quilts in the evening, which gave time for 4 of us to bustle around town in between.

These girls KNOW me!  An afternoon of lunch out at the Woolworth’s counter, and antiquing before going to the evening event?  I’m ALL IN!


Five & Dime Antique Mall is in the building!


Our feet on the historic entrance!


It’s like stepping back in time!

And yes, cherry cokes are on the menu.

Step into the Five & Dime Antique Mall in Bakersfield, California, and that rarity becomes reality. There, in the back corner at the ground-floor level of the four-story building, is a fully functioning former Woolworth luncheonette counter, complete with 22 counter seats, formica tables ringing the room, and an open kitchen for griddling burgers and making milkshakes. 
But this well-protected bit of ephemera isn’t cordoned off with Do Not Touch signs — it’s still a real, thriving luncheonette counter called the Woolworth Diner, serving police officers, antiquers, and locals daily.
This is the last Woolworth luncheonette counter in America.[source]
It was just too much fun, pulling up a table, being served our lunches, oldies playing on the overhead sound system.  And all around us – a huge antique mall beckoned for us to finish our meals and come take a wander.


Oh yeah, I could be here for days – and there are 3 floors!


There were quilts tucked in and around – keep your eyes peeled!


Treadle lamp, anyone?

Actually, this was so cute I’d probably have bought it if it wouldn’t have cost a fortune to ship it home.  it would be great near a sewing chair…


Wooden straight legged treadle and singer 15!

I’ve come across the straight legged machines with metal legs before – but wood?  I didn’t know they made such a thing!  This may have been on the take home list too, but again, I’m in California so was able to show much restraint.  Though missing its bobbin plate – that is easily replaceable- This is an AWESOME machine for anyone near Bakersfield who is looking for one.  This machine is 1940-1950 vintage and has reverse.  I think the black spoked hand wheel is so classic!


There were beautiful quilts on beds.


And more tucked under tables in baskets.


This one – SO interesting!


Lovely scrappy stars -


And oh, my!  Turkey reds so vibrant!


Flour sacks on the back!

We had the best time just poking around and wandering.  It’s fun to go with other folks and see just what it is that catches their eye that I might not even have noticed.


No longer Kit-less!!


Times TWO!

My thanks to the lovely ladies who brought me more Diamond Tile block kits from their own stashes to keep me sewing while I am still on the road.  I am just blown away by their generosity – you ladies just MADE MY DAY! Thought I was too worn out after last night’s event was over – you can bet I’ll be sewing these up tonight after our Friday class is done.  Aren’t quilters just THE BEST!?


And my thanks to  A & E Signature!

Signature thread has so graciously gifted Signature 60 wt thread for each of my students here in Bakersfield.  I am so in love with this thread for both my handwork and my machine piecing.


Processed in my home state of North Carolina, USA!

There are still two workshop days ahead.  Today we’ve got My Blue Heaven up on deck, followed by tomorrow’s Jamestown Landing.

It’s time for me to get a move on!


Quiltville Quote of the Day

Quilt found in Woolworths, Bakersfield!

What are you giving power to that you shouldn't be?

Make up your mind how this day is going to go before your feet even hit the floor and accomplish it!

Happy Friday, friends!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure to Woolworths. There was on in Reno in the 70's that me and my daughters spent time it. Wonderful memories. Again, thanks

  2. I didn't think there were Woolworth's left and the lunch counter wow! If I ever get out there that is a must go to!

  3. Oh, my gosh!! Did you notice the baby warming plate in that first pic of a the quilt in the cabinet? Remember those? You would put warm water in the hole that yellow button is plugging, and it would keep the baby food just the right temperature during their meal. I need one of those for my own self!! Brought back a memory for sure. Thanks, Bonnie, your posts are always enjoyable.

  4. Wow, what a great idea, to bring you more kits to sew up. I wouldn't have thought of that. SO KIND of them!!

  5. Awesome! I miss Woolworths!

  6. Sacramento should have kept Woolworths. There was one right downtown. So cool to hear there is one in Bakersfield.

    Love seeing the vintage quilts but I bet they wanted an arm and leg for them.

  7. Love the Woolworth Lunch Counter...I remember going to ours as a child for a special treat!

  8. What a fun place to visit!! We had a Woolworth lunch counter just 3 blocks away when I was young, but not anywhere near that large. I felt so grown up sitting up on a stool and ordering a grilled cheese and hot chocolate with whipped cream. :)

  9. Ahhh, Woolworths, I had my first BLT there. (Sometime before I was in kindergarten). I can't see the fountains bubbling with fruit punch and the other flavor they did that with, I don't remember what that flavor was because I never had it, it was 'red' all the way with me. Much bigger counter than in my home town, I'd estimate that it was 20 stools or less. I'd been there many times with my mom, babysitter or grandmother. I can't remember when Woolworths closed in Bowling Green Ohio ;(

  10. Quilters are amazing people. Bless these to beautiful ladies.

  11. Wow, what a great idea, to bring you more kits to sew up. I wouldn't have thought of that. SO KIND of them!!

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  12. Loved seeing your visit to Woolworth's.

    Question, does anyone know where the signature thread Bonnie writes about can be purchased. I have searched and was unable to find it. Any help appreciated.

  13. Wow, I worked behind the lunch counter of our local Woolworth's in Anderson, SC, for two years during high school. I took the bus from school to City Hall and walked to Woolworth's for my afternoon shift my senior year. Brought back such memories. Loved Woolworth's Icebox Cheesecake!

  14. Love seeing the vintage quilts but I bet they wanted an arm and leg for them.
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  15. What lovely ladies bringing kits - quilters are such lovely people.

    My first treadle is a 15K Singer (I have two treadles) has the wooden legs - makes it lighter to move although mine has only one drawer on each side. The other is a 201K in a cabinet. I wonder if, because you have never come across the wooden version before, they were mostly about in the UK?

  16. TOO WEIRD! Yesterday I was telling my daughter about Woolworths, and that I bought yarn there for $1.29 a skein. Then today, I see these pictures of the very place! Amazing. I loved that store. Thanks for the great story and pictures.


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