Monday, September 1, 2014

"Pay Cash Grocery" & Charlie Priolo beginning at 2300 West 6th Ave.

This neat-looking building at 2300 West 6th Avenue was home to "Pay Cash Grocery" from 1927 until, at least, 1967. Charles Rocco Priolo (1894 - 1977) and his family owned and operated the store. In stone above the building is engraved "The Priolo, 1927."

Charles Rocco Priolo (1894 - 1977) was born in Italy and moved to Amarillo from California in 1919. He not only owned and operated the Pay Cash Grocery at 2302 West 6th Street, but also operated an investment and real estate business across the street at 2301 West 6th called Park City Development. He was still operating both businesses when he ran for Position 3 on the Amarillo City Commission in 1967.

The Priolo building at 2300 West 6th seems to have been divided into, at least, two addresses: 2300 and 2302. At one time the Priolo family had their home address listed as 2300 West 6th Avenue, suggesting they lived next door to their store, at least, in the beginning years. By 1938, however, they had moved out of the 2300 address because that address was apparently being leased to Donnell Drug Store, based on a Donnell Drug advertisement in the 14 Aug 1938 Amarillo Sunday News-Globe. The Pay Cash Store, however, continued to operate out of the 2302 address. By that time the family seems to have moved across the street to 602 S. Rusk, still close to their family business and livelihood. Now 602 S. Rusk is part of a used car lot.

I am impressed with Charlie Priolo because he seems to have been a very hard-working, frugal businessman who built his own store, raised a family, and operated a family grocery store for so many years.
The two advertisements below were clipped from the 14 August 1938 Amarillo Sunday News-Globe. One ad mentions Charlie Priolo's two business interests, Pay Cash Grocery Store and Park City, and the other ad shows that Donnell Drug Store was occupying the 2300 West 6th address by, at least, 1938.
An ad for Park City Development Company also ran in the 8 March 1938 Amarillo Globe-Times, which read as follows:
NOTICE! MOTHERS-IN-LAW AND COWMEN! Well! You're in Amarillo. Buy a lot in Park City for a Souvenir of Amarillo. See us at the Park City Development Co. Office, 2301 W. 6th. Let us tell you about the future growth of Amarillo and why you should buy a lot in Park City Addition for an investment. Amarillo is the fastest growing city in the United States and Park City addition is the fastest growing addition, and is conveniently located in the center of this city.
"We have restricted residential lots for beautiful homes. We have industrial property. We have business lots on main street in the center of the city. The lots are the biggest money makers ever known or heard about. Let us show you the property in Park City. Make an investment while you are here in the Park City addition so you may have an opportunity to call Amarillo your future home. Be sure to see us in Park City while you are in Amarillo!" 
PARK CITY Development Company, 2301 W. 6th, Charlie Priolo, President, Phone 2-0879
The Priolo Building at 2300 West 6th Ave. It was built in 1927.

The stone engraving at the top of the building says, "The Priolo, 1927."

A side view of the building

A back view of the building

This ad from the 14 Aug 1938 Amarillo Sunday News-Globe shows that both Park City Development and Pay Cash Grocery were managed by Charlie Priolo. The 2301 W. 6th Street address was for the office at Park City Development.

Ad clipped from the 14 Aug 1938 Amarillo Sunday News-Globe. This ad suggests that one part of the building was being used by Donnell Drug Store in 1938, though the part of the building at 2302 West 6th was still being used as Pay Cash Grocery.


  1. we have a building here in Dallas with a plaque that says Charles Priolo 1944. It's on the corner of Haskell and Dolphin. it looks like it could have been a grocery store at one point also.

  2. I am Charles Rocco Priolo's great granddaughter! Thank you for posting this. I don't know much about him and this was cool to read!

  3. You are welcome, Courtney, and Jeremy and Joseph, I appreciate the comments and information.