When my husband and I first knew each other, almost 40 years ago, we were both regular Giant customers. The Giant at the Rotunda then was a novelty: the top-rate Washington supermarket finally in Baltimore and in a re-used neighborhood landmark.
Creative re-use of old buildings had not yet taken hold in Baltimore. Having the Maryland Casualty property filled with interesting, locally owned shops and a movie theater was the most exciting thing that had happened within walking distance in ages. (This was before the threatened tear-down of the Roland Park Shopping Center, the arrival of Baskin Robbins there or a restaurant in the Morgan & Millard pharmacy space, where Petit Louis later arrived.)
Time passed. I moved to Gittings Avenue and frequented the York Road Giant. It was a good store, also with adjacent movie theaters, but it did not have the charm of the Rotunda.
When I returned to Roland Park in 1984, my entire family, living in three adjacent neighborhoods, shopped at the Rotunda Giant. By the time my parents were too elderly to do their own shopping, we had all switched to the expanded York Road store with its greater selection. I stopped shopping there after my parents’ death and used the newer SuperFresh on 41st Street for staples and Eddie’s for special items.
On Monday, my husband and I walked down to the new Giant, where SuperFresh had been. Walking around the Roland Water Tower, down Evans Chapel Road behind the Roland Park house where I first lived and the nearby house where my husband later had an apartment, felt like a going-home.
When we arrived, the store had all the sparkle we remembered of the early Rotunda Giant and all of the space of the later York Road Giant. Best of all, it was filled with shoppers.
As in our early Rotunda days, we kept running into people we knew — a sure sign of a Greater Roland Park success.