26 Things Only People Who Lived in SGF in the 90s Will Remember

June 28, 2016

Ah, the 90s.  A time when pants were pleated and hair was permed. It may not be our proudest decade of fashion choices, but it was a great decade in Springfield.  We’ve been missing some places, people and fads from the 90s lately, so we thought we’d share a few things only people who lived here would appreciate.

90s Springfieldians, this is for you.


1. Aladdin’s Castle


Aladdin’s Castle at the Battlefield Mall was Springfield’s biggest bridal jewellery and best arcade in the 90s.  It had a wide variety of video games, including a four person X-Men game (that was always taken), a skiing simulator and plenty of skeeball and racing games.  Alladdin’s Castle was the site for tons of great memories, and definitely one of the foremost conduits of quarters in Springfield’s history.


2. Hydraslide & Wet Willie’s


Summer in the 90s wasn’t complete without at least one trip to Wet Willie’s or Hydraslide.  Anyone remember trying to jump the gap in the center of the slide between the two lanes?


3. Smitty’s

One of Southeast Springfield’s premier 90s grocers, Smitty’s was bought out by Albertson’s and left town in the late 90s.  Pricecutter is now in the spot Smitty’s once occupied.


4. Bombay Bicycle Club


Design by Kalie Simpkins

The thing people will most likely remember first is the bicycles hanging from the walls in this Springfield restaurant. They also featured large wicker chairs that may stick out in your mind.


5. Putt Putt


One of South Campbell’s premier destinations in the 90s was Putt Putt.  It had 18 holes of mini golf, highlighted by a huge plaster Giraffe.  What was the hardest hole there?

6. The Northtown Mall


Springfield’s other mall.  This space is now a Walmart Supercenter, but once was a shopping center which featured a RadioShack and a Maurice’s.  It closed in 2007.


7. Venture

venture ext 1970 pleasantfamilyshopping

If you lived in Springfield in the 1990s, you no doubt remember the black and white striped sign of Venture. The retail store was kind of like a modern Target, but with no Starbucks.


8.Osco Drug


Before it was a CVS, the midcentury-style zig zag roof on the Glenstone location held an Osco Drug store.  Even before that, this location was home to Katz.  If anyone has a photo of the sign, definitely share it!


9.Discovery Zone


Not to be confused with the Discovery Center in Springfield, Discovery Zone was an elaborate labyrinth of ball pits and slides for kids in the 1990s.  It made a perfect pairing with CiCi’s Pizza for family outings on Battlefield. What was your favorite part of DZ?

10. Mr. Gatti’s


Yes, Mr. Gatti’s was a pizza restaurant in Springfield in the 90s, but it was known for its unique arcade and prizes. Virtually every kid who grew up in the city had a birthday party or sports party at Mr. Gatti’s.  What game was your favorite?


11. Town & Country Movie Theater


The premier movie theater on the north side of Springfield, Town & Country movie theater was located just south of where the Walmart Supercenter is on Kansas Expressway.


12. Tom Dye

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 1.51.14 PM

When you think of TV personalities in 90s, Tom Dye is one of the first names that will inevitably pop into your head. Tom was the weather man for KY3 until the year 2000.  His friendly persona made him a popular figure for a long time here in Springfield.


13. That Tile in the Battlefield Mall


The two-tone pink square tiles in the food court at the Battlefield mall were so 90s.  They have since been replaced, but will live forever on thanks to this Reddit photo.

14.Melody Howard


Melody is number 35, third from the left on the bottom row.

Melody Howard was awesome. She was a vital part of the magical run the Lady Bears made to the Final Four in 1992.  Howard was also the first woman inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame in 1999.  Howard has gone on to a successful career in sales.

15. The Cat & The Fiddle


The Cat and the Fiddle is perhaps best remembered by its iconic sign on south Glenstone.  The restaurant really hit a stride in the 90s.  The sign reportedly sold around a decade ago for $2500.

16.The Tower Movie Theater


The Tower Movie Theater was just down the street from The Cat and The Fiddle in the Plaza shopping center.  It closed in 1997, but was also an iconic feature in southeast Springfield.

What movies do you remember seeing there?


17. Steak & Ale


Steak and Ale was a quintessential 90s Springfield restaurant. Now the also-delicious Jimm’s Steakhouse holds down the fort at the prime location near Plaza Tower.  Steak and Ale owner Jimm Swafford kept the location after an abrupt closing in 2008, opening Jimm’s the following year.

18. Shady Inn


The Knight’s Helmet of Shady Inn hung over Sunshine and Campbell for more than 50 years before it closed its doors for good. Shady Inn was known for steaks and its piano bar.  Click the photo to read  Springfield News-Leader reporter Greg Holman’s article on 11 restaurants that pretty much everyone misses in Springfield!

19. Trotters


Trotter’s Barbecue was wildly popular in the 80s and 90s in Springfield.  The space is now occupied by El Maguey Mexican Restaurant.

20. Zenith

One of the biggest news stories of the 90s in Springfield was when Zenith decided to move its operation to Mexico in 1992.  The move didn’t pan out, as Zenith declared for bankruptcy in 1999.  Staying in Springfield is always the right choice. :)

21. Ebenezer’s


Three words: Flower Pot Bread. Ebenezer’s was on east Sunshine between what is now a Qdoba and Schweitzer Church.  Springfield-based apparel company Swagbot has these awesome Ebenezer’s shirts, too!


22. Campbell 66 Trucking’s Memorable Sign


You might not remember Campbell 66 trucking all that well, but you definitely remember it’s unintentionally inappropriate sign.

23. Gee’s East Wind


Gee’s East Wind was one of the primary destinations for Springfield-Style Cashew Chicken in the 90s.  You can now buy a vintage matchbook from Gee’s on eBay. Restaurant matchbooks are another thing from the 90s!

24. Consumers


According to Steve Pokin, the News-Leader’s Answer Man, Consumers was the largest grocer in the Ozarks in the 1990s.  The Springfield owner sold in 1990 to a larger company.  By 1999, Consumers were no longer in business anywhere.

25. Lisa Rose’s early days

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 1.54.30 PM

KY3 anchor Lisa Rose came on to the scene in the 90s. Her hair game has always been strong.

26. When Kum n’ Go was Git ‘n Go

You might think the name change was just a corporate decision based on a focus group somewhere, but you’d be wrong.  Git n’ Go was purchased by a completely separate company called Kum ‘ Go.  Here’s to misspelled convenience stores!

Be sure to share the things you remember about Springfield in the 1990s in the comments on Facebook! We’d love to hear yours and add to the list!




Posted in All Things SGF

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