That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

December 12, 2012

The sad little Willow Oaks Shopping Center (Hampton, VA)

Filed under: dead stores,drugstores,Hampton,Roses — Anita @ 12:22 am

A few months ago, I went to the Fox Hill area of Hampton (where I grew up) to visit an old friend. I went by the Willow Oaks shopping center where mom and I used to do all our shopping back in the 90s.

It’s pretty sad now.  It’s only real strength now is the Farm Fresh which replaced the old Super Fresh/Farmer Jack that was torn down in the Summer of 2000, I believe, it was right before my folks and I left Hampton.

Rite Aid, Hampton, VA (Willow Oaks Shopping Center, Google Maps)

(I screencapped this from google maps a few years ago)

Nothing has changed about this Rite aid since the 90s. Everything has remained the same, it was almost scary, I felt like I was in 8th grade again and I was begging mom for nail polish or sneaking lipstick in her cart.

Hampton Public Library, Willow Oaks Shopping Center

Oh. Derp. Another selling point of this shopping center is the library. I don’t think I’ve been in here since 2001 when I was a senior in high school.

Willow Oaks Shopping Center, Hampton, VA

Growing up, I seem to remember none of the stores in the breezeway staying open for long. I remember a dollar store there the summer of 1994, and my mom buying a ton of useless junk from there.

Abandoned One Price $7 store, Hampton, VA

This was a One Price $7 store where all the clothes were $7 each, back in 1992-1994. My mom bought all my clothes from there during my late elementary school years. I’m pretty sure it has stayed abandoned since 1994.

Willow Oaks Learning Foundation.

In the back of the shopping center, there was office buildings. My tutor and my dentist were in these offices. I suspect I know why my tutor went out of business, and I guess my dentist retired.

Willow Oaks Learning Foundation

Blybe at an abandoned office strip. Hampton, VA

I remember the leaves always piled up here. My knockoff Blythe doll was enjoying the leaves. Last year, I got tired of just taking pictures of … buildings. So now I bring one of my dolls to pose at the abandoned buildings. Don’t judge.

So, the abandoned Roses/West Telemarketing building.

West, Willow Oaks Shopping Center

Abandoned Willow Oaks Shopping Center

Here is my other knockoff Blythe doll, Eyebrows in front of the abandoned building.

The sad widdle willow oaks shopping center

The sad widdle willow oaks shopping center

The sad widdle willow oaks shopping center

The directory is almost correct. It’s a few years off. The Farm Fresh (building a1) isn’t on here, and its been open since 2000, 2001?


  1. I worked at the Learning Foundation. I know exactly why it went out of business because I it happened a few hours before I was supposed to come in … and right before payday. 😦

    Comment by EXIT265C — December 12, 2012 @ 12:26 am | Reply

    • When did they go out of business? The summer we graduated from high school?

      Comment by Anita — December 14, 2012 @ 12:27 am | Reply

      • It was some time in fall 2001. I got there a few hours after the police came.

        Comment by EXIT265C — December 14, 2012 @ 12:41 am

    • What happened? O_O

      Comment by Randy Deese — October 14, 2013 @ 7:15 pm | Reply

  2. LOL @ West. Employing Hampton’s finest population no longer.

    Comment by ellez — December 12, 2012 @ 9:57 am | Reply

  3. i do ground maintenence at this shopping center. it is getting no better!

    Comment by Pat — July 2, 2013 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  4. Willow oaks SC is right across the street from Elizabeth lakes where I grew up in the 80’s/90’s so we were always there. Superfresh was the only place my mom would grocery shop. There was a delicious frozen yogurt place where Dairy Queen is now called yogurt international. It’s a shame both of them closed. Wasn’t the west building something else between the closing of Roses and opening of West? I feel like it was but that was so long ago. Really nice shopping center back in the day but like a lot of things in Hampton, it has declined 😦

    Comment by Angela — December 10, 2013 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

    • Nah, it was just Roses, then West.

      Comment by Anita — December 21, 2013 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  5. Wow! I realize this is an old post. I just came across your site searching for an old business that was in the Willow Oaks Center. I lived down the road near Booker, went to Lindsay, and Hampton High (’97). I’ve only been back to Hampton once since I left after graduation and this brought back some memories.

    Comment by Nick — July 30, 2015 @ 9:11 pm | Reply

  6. Wasn’t there a shop that sold Cross Stitch supplies? Or was that close to Smitty’s? I spend a LOT of $$$ and time in that shop.

    Comment by P Martin — September 13, 2020 @ 11:21 am | Reply

    • Yes!! And I forgot the name of it!

      Comment by Anita — September 13, 2020 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  7. My My My this was a fun post. I grew up in Hampton, in the 70s. My mom also choose to grocery shop every Friday evening at the grocery store ‘Pantry Pride’. Willow Oaks had the corner bakery, of coarse the Pharmacy, although I don’t remember the name. My Grandmother use to take me to the dime store, we would eat at the counter….I can not remember the name….Murphy’s or maybe Grant’s? I always ordered the BLT. Alot of memories of my Mom and Grandma going to Willow Oaks. Occassionally eat at Jack N The Box. Get the gas tank filled at Childres Gas Station after stopping at the bank on the corner. Someone mentioned Smitty’s …..alot of memories there too (Corndog with mustard, tator tots and a frothy rootbeer in a styrefoam cup. (Me, Mom, Gran, Michelle, Keith and once in awhile Angus our dog would come along too). Lots of good memories!!!!

    Comment by Val — October 13, 2020 @ 8:31 am | Reply

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