Shepard's Grocery /City Cafe/ Otto Speake Menswear

  • <p>"Walden Paint Co." advertisement on the side of Shepard's Grocery, looking down North Court Street, c.1920</p>
  • <p>North Court Street, c.1920</p>
  • <p>The City Cafe next to the Majestic Theater and First National Bank buildings, c.1940</p>
  • <p>Otto Denson Speake (pictured 1961) of Hartselle, Alabama, owned menswear stores in Florence and Sheffield from the early 1950s until c.1980</p>
  • <p>Looking down North Court Street in the 1960s, notice the Otto Speake Menswear sign on the left </p>
  • <p>The Otto Speake building on the far right c.1990</p>

Shepard's Grocery/City Cafe/Otto Speake Menswear

210 North Court Street

The multi-story brick commercial building at 210 North Court Street was built c. 1910 in a common turn of the century commercial style with modest Italianate details, such as arched windows, a flat parapet roof and brick corbelling across the cornice.

Shepard's Grocery

It was initially built to house Shepard’s Grocery. The grocery store was owned by local businessman William A. Shepard and was part of Shepard & Crow. Shepard and his partner had a second grocery store location in Seven Points, just north of downtown and what is now the University of North Alabama’s campus.

City Cafe

By 1935, the Tri-Cities Directory does not account for a 210 North Court Street but instead shows the City Café at 208 North Court Street. The City Café is pictured in a 1940s photograph alongside the Majestic Theatre and The First National Bank next door. Though the address has changed, the building is the same one that Shepard’s Grocery occupied prior.

Otto Speake Menswear

The building’s address reverts back to 210 North Court Street (there is no longer a 208 represented) and lists McIntosh Brothers Men’s Clothing at this location in 1945. Though McIntosh Brothers’ time at this location was short-lived, another menswear retailer soon took its place. Otto Speake Menswear opened in 1952 and was a fixture of the downtown business community for many years.