If you grew up in Chicago in the 80s, this was a very familiar TV jingle…McDade’s!

mcdades

There aren’t too many local department stores in America anymore. I suppose you have regional stores like Menards Hardware but I don’t think I see anything truly local in the big cities like we once did.

If you grew up in Chicago, McDade’s was a destination shopping trip for all your needs! With eight stores around the city, it was a warehouse separated in two halves. The first half was a luxurious, carpeted department store with TVs, jewelry and video games. They referred to it as a “catalog showroom.” The second half was an early big box styled store that housed shelves of small appliances, toys and other bric a brac.

One of the coolest parts of your trip to McDade’s (ours was in Lincolnwood – across the street from the very famous “Purple Hyatt” – featured in the film Casino) was at the end of your shopping. You would make your purchases through the store, but for the big ticket items, you wouldn’t put them in a cart. You would hand the cashier a ticket and then go to the conveyor belt near the exit where you item would come rolling out to you.

My mother bought several of my Bally Astrocade (and later Sega Master System) video games there. Watching that little box come zipping out at me was pretty exciting stuff.

Of course, this story doesn’t have a happy ending. (When do they?) After 30 years in business, McDade’s closed in 1988. Our store became a site for a condo. But, I have many wonderful memories of buying GI Joe guys there. I’m pretty sure that’s where I got Blowtorch.

So, enjoy a McDade’s Christmas Commercial from around 1980! That little jingle is etched in my memory forever.

Patrick J. Doody

Patrick J. Doody is a horror nerd and Mexican Pepsi enthusiast living in Los Angeles.He writes movies and makes TV shows. Check out his latest endeavor, Beyond Stranger Things streaming on Netflix.

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8 thoughts on “If you grew up in Chicago in the 80s, this was a very familiar TV jingle…McDade’s!

  1. datedgamer says:

    very nice. had a similar store setup as Service Merchandise (also gone now RIP). The actor in this commercial was on the soap opera Another World in the 1980’s (older sister and mom avid NBC soap fanatics in the 80s).

  2. vinvectrex says:

    @Patrick – I moved to Chicago and never heard of McDades, despite staying at the Purple Hyatt upon my arrival. Sadly, I was one year too late -1989.
    @Datedgamer – you beat me to the post. In our area, Labelle’s turned into Service Merchandise (both featuring the conveyor belt delivery) before disappearing.

  3. Earblast says:

    I lived in NW Indiana, but I remember seeing those commercials all the time along with the occasional Condessa Del Mar commerical.

    Illinois seemed full of exotic things like that along with Santa’s Village in Dundee.

  4. @datedgamer – Yes, we had Service Merchandise too – it was very similar. McDade’s felt like our local treasure version.

    @vinvectrex – The Purple Hyatt was then the Purple Radisson then The Purple Hotel and is now closed – I just drove by there during my visit home.

    @earlblast. Santas Village was downright creepy especially at night. The road was lined with creepy snowman that stared at you from the darkness.

  5. plcary says:

    @datedgamer- I knew that guy looked familiar. I never would have figured that one out. My mom loved that soap too!

  6. JO HOY says:

    ENJOYED YOUR INFO ON THE MCDADE STORE.

    I WAS A DEMONSTRATOR FOR THE HOOVER COMPANY AND IT WAS A GREAT STORE AND PLACE TO WORK AND SHOP.

    I AM 81 YEARS OLD AND ENJOYED YOUR STORY AND THE COMMERCIAL ALSO AND WILL SHARE IT WITH MY GRAND-KIDS.

    GOOD MEMORIES
    THANKS…JO

  7. William says:

    Everyone knows of Service Merchandise but does anyone remmember what came befire Service Merchandise?

  8. I loved going to McDade’s as a kid. It was the fantasy cool showroom place. My parents got their first microwave their. I was very young and remember a salesperson showing them examples and even giving us a piece of turkey that was cooked in the microwave. It was there I first saw colecovision! I love the 80s! Miss them terribly.
    Steve

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