That Good Ol’ Hillbilly Fried Chicken!

Remembering the Self-Serv Market…

© Jerry F. Couch

During the prosperous King Coal Era of the mid-1970’s, a new and very welcome business opened in St. Paul – the Self-Serv Market.  Like most convenience stores, the Self-Serv sold a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Best of all, it was the home of Hillbilly Fried Chicken, which was EXCELLENT.

The pictures below were taken for use in a 1974 CVT promotional article to help introduce the new store to the public.



self-serv interior

Other businesses had once occupied the site of the Self-Serv Market.  One of them was Hall Chevrolet, shown here around 1960.  Prior to its move to Riverside Drive, Hall Chevrolet had occupied what most of us still refer to as “the Big M building” on St. Paul’s Fifth Avenue.

ca. 1961 Hall Chevrolet

Superseding Hall Chevrolet, the St. Paul Motor Mart opened for business in 1964.

St. Paul Motor Mart opens 1964

Today, all that remains of these bygone Riverside Drive businesses is a parking lot and a concrete slab.  The picture below was taken today, May 17, 2019.  Looking like modern sculpture, concrete storm drain piping for the downtown infrastructure improvement project is being staged on the empty lot.  


Nothing is as inevitable as change.


5 thoughts on “That Good Ol’ Hillbilly Fried Chicken!

  1. When I saw the first picture I thought something look familiar and upon closer examination i realized that the car in front of the Self Serv was mine with the picture taken while I was lettering the window with the Hillbilly Fried Chicken slogan. Not sure but maybe that’s me inside shadowing the letters

    1. Yes, I have pictures of Porter’s (lots of them). I’ll be writing an article about that business soon, so watch for it.

  2. I had a Chicken LHillbilly Friedeg and a Peach Nehi with Uncle Willie EVERY SUNDAY after Mass – you just can’t get the same spice mix ANYWHERE in broasted chicken these days!!

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