Local Places Then and Now: Mystic Pizza/General Store

Local+Places+Then+and+Now%3A+Mystic+Pizza%2FGeneral+Store

Camden Celtruda, Local History Writer

I have decided to do a series of articles to show students how towns can change drastically over time. This article is part one of a series describing how locations in the Mystic/Groton area has changed over the last 100 or so years.

Mystic Pizza used to be a General Store:

One of the most well-known Downtown Mystic restaurants, located at 56 W. Main St, is Mystic Pizza.  Mystic Pizza was heavily publicized by the 1988 drama movie of the same name which was filmed in Mystic. Now it is a popular place for tourists to eat when they visit Mystic. The building the restaurant occupies was built around the mid-1880s which many people don’t know. What many people also don’t know is that a general store had originally occupied the building. William E. Wheeler Sr. started his business with his son on Water Street in 1867. After William E. Wheeler Sr. retired his son, William E. Wheeler Jr., continued the grocery business. In 1884 Wheeler Jr. built a new store on the corner of West Main Street and Bank Street and the business was continued into the early 1900s. Various businesses were located here over the years including a laundromat. In 1973 Mystic Pizza opened and in the location was endorsed by the 1988 movie. The building is currently much changed, but if you look hard enough you will notice many of the original features of the building.

 

The building that houses Mystic Pizza today looks very different than it did back in 1915. (Photo taken by Camden Celtruda)
The W.E. Wheeler Grocery and Goods Store in sits in 1915 where Mystic Pizza is currently located today. (Photo from the Mystic Historical Society’s Online Collections)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the next part I will discuss a location on the corner of East Main Street and Holmes Street that is one of the most changed areas of Mystic through history.

Sources:

www.mysticpizza.com

mystichistory.org (Mystic Historical Society)