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This is a picture of an old location for Big Top stores, in the Denver area. These distincitive, scallop roofed buildings can be found throughout the metro area, many perhaps poorly situated in the middle of a block, or in back neighborhoods. Some are still convenience stores, while others have changed to other types of businesses. With the former windows replaced by siding, this one is a beauty parlor.
Another location, still open as a convenience store.
Here is the history. All dates are approximate:
1957 Inpired by a convenience store chain from Texas called 7-11, a group of investors beat that chain to Denver by opening up the first locations for their chain, then called Auto Mart.
1958 Changed named to Big Top in a naming contest.
1962 UtoteM announces 75 outlets to be opened in the Denver area.
1964 Big Top has 13 locations.
1967 With 16 locations, this is the last year as Big Top, before being sold to UtoteM.
83/84 Most Big Top locations have disappeared from the chain, as Circle K buys UtoteM.
98/99 Circle K exits the Denver market, selling many locations to Everyday Markets.
All of this information comes from newspaper articles from the library. It is very difficult to research a chain that is no longer in existence. My dream would be to see if Circle K has any pictures or information for Big Top or UtoteM in their archives.