Most towns what are referred to as “strip malls,” for no other reason than because they are usually in a line, similar to a strip of paper or road. Often they are on the outer edges of towns and not near the hub of activity. Even Riverside has a small strip mall. 

It is located between 26th Street and Longcommon Road on Harlem Avenue, and there have been many changes to the little area, some good and some not so good.

Presently on the 26th Street corner is a gas station and convenience mart, though it’s not always convenient to get to. Go south across the tracks and there is a loan company, which never looks very busy in a place where previous businesses were. 

 Years ago, what is now TitleMax was once Prince Castle. The ice cream cones held ice cream shaped like a brick; didn’t affect the flavor at all. Later the building was home to Arthur Treacher’s. You all remember Treacher right? Of course you don’t. Anyway, it was a fast food place specializing in fish and chips. 

With Lent upon us, it’s too bad it isn’t still there. Of course we all miss the Sara Lee outlet store, which was the most recent retail business at that location. There was speculation that Starbucks might move in, but it didn’t happen.

A little further south is the cleaners, now under new ownership. The real mall of the area once was a convenience store that actually was convenient. It now has a very vacant store, most recently fondly remembered as The Cork, a wine store which had excellent cheeses also. 

The other store fronts over the years have had a pizza place, a gym, numerous beauty shops and To Your Taste, a Chinese take-out restaurant. Since I’m writing this column on Feb. 8, Chinese New Year, I decided to go in and pick up the lunch specials, with proportions that are large enough they will also be our dinner.

The people were very cordial and while I waited I found out the woman I talked with had learned to cook in China. Timmy, who waited on me was quick to tell me where he goes for pizza and other foods. 

It’s open seven days a week it has adequate parking since you will be in and out. Quick service? How does 15 minutes suit you? You can even watch the food being prepared in their open kitchen.