Canal Street is a great street in the great downtown area in New Smyrna Beach. In 1980, as the area was experiencing a lot of change, population was about 12,000 and growing. They were making four lanes out of State Road 44 and the Burger Chef at U.S. 1 and West Canal Street had just burned down. This once bustling railroad town was slowing down because the railroad strike had shut down passenger rail travel on the Florida East Coast and the once active railroad center all but shut down.
Canal Street was still a viable business area, though. There was a great mix of businesses and professionals on the street. The street, however, was showing its age and needed remodeling. There were many businesses including a large furniture chain, two barber shops, a theatre, a Western Auto and a Firestone Store, Little Drug Co., Normans Jewelers, Brinkoetter Jewelry Store, Total Vision, Sunshine TV, Frank’s Mens, St. Barlows Photo Studio, a printer, Thomas Pharmacy, Dollar Store, Gary’s Meat Market, a post office, Pennysaver, a pool hall, Southeast Bank, the Chamber of Commerce, NSB Parks & Recreation offices and AT&T.