MDV3 Gallery and Studio
Given the densely residential nature of the West End, it’s not surprising at all that large grocery store chains should have had outlets very close to one another. The A & P’s West End market was at 120 Commercial Street and this was a branch of the First National Stores chain through the 1950s. It was also home in the 1950s to Mary Roza; her daughter Leah (Roza) Henrique, who worked at the Lobster Pot; and Anthony Henrique, a fisherman who worked aboard the Yankee.
The store and the apartments were damaged in a 1952 fire. (“Fire Costs $10,000 in Tuesday Blaze,” The Advocate, 10 April 1952.) Mrs. Henrique was active in the Portuguese-American Civic League, which found quarters for itself in 1960 in what had been the First National space. (“League Finds Meeting Place,” The Advocate, 25 February 1960.) After leaving here, the league moved into the old A & P at No. 120.
More recently, this was the furniture and rug gallery of the Roots home and garden store at 368 Commercial Street. The store is now at 193 Commercial. It is now the MDV3 Gallery and Studio, a showplace for the artwork of Michael Robert del Visco, who lives in Truro.
Long after leaving Provincetown, the First National Store chain, also known by the acronym Finast, was gobbled up by the Dutch food conglomerate Ahold, which also owns Stop & Shop. So, in a tortuous kind of corporate way, you could almost say this store was a forerunner of the supermarket on Shank Painter Road.