Thruway Center A Winston-Salem Landmark

Thruway Center has been a part of Winston-Salem’s landscape for many years. To begin with, Ray Messick, Earl Slick, and W. B. Leverton developed a partnership known as Merchants’ Development Company and purchased a fourteen-acre farm located on Stratford Road. June 24th, 1953, saw the unveiling of plans for a $1.5 million shopping center near the site of the new thruway road system. The grand opening for Thruway Shopping Center was October 13th, 1955. At that time, the Center was comprised of thirteen businesses. One of the original thirteen remains a tenant to this day—Dewey’s Bakery. One of the state’s first drive-thru banks was eventually added.

Since its opening, Thruway Center has seen many expansions, modernization initiatives, and a variety of retail stores, restaurants, banks, grocery stores, and a branch of the Winston-Salem library. Recent renovations pay homage to its longevity in the community, with the new stonework noting its launch year. The addition of in-road caution markers for drive-through and pedestrian traffic are welcome reminders to the volume of shoppers visiting the center daily. “Simply park close to the shop you plan to visit,” shared Bill Erickson, current President of the Thruway Merchants Association.

Currently, Thruway is home to 46 merchants with local, regional, and national footprints.   With the variety of shops notes below, Thruway Center is truly a one-stop shopping experience.


  • Be Shoes
  • New Balance Winston-Salem
  • Rack Room Shoes 

Clothing Retailers:

  • Bevello
  • Carter’s Baby and Kids
  • Chico’s
  • Christopher’s Formal Wear
  • Copper Penny
  • Francesca’s Women’s Boutique
  • Great Outdoor Provision Company
  • Hanesbrands Outlet
  • Ivy & Leo
  • Crew Mercantile
  • Jos. A. Bank
  • The Loft
  • Omega Sports
  • Rolly’s Baby Boutique
  • Soma Intimates
  • Stein Mart
  • Talbots
  • White House/Black Market

Food Retailers and Restaurants:

  • Bonefish Grill
  • Chick-Fil-A
  • Dewey’s
  • Ham’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
  • Ichiban Japanese
  • Juice Shop Smoothies
  • Kilwin’s Ice Cream
  • McDonald’s
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill
  • The Carving Board
  • The Loop Pizza Grill


  • Wells Fargo

Household Goods:

  • Mattress Firm
  • Plow & Hearth
  • Southern Home & Kitchen


  • Harris Teeter
  • Trader Joe’s

Personal Care:

  • C Distinctive Eyewear
  • Digit’s Nails
  • FastMed Urgent Care
  • GNC
  • Hair Body and Soul Salon
  • Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa
  • Palm Beach Tan
  • Rite Aid
  • Sports Clips
  • Van Davis Aveda 


  • Hannoush Jewelers

Specialty / Services:

  • Christie’s Hallmark
  • CPR (Cell Phone Repair)
  • FedEx Office
  • Pet Supermarket
  • The Sprint Store
  • Toys & Co.

“The Thruway Merchants Association, comprised of store management, has a strong sense of community involvement,” explained Bill. “Community Day, held the first Saturday in June, is a way for Thruway merchants to support non-profit organizations in our area. June 3rd, 2017, is this year’s Community Day, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Last year, we had 23 non-profit organizations set up at various storefronts and would like more this year.” Bill shared that merchants coordinate with non-profit organizations to set up tables in front of their stores to share with shoppers what their organization(s) provide. In many cases, a store’s customer base may be ideally suited for a particular non-profit. Past participants include the American Heart Association, Brenner Children’s Hospital, the Humane Society, and more. Interested non-profit organizations are encouraged to contact merchants at Thruway about participating in this year’s event.

Thruway Center, with convenient storefront parking, the wide variety of shops, and things to do, is a lifestyle shopping experience. Where else can you do your banking, buy pet supplies, select a new outfit, have a spa day, pick up something for your home, enjoy a meal, or grocery shop? That’s the Thruway experience.

In 2016, Thruway Center was awarded “Best Shopping Center” and “Best Place to Spend the Day” by the Winston-Salem Journal. Plan your next visit to Thruway soon. Visit the Thruway website ( to keep abreast of new store openings and special events planned throughout the year.