The city of Porto has what are perhaps two of the most well know historic mercearias of Portugal: Casa Oriental and A Pérola do Bolhão (both below). Having opened its doors 101 years ago, Casa Oriental is particularly well known for its bacalhau (salted cod), also used to decorate the entire store front. Founded in 1917, A Pérola de Bolhão has become a symbol of the city due to its artistic, painted tile storefront.
In both cases, these mercearias have extended their history beyond their sales means - they are now historic symbols of the city. But what about those that don't earn that status? Are these bound to become a footnote in time? Most likely. Most recently, however, an attempt at a new generation of mercearia was started up in Lisbon. With the goal of bringing back the old neighbourhood mercearia feel, the Mercearia Creativa attempts to do just that, bringing with it certain touches of modernity as well (in this day-and-age of modern technology the internet helps http://www.merceariacreativa.com/).
Surely, the concept may be somewhat utopian trying to beat out the big boys behind the box stores and the supermarket chains. Still, to put it simply, it's worth a try. After all what you see below looks pretty impersonal doesn't it?