Food World and Food Max are gone; weeds have replaced cars in their large, vacant parking lots.
Empty windows greet potential patrons of the sandwich shop, laundromat, rental store and auto parts retailer that once filled spaces in the shopping center at 9th and Quintard.
Chain fast-food restaurants like Hardee's and Rally's sit shuttered and retail stores like Circuit City have fallen dark in a bad economy.
Nearly 20 businesses are closed between the old Pizza Inn and Food World locations — roughly 30 blocks from 21st Street southward to P Street. Some worry that after the opening of the Eastern Parkway, a road designed to divert traffic away from Quintard, even more businesses will suffer.
But others say less traffic could be a good thing.
Jack Plunk, a planner with the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, said the Eastern Parkway will take away about 40 percent of Quintard's traffic. That's about 20,000—30,000 trips daily.
Lamar Phillips, owner of Goal Post Barbecue, said he's OK with that.
"I don't worry about (the Eastern Parkway)," Phillips said. "I think the main thing it'll do is take some of the trucks off the highway and trucks don't stop here anyway."
Phillips has owned the restaurant for about eight years, but barbecue has been served from that location on Quintard for 50 years.
Goal Post's neon sign featuring a place kicker stands just a few storefronts down from a Rally's sign covered by a blue tarp which asks customers to visit another location, a little ways down Quintard. Rally's, along with Hardee's and the closed Captain D's, all have other nearby locations, either on South Quintard in Anniston or in Oxford.
Councilman David Dawson agreed the decrease in "random traffic" on Quintard should not alarm anyone. He said Anniston's main artery will become a destination thoroughfare, rather than simply the best way to get around town.
"If you're going to the Victoria to eat, that's where you go," Dawson said. "Quintard has a lot of specialty businesses and they will continue to attract people."
Terry Paschal, owner of The Wine Cellar, is counting on that.
"A lot of the local people will want to drive on Quintard because it won't be so busy anymore," he said. "It'll be easier for them to get to the stores they like."
The Wine Cellar's location, just beyond downtown heading toward Oxford, hasn't seen many closings.
Brent Cunningham, an associate professor of marketing at Jacksonville State University, said businesses on Quintard need "pulling power," or the power to bring customers off of the Eastern Parkway.
He agreed with others that if the parkway simply lessens traffic of people driving through Anniston to get somewhere else, business shouldn't be affected too much.
"Traffic will be reduced," he said, "but I think that's through traffic, not local shopping traffic."
Dawson said the city needs to continue focusing on specialty businesses, like banks and restaurants, and Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce President Sherri Sumners agreed. She said Quintard has a strong financial and restaurant district that will continue to draw people.
Barry Mason, dean of the University of Alabama's Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration, said the city can attract businesses to Quintard several different ways.
First, the city can offer incentives, like tax breaks and infrastructure, he said. The Anniston council has offered such incentives in the past.
Mason said another way to bring business to the area is to focus on service industries, like banks. Two new financial institutions — Noble Bank and Southern States Bank — recently located on Quintard.
The city should put together some kind of master plan for the area and go after businesses that fit the plan, Mason said.
"It won't just come to them," he said.
Cunningham said a positive aspect of revitalizing Quintard is that everything is in place for success.
"Quintard definitely has historical significance with the markers, the beautification of the median, all that is there," he said. "It doesn't need revitalization as far as infrastructure. It just needs the brands on the street that will bring people in."
Councilman Herbert Palmore said the city must look into the best types of businesses for Quintard. Anniston in late 2007 hired Buxton Company for a $75,000 marketing analysis for several areas in the city, one of which is Quintard Avenue and Greenbrier-Dear Road. That company is giving the city ideas on specific retail businesses that might fit the location.
Palmore said business growth is important because the city relies on sales tax revenue for much of its $32 million budget.
The city's sales tax revenue is down 4.3 percent for the first seven months of the fiscal year, said Jarrod Simmons of Anniston's finance department. Figures were only available through April of this year.
By this point in the 2008 fiscal year the city had brought in about $10.5 million. By the end of April this year, tax collections were nearly $10.1 million.
Finance director Danny McCullars said it's hard to say how much of that is due to closed businesses on Quintard. He said the economic downturn means people are shopping less, which also hurts the city.
Councilman Ben Little said the city must be business-friendly.
"We have to let people know we're cleaning up our city and let the people know we'll work with them to start a business here," he said.
Mayor Gene Robinson has previously said he wants to make Anniston business-friendly by putting municipal offices that handle zoning and planning matters in the same location. That initiative has not yet been accomplished.
Efforts to reach Mayor Gene Robinson for this story were unsuccessful.