Mystery of the Metropolitan solved
My mom remembered this as a place called Green's. Wikipedia to the rescue: H.L. Green's was a five and dime chain. This one was right next to the Woolworth's, which was in the building on the left. Green's acquired a chain called Metropolitan (which apparently stayed under that name in Canada). In the early '60s, Green's and McCrory's merged (I think of McCrory's as a southern chain, but there was one in Syracuse until the mid-'80s). At the same time, McCrory's took over Lerner's, which is what this store was all my life.
So an entire retail history is revealed with the ghost of a sign.