Saul Friedman, 81, who for many years operated the Variety Shop, a general store, liquor store and bar in Indian Head, died Saturday at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he had lived since 1972.

A spokesman for the St. Petersburg police department said Mr. Friedman was fatally injured when he was struck Saturday by an automobile while he was crossing a street. He was taked to St. Anthony's, where he died of internal injuries.

Mr. Friedman, who was born in Poland, came to the United States and settled in Washington in 1921. Until 1936, he worked for a pants factory that was owned by an uncle. He then went into the restaurant business. He owned the old Candlestick Coffee Shopin downtown Washington.

In 1951, he sold that and bought the Variety Shop. Mr. Friedman and his wife, the former Ida Landau, to whom he was married for 55 years, ran that enterprise until 1972, when they retired and moved to Florida.

Mr. Friedman was a charter member of the Benjamin Franklin Masonic Lodge in Washington. He lived in Washington for many years and later in Indian Head.

In addition to his wife, of St. Petersburg, survivors include four sons, Meyer, Itzy and Leon, all of Silver Spring, and Floyd, of St. Petersburg, and 15 grandchildren.

The family suggest that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the United Jewish Appeal, or to a charity of one's choice.