News that his regular lunch spot will soon be closing was a surprise to Matt Brod. The teacher at Lyons Township High School not only enjoys the sushi at the Dominick’s store at 47th and Willow Springs Road in Western Springs, he is fond of many of its employees.
“A lot of my former students work there,” he said.
But apparently, they won’t work there for long. Safeway, owners of the Dominick’s brand, announced Oct. 10 that it will close all 72 stores in the Chicago area by early 2014.
Willowbrook Village Administrator Tim Halik said news of the impending closing of the store at 63rd Street and Route 83 is disappointing, but not a surprise.
“We had known for quite a while that the Dominick’s division of Safeway was struggling,” he said.
Halik said the closing of the store will be a real loss for what he calls a “vibrant center.” But he’s not sure another grocery store is the right thing for the 69,000-square-foot space.
Halik said Whole Foods has a store just a couple of blocks from the Dominick’s location and Lassak Market and Deli is located at Plainfield Road and Route 83. Pete’s Fresh Market has announced plans to move into the former Kmart space at the southeast corner of Route 83 and Plainfield Road.
Dominick’s has occupied the space in the shopping center at the southwest corner of Route 83 and 63rd Street since 1987.
The store at 31st Street and Wolf Road in Westchester is a frequent stop for Lisa Doyle. The LaGrange Park resident said she shops at the store three to four times a week.
“I was sad to see it,” she said of the store’s impending closure.
Not only will she miss the convenience of a store close to her home, Doyle said she will miss the people.
“I have gotten to know a lot of them. I wish the best for them,” she said.
June and Robert McKinney live just four blocks from the Westchester store. They hope another grocery store will take its place.
“I like the size, and I know where everything is,” Robert McKinney said.
Given the choice, he knows exactly what he would put in place of Dominick’s.
“I would like to see Kroger come in. We’re Kroger people,” he said.
Martin Scott, director of community development in Western Springs, said Oct. 11 that no businesses had contacted the village about the Dominick’s location since the Oct. 10 announcement. But he also said he hopes someone will show interest soon.
“The best use for the existing Dominick’s store would be a high quality grocery store,” Scott said. “A grocer is an excellent anchor to the center.”