CHICAGO — Plans to open a new Save A Lot where the old Whole Foods in Englewood was located are on hold after dozens of residents protested against the store’s opening.

The store off of 63rd Street was expected to open Thursday, but after residents came out Wednesday night expressing their opposition, the opening date has been pushed back.

Some local residents said they weren’t invited to a soft opening scheduled for Wednesday night.

Since Whole Foods closed in November, several residents have shared the type of grocery store they want to see in its place. They said Save A Lot is not it.

“People have unequivocally said they are not impressed with the Save A Lot brand,” Asiaha Butler with the Resident Association of Greater Englewood said.

Brianna Hobbs said the number one thing people wanted was quality products.

During the protest, the owners and CEO of a company called Yellow Banana, the operators of more than 30 stores under the Save A Lot banner across the country, spoke to rallies and have decided to take the time to meet with the community and do more outreach.

“We’ve decided not to open the store tomorrow based on the conversations I had with Ald. Coleman and community members,” Joe Canfield, CEO of Yellow Banana, said.

Store leaders said they want to make sure the community’s interests, like offering financial training, are prioritized before the store opens.

“We have a relationship with Self Help Credit Union and they do financial training for folks that don’t necessarily know how to apply for a credit card, how to apply for a mortgage,” Canfield said. “Self Help is willing to work with us.”

Store operators said they are committed to serving the community and offering opportunities for minority entrepreneurs.

“We want a Black-owned grocery platform to bring in Black-owned entrepreneurs, like I Like my Coffee Black, and make this a successful experience for Black and brown folks in this community,” Michael Vance, co-owner of Yellow Banana, said.

“To live in a food desert is not good when you don’t have a store in close proximity, so it’s a very good thing that a group of people said we’re to give this a chance,” Freddie Batchelor said.

Leaders for the store said food prepared for Wednesday’s soft opening will be donated to a local shelter. They said since they’re not sure when the store will open, much of the food in the grocery store will likely get donated too.