CHICAGO — Englewood residents once again pushed back against the opening of a Save-A-Lot in place of the shuttered Whole Foods on 63rd Street Wednesday.
“You, at least, are going to listen to our concerns,” said Asiaha Butler.
A town hall meeting was held Wednesday where Save-A-Lot and Yellow Banana leadership — the company who owns and operates eight Save-A-Lot’s in Chicago — continued to hear feedback from the South Side community, most which, was not positive.
“There are men and women in this room … that laid the tile, that plastered the drywall, that even assembled the shelves that are still in the store for our community,” said Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th Ward). “So that’s our store. I don’t care who holds the lease.”
Advocates at the meeting said poor quality buildings and expired food at Chicago’s other Save-A-Lot locations are not what they want in place of the storefront vacated by Whole Foods.
Save-A-Lot CEO Leon Bergmann apologized for the lack of corporate investment in Chicago’s Save-A-Lot store at the town hall Wednesday, and Yellow Banana leadership vowed to make right on past mistakes.
“[A] new roof, new parking lot, new refrigeration, new floors,” said Yellow Banana CEO Joe Canfield. “[A] very, very different stores than what you’re used to.”
Yellow Banana leadership said all eight Chicago Save-A-Lot locations will be fully rehabbed by the Fall, funded by a new grant.
At the end of the town hall, Ald. Coleman asked Bergmann if they still planned on opening the Englewood Save-A-Lot location, to which the CEO replied the decision will be a part of a follow-up conversation.