25 August 2009

ALDI in Edgewater Opens For Business

In contrast to the fanfare that greeted shoppers when the West Ridge Dominick's re-opened on 13th August, the brand new ALDI in Edgewater will celebrate its grand opening on a quieter note, on Thursday, 27th August 2009, from 9:00 A.M. til 8:00 P.M.


14 August 2009

West Ridge Dominick's Grand Re-Opening

Yesterday, I attended the grand re-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the resurrected West Ridge Dominick's at 6623 N. Damen on Chicago's Far North Side. Present were Dominick's President, Don Keprta, 50th Ward Alderman, Bernard Stone, and Illinois Senator, Ira Silverstein. The store manager, John Katsantones, formerly the manager of the chain's 6009 N. Broadway store in Edgewater, is now at the helm of this beautifully rebuilt store. The presentation got underway at around 4:10 P.M. and included the presentation of a $10,000 check to a Misericordia representative, a brief speech from Alderman Stone and lastly, a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Stone spoke both as Alderman and a spokesperson for the absent Mayor Daley.

As for the store itself: There is ample seating for those who wish to eat in - store or enjoy their Starbuck's coffee. Instead of Chase Bank (a common presence inside most Dominick's), it is US Bank that provides financial services. The restrooms have been moved from the back of the store (next to the pharmacy department) to the front near the seating area. People with laptops were greeted by disappointment that the store's WiFi was not working, and store personnel gave no timetable when it will be up and running.

I ate my way through the store like Pacman, as there were plenty of stations offering free samples. In the meat department, there was a meat - trimming demonstration and, in the pharmacy, health screenings.

Don Keprta, Dominick's President, described the West Ridge store's format as "Lifestyles,' which is more upscale than the other nearby Dominick's I have shopped in. It has a HUGE wine selection and (my favourite) two brands of Japanese rice (the best for sushi-making)! Outside the store are a few chairs and tables. By the way, while I was there talking to a friend I ran into, I observed some gang banger with a bicycle shoving a grocery cart, sending it rolling out of the parking lot and close to the street. An accident was narrowly averted when a store employee retrieved the cart.(I would hope the store's security personnel will pause from watching the aisles for shoplifters and scan the parking area from time to time, for the purpose of preventing such mischief.)

A strange sight was a grand player piano to entertain the customers (apparently, they didn't want to spend money on a live pianist).

There were high hopes, on the part of the store managers and employees, that the sound of beeping scanners will be repeated in the months and years to come. I also hope that the West Ridge Dominick's does well. For one thing, I won't have to walk to the Edgewater location from my Rogers Park home (okay, it's a selfish reason) Navigating the aisles yesterday was quite a challenge because of the high turnout. But after the ribbon has been cut, will this Dominick's manage to maintain yesterday's flow of customers? Time will tell. The neighbourhood will vote with their feet and their wallets.


12 August 2009

West Ridge Dominick's Re - Opens 13 Aug. 2009

The much - anticipated re-opening of the Dominick's at 6623 N. Damen (near Ridge) will occur on Thursday, 13th August 2009 @ 4:00 P.M. The grocery chain's West Ridge location was abuzz with activity on Tuesday; I watched as workmen and landscapers prepared the property for the grand re - opening, and pallets of groceries were being unloaded from delivery trucks.


05 August 2009

Rogers Park Postal Sites Slated to Close

To cut costs, the U.S. Postal Service is closing some of its sites, including over 20 in Chicago. Email has replaced letters sent by snail mail. In Rogers Park two sites are slated to close, and they are:

5424 W. Devon Ave.

7617 N. Pauline St.