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Tuesday, March 5

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Andrew / February 7, 2007 12:27 AM

Questions suggested by Dan.
Got a Fuel question idea? Send it to

dave / February 7, 2007 1:00 AM

I'm not a patron of any Dominick's, although every once in awhile I drive/ride by one and consider going inside. Does that count?

Brian / February 7, 2007 1:29 AM

I've actually shopped at the Dominick's on Archer and Linder several times, mainly because it was on my way home from work when I worked in the suburbs. Now that I no longer work out that way, I never get over to that store, seeing as there's Jewel, Cermak Gigante, Gilmart, Bobak's and a Pete's Market all within a few blocks of me. At least the Bridgeport Dominick's (Ashland & Archer) will still be open.

As far as Dominick's goes, it's not the store it used to be since Safeway bought them out. I do like a few of the Safeway Select generics, and they've got good soups (I highly recommend the Tomato Basil Bisque), but I generally don't go out of my way to shop there.

Kate T / February 7, 2007 6:21 AM

No...big box retailers drive mom-and-pop businesses out of town, destroying the character of our beloved communities. They drive down wages and put people out of work. Profits get taken out of our community and sent to other places.

Go back to the suburbs and take your SUV filled parking lot with you, big box retailer!

Mikey / February 7, 2007 6:38 AM

Nah...haven't shopped at one in several years...

I much prefer Jewel over Dominick's (if you don't think there's a difference, try the Italian sausage from each--no contest)...

Furthermore, I supplement my Jewel shopping with Trader Joe's and Whole Foods (all three are within walking distance)...

Mikey / February 7, 2007 6:42 AM

Sorry, as a proper Chicagoan, what I meant to say was...

I shop at the Jewel's there on Southport.

printdude / February 7, 2007 8:11 AM

I haven't shopped at Nick's since the labor dispute a few years ago - and I have watched the parking lots grow emptier since the same period.
I do miss going to what we call "The Mayor's Dominick's" the one down on Canal & Roosevelt, which was the fanciest one I had seen in quite some time...

Bill V / February 7, 2007 8:47 AM

I have been in a couple of the stores, and there's a reason why the lots are quite empty. The stores have a poor layout and are not as user-friendly as Jewel and others. The quality of their items is lacking, as they tend to go for more cost-saving items instead of things that actually taste good.

Appleby / February 7, 2007 9:02 AM

Dominick's is a big-box retailer? I thought it was a grocery store. And in the world of grocery stores, the mom-and-pop places that survive do so by turning into high-end stores like Treasure Island (or Dean & Deluca in NY).

Check this from the Encyclopedia of Chicago:

"In 1933, the Chicago area had over 17,000 food stores. By 1954, the number had shrunk to 13,260 (the largest 700 stores accounting for half of the sales); in 1987, the number stood at a mere 3,638. "

shechemist / February 7, 2007 9:14 AM

I'm pissed about the 'Nick on Ridge and Damen closing. We don't have a car, and that store is 2 blocks from home. There is a Mexican market (which I also use) 3 blocks from me, but it has a crap selection of important infant needs like diapers, wipes, babyfood (cuz my day care provider doesn't need the extra work of keeping track of homemade food) and formula. I'd love to see huge fruit market go in there, or even a Trader Joes. However I am betting that it sits empty for years, and we will end up buying a freaking car cuz having to bus a mile and a half for diapers and beer is no way to live.

Pete / February 7, 2007 9:16 AM

Sad? About a grocery store? Hardly. I didn't even shed a tear for the Berghoff or Chicago Stadium, so the demise of an operating unit of a big out-of-state corporation doesn't exactly get me choked up.

nattles / February 7, 2007 9:17 AM

i don't currently shop at any of those doomed stores, but they recently fancied up the dominicks i do shop at because they closed another store about a mile away. it's much nicer now, but i've noticed that the produce of late has been really crappy.

there's a trader joe's that's going to open soonish a little ways away, but definitely close enough for me to visit at least once every other week, so i'm looking forward to supplementing my shopping that way too. i used to go to TJ's with some regularity, but since moving to the northwest side, i'm kind of in this no man's land between the closest stores.

Tobermory / February 7, 2007 9:20 AM

Although I do shop at Dominick's (I get United miles for shopping there and there's one right on my way home from work), my Dominick's is safe from closure. I'm hoping that they spruce up the Dom's at Lincoln & Bryn Mawr which is only about four blocks from my house - it's one of their old style stores and it is really nasty. Despite it's close proximity to where I live I only shop there if I absolutely have to and then my rule of thumb is to only buy things that are completely pre-packaged - no produce or meat.

Brian / February 7, 2007 9:24 AM

Dominick's wasn't always an operating unit of a big out-0f-state corporation. It was once a Chicago-based owned and operated chain (so was Jewel-Osco, for that matter). I think I'm more dismayed (still) that Safeway and Albertson's/Supervalu own our once-local businesses.

Mikey / February 7, 2007 9:31 AM

Aside from Jewel and Domonick's, I also remember shopping as a kid with my mom or the grandparents at Kohl's (then a grocery store), the A & P, Butera and possibly Eagle(?). Am I forgetting any?

Wendy / February 7, 2007 9:32 AM

I can't believe that list doesn't include the Bad Times Dominick's on Lincoln near Foster. That is one crappy store. Then again, there's nothing else in that area, so I guess it survives.

The trouble with Dominick's is that any store that isn't a "Fresh Store" is pretty miserable.

Mikey / February 7, 2007 9:33 AM


Must always type quickly and discreetly while at work--sorry...

taJ / February 7, 2007 9:41 AM

i never shopped at one unless i had to...i had one near by on broadway /wellington (before it burned down)...selection wasn't that near granville is nice

jen / February 7, 2007 10:30 AM

while my i generally shop at jewels over my doomed dominicks, i've got to wonder...
when do the clearance sales begin?
i mean, right?

esskaycee / February 7, 2007 10:30 AM

Hear, hear, Wendy and Tobermory, about the Bad Times Dominick's at Lincoln/Fosterish. Blarrgh. I usually just go to Harvestime (which has excellent produce and a pretty good organic selection, plus fantastic ethnic goodies) and Trader Joe's.

skafiend / February 7, 2007 10:40 AM

Sad??? It's a grocery store!!! There's no "sad" involved. Inconvenience, maybe... Frustration at having to drive a few blocks/miles somewhere else. But "sad"???

besides, only three in Chicago are closing, so I'm cool with that, being the self-centered grocery story patron that i am. Besides, I prefer the Devon Market. Now closing that store WOULD make me sad. Better than Dominicks OR Jewel and cheaper. i cut up my Dominck's preferred card when I started going there.

spence / February 7, 2007 10:45 AM

Dominicks = sucks massively

Jewel = sucks, but not as much as Dominicks.

Whole Foods= Rip-Off

Treasure Island= best choice out of a group of sucktitude.

I'll add that while Whole Foods is "organic" you're paying for food that is shipped in from the farthest regions of the US, Mexico, and Canada. Just think of all that carbon dioxide put up in the air so you can get your organic red-bell peppers at $6.00 a pound or organic onions a $4.00 a pound. Ridiculous.

amb / February 7, 2007 10:53 AM

No, but I certainly wish Dominick's would hurry up and open the store they're building on the former site of Edmar. The least they can do after closing the one convenient neighborhood grocery store is hurry up and open the new one. Jerks. I figure it can't be any worse than the hipster douche Jewel at Milwaukee/Division.

Taylor / February 7, 2007 10:57 AM

Chicago has the worst selection of grocery stores I have ever seen. You've got Jewel and Dominick's, both of which are absolutely awful, sorry excuses for grocery stores; Whole Foods, which is horribly expensive; the one Cub Foods I've been in was decent, but I think they're going out of business; Trader Joe's is decent, but their produce is lacking; and I've yet to try Treasure Island.

What I wouldn't give for a Wegman's around here...Anyone who's from or lived in NY State knows what I'm talking about. Truly the King of all grocery stores.

Justin / February 7, 2007 11:01 AM

Within a half mile of the Fortress Dominick's coming to Chicago and Damen, I count (off the top of my head) five grocery stores, three liquor stores, four bakeries, and two flower shops, plus pharmacies, pizza places, delis, and coffee shops with good sandwiches.

If my choice is between (a) these varied and even strange locally-owned and -operated stops or (b) one with the capital to muscle its way into communities, undercut local businesses to kill off the competition (!) and thereby force dependence on itself, and finally close shop if the store's an "underperformer" -- I'll take my local shops, no question.

Apologies to Marx: Convenience is the opiate of the people.

Marilyn / February 7, 2007 11:03 AM

I used to pop into the one in Niles, but I don't shop at either Jewel or Dominick's for my big shop--only for items I can't get at Super H, Marketplace on Oakton, or Happy Foods. The prices are just too high, and I can't get my vast Asian food needs satisfied at either.

Sad? Not really. It's not like they are hometown businesses anymore.

Whole Foods is expensive, but it's not a ripoff. The food is high quality, and they treat their workers extremely well, with profit-sharing and other benefits.

Erica / February 7, 2007 11:05 AM

Funny, I just blogged about this today ... sorry the link is so long:

esskaycee / February 7, 2007 11:06 AM

Go Wegmans!

van Moxie / February 7, 2007 11:06 AM

I used to patronize the one on Belmont and Kimball there because there was never anyone in there and it was on the way from the expressway to my old apartment.

We call it "abandoned Dominick's" as in, "Is that an avocado or an apple? Where did you get that hideous produce?" "Abandoned Dominick's." "Oh, that makes sense." It was like a secret store that time forgot.

I got my prescriptions there for a while, until I got fed up with one of the pharmacists there, who used to loudly declare the purpose of my meds in front of a line of people.

van Moxie / February 7, 2007 11:07 AM

Oh, and indeed Go Wegman's!

jennifer / February 7, 2007 11:10 AM

What AMB said about the Dominick's on Chicago & Damen. Seriously, I can't wait for the Dominick's to open. First they closed the Edmar's, then I went to the Cub Foods. Then Cub closed, and now I'm forced to wait in line for 40 minutes to check out at the Jewel with all of the other displaced Edmar and Cub patrons. Sucks! I can't wait to grocery shop without hopping in a car again.

spence / February 7, 2007 11:18 AM

Marilyn, you've bought into the "expensive=better" school of thought. Capitalists everywhere applaud you.

Appleby / February 7, 2007 11:21 AM

According to a study sponsored by LaSalle Bank, that bastion of socialism, "more than a half million Chicagoans live in food deserts (areas with few or no grocery stores)," and the food choices in these neighborhoods are usually limited to fast-food restaurants.

The report concludes that, not surprisingly, having poor food options leads to nutrition-related illnesses (heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity), which are, again not surprisingly, more common in these "food deserts."

So, while many people (including me) prefer other grocery stores to Dominicks, the issue here is whether those living near a closed Dominicks will have other affordable choices nearby.

e / February 7, 2007 11:26 AM

I'm hoping they open another Devon Market or Lincolnwood Produce Market-type-place where the Dominick's Of The Damned currently stands (Ridge/Damen). It's like they take all the expired items from all the other Dominick's and put them in this location.

Marilyn / February 7, 2007 11:32 AM

Spence - Treating workers well costs businesses money, and i don't mind supporting that to an extent that I can afford. So does carrying lower-volume, lower-yield items like organic foods. Maybe you ought to think things through beyond A and B before you start disparaging me.

p / February 7, 2007 11:47 AM

Butera!!!!!!!!! Nice one. My childhood butera burned down and i cried for a week i think. Also IGA. DePaul Dominick's is pretty good. 30-some chicken drumsticks to cut up w/ some rice and limes for $4 while in college? Yezzzirr. I've been to many of those being closed and was not very impressed. Certain actions must be taken while restructuring, let's see what they have in store (npi).

True story about the groc. chain in question: I worked a summer promoting a Steak Sauce traveling around to different locations for the day w/ a giant steak-sauce shaped trailor that turned into a grill. We'd buy a ton of steaks at each location and grill them up and serve in the parking lot w/ the sauce. Anyway- the west and south side domnicks' sold poorer quality steaks of the same cut at a higher price, and higher income areas had less-fatty cuts for cheaper prices. I was told that this was due to higher incidences of shoplifting and more need for security in the lower-income areas. Hrrrmm....

Spence / February 7, 2007 12:05 PM

Marlyn, my comment was made in regards to your conjecture that "Whole Foods is expensive, but it's not a ripoff. The food is high quality" I'd argue that you can get high quality food at much lower prices. I doubt that I could discern a difference in quality of produce between WF, Jewel, Treasure Island, Dominicks. But the latter, I'll be paying $1-$2 less a pound. Even better deals come from fresh produce at the farmers markets and that money goes directly to local farmers! Regarding workers rights, etc I say if you have the money, go for it. Most people don't have the money to shop at Whole Foods so you're preaching to a very small audience. Conclusion: in your world WF prices are reasonable because of the social benefits perceived. In my world WF is a rip-off because they are unaffordable and thus there is no point to think through to C, aka social benefits.

Marilyn / February 7, 2007 12:20 PM

My world isn't that much more affordable than yours. If you read my other posts, you'd see that I shop based on price, but without sacrificing quality.

Just because you can't afford to shop there doesn't necessarily mean it's a ripoff. Is a Monet painting a ripoff because most of us can't buy it? I'd say that the quality, rarity, and beauty is worth the cost, therefore not a ripoff.

The upside of Whole Foods' prices is that their employees get to make a much better wage and future working there, take pride in their work, and provide organic foods and reasonably priced bulk items like textured vegetable protein (which I use a lot) to people who want them. I don't see that as a ripoff.

Annie / February 7, 2007 12:20 PM

That Dominick's at Belmont & Kimball is indeed a pit. I like Belmont Produce, which is right across the street.

skafiend / February 7, 2007 12:22 PM

Anyway- the west and south side domnicks' sold poorer quality steaks of the same cut at a higher price, and higher income areas had less-fatty cuts for cheaper prices. I was told that this was due to higher incidences of shoplifting and more need for security in the lower-income areas.

P... wow! Don't know if this has been written up as an expose before but you should jump on this if it hasn't. I knew they charged more for things in poorer neighborhoods, particulary at the so-called "A-rab" store (sorry, that's what they're called), but at a major chain like Dominick's?...

Also, what does poorer quality mean have to do with shoplifting? "Hey, let's put the steaks with less marbling here. Everyone knows poor shoplifters have discerning tastes when it comes to cuts of meat."

Bob / February 7, 2007 12:30 PM

Marilyn has said her savings is "a sizable legacy left to me by my mother" and describes Whole Foods as "expensive, but it's not a ripoff".

Hmmmmmm. Must be rough walking around with that silver spoon in your mouth, eh?

Thurston / February 7, 2007 12:31 PM

So much of this anti-chain stuff is such a load of crap. Being anti-chain is invariably the province of those who can afford to do so. The extra value the anti-chainers get is rarely extra quality but rather the right to express self-righteous indignation or to brag about the origin of their salsa. You know who loves the Wal Marts and Dominicks of the world? Poor people. Why? Because it´s cheaper. Try convincing a poor family of five living on $25K/year that they should pay more for staples to support some guy with higher prices and less selection. It is not the big chains that drive small shops out of business, it is consumers. This isn´t neo-Reaganite grand-standing, this is something any econ professor could explain in about two minutes.

amyc / February 7, 2007 12:31 PM

"Even better deals come from fresh produce at the farmers markets and that money goes directly to local farmers!"

Which is great, from June to October. What are people supposed to do for fruits and veggies the rest of the year? (My dinky apartment freezer can only hold so much of my farmers' market bounty.)

I shop at a combination of Dominick's (for regular stuff) and Whole Foods (about once a month for specialty stuff like eco-friendly detergent, fake meats, recycled paper goods, bulk grains, etc.). Treasure Island is OK, but it's like they've never heard of tofu. Trader Joe's has lots of processed food and chocolate-covered anything, but their produce is sad, sad, sad. If anyone can recommend a good independent, non-chain grocer near Belmont & Western, let me know.

Marilyn / February 7, 2007 12:32 PM

Bob - Shove it where the silver don't shine. This ain't about me, you mental midget.

tony / February 7, 2007 12:35 PM

A grocery closing down is a saddening event? Only if it has sentimental value. The Dominick's of my childhood, on Broadway and Wellington, burned down. That made me sad.

The general idea of a former Chicago-owned business going through a slow demise makes me reflect... not necessarily the fact that it's Dominick's.

amyc / February 7, 2007 12:37 PM

"It is not the big chains that drive small shops out of business, it is consumers."

Not really true. Read "Big Box Swindle" to see how chain stores muscle their way into communities with the express purpose of killing off local businesses, and how the chains have deep enough pockets to leave underperforming (i.e., unpopular, money-losing) stores in place until the Mom & Pop goes under. One the independents are out of the way, the chains invariably raise their prices, so they're not the more "affordable" option, either.

Anti-chain rage is perfectly justified.

fluffy / February 7, 2007 12:45 PM

I don't want a Dominicks at Chicago and Damen. Now there'll be ugly lighting, a hideous parking lot, and more traffic on those streets, Great- Seriously, I'm moving out of that area. I don't have anything against big grocery stores, but why there? Can't they build it over by Damen and the highway? or tear down the k-mart at ashland and milwaukee and build it there?

leah / February 7, 2007 12:49 PM

Ehn no.

I do, however, remember feeling sad when my the Butera in my 'hood at the time closed down.

It's now CB2.

In reality it was kind of sick in there. Not as sick as the Happy Wash that used to be next door, though. *blergh*

E / February 7, 2007 12:49 PM

This lady-zinester Luran wrote an excellent book-zine called "So Midwest." Some of it is about her behind-the-scenes experience as an employee at a Chicago Whole Foods ("The Food Hole"). I tried to like Whole Foods, even if I still can't afford to shop there more than twice a year. But after I read the book, I became sorta cynical about upscale grocery stores and the supermarket industry as a whole. It's like, when it comes to grocery shopping, people want everything: quality, friendly service, value and convenience. I guess that's asking way too much.

Mikey / February 7, 2007 12:54 PM

I would agree that anti-chain rage is justified as well, but there's really no getting around it (as far as overall affordable and convenient grocery shopping goes)...

I don't know anyone that can afford to do all of their grocery shopping at Whole Foods, but I find it is worth it for select items in conjunction with Jewel for brand name items and Trader Joe's for unique, cheap and non-branded items. One of the few and moret expensive items I buy at Whole Foods on a regular basis is the premium dog food, because I think my dog's health is worth it...

jen / February 7, 2007 12:54 PM

Marilyn - since you defended it - what about the cost of trucking in those organics from far-reaching places (which spence brought up)? I know it's not too feasable right now, but farmers markets and buying LOCALLY grown organic produce is a far more responsible than Whole Paycheck.

Also, agreed that the chain grocery stores here suck, but I also grew up around crappy over priced ones, too (Giant Eagle, Kroger in college).

amyc - it's not super-close, but any of the Tony's Finer Foods locations have pretty good produce that's very inexpensive (mine is at fullerton & central park).

skafiend / February 7, 2007 1:05 PM

My grocery shopping triumverate...

Devon Market: cheaper, good meat, good produce and close by.

Stanley's produce (if I have the time, inclination and money for gas). Great produce, lots of cute women, very cheap Natural Ovens' bread (about $2 a loaf vs. $4 at Dominicks)

The dollar store.

Appleby / February 7, 2007 1:22 PM

Just for the hell of it, I'll point out that there doesn't seem to be a Whole Foods anywhere near any of the Dominick's locations that are shutting down.
The neighborhoods around 5829 S. Archer, or 6623 N. Damen, for example, would be unlikely locations for either a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe's. And supermarkets nearest to 5829 S. Archer in Bridgeview are Alaqsa and Hiba Supermarkets. Not exactly your big chains.

Spence / February 7, 2007 1:32 PM

Hmmm, I think comparing quality of produce and priceless works of art may be a bit dramatic, especially since one is a commodity.

shechemist / February 7, 2007 1:36 PM

the Dominick's at Damen and Ridge wouldn't be a bad a location for a Trader Joe's or a Fruit market. It has parking, and it is off of Ridge which is a straight shot for folks in Evanston (which I am pretty sure doesn't have a Trader Joe's. they do have a Wholepaycheck and a Wild Oats) .

However, I bet it stands empty for years. bah.

Marilyn / February 7, 2007 1:39 PM

What does trucking things in have to do with anything? Most of our goods come from other places, including the organics that the cheap produce markets sell. Does it just offend you that I don't hate and villify Whole Foods and think that a lot of what they offer is worth the price? Do you want a more proletariat example of higher costs that people around here think are worth it? How about the graft tax of Mayor Daley and his mob?

k / February 7, 2007 1:44 PM

I haven't come across a good Dominics since my childhood but I can't wait for the new Whole Foods to be built at Halsted and Waveland. I don't live in that neighborhood but I'll definitely shop there for the Jewel / Treasure Island / Whole Foods trifecta. Each one has its benefits.

Mikey - if you're around Clark and Grace try 4 Legs for pet food. I don't have anything against chains but the mom and pop places are worth going out of your way for when they're really good at what they do....and this place is phenomenal. Unbelievably knowledgeable and really friendly people there.

benschomatic / February 7, 2007 1:51 PM

Since they've both been brought up, I'll comment:

I do most of my shopping at Whole Foods which is not really near my house.

I do about zero shopping at the Dominick's at Belmont & Kimball which is within walking distance.

The selection at that Dominick's is atrocious. My girlfriend once stopped there for a few things only to realize they had no potatoes. NONE. A "super"market with no potatoes? They have plenty of other things I don't need, like aisles full of candy, sugar-coated cereal, and loads of paper products and cleaning supplies. They also have one cashier. Who's waiting on a huge line of people. She's in no hurry. And assumes that you aren't either.

Whole Foods has potatoes. They're organic. They look nice. They taste great. I will pay $5 for 3 lbs. of them. I could care less where they were trucked in from. At least they were trucked in, along with the full selection of others items there, in a reasonably sized store, with a friendly staff that will help me find things and check me out at the register in a kind and expeditious manner.

That's what I pay for when I shop at Whole Foods. It does not cost that much more than Jewel or Dominick's (the same organic and natural items at Jewel actually cost more) and the additional amount I may spend there is well worth it.

I will be glad to see the Dominick's go. It was pathetic.

roderick / February 7, 2007 1:55 PM

Hmmm, weirdly enough, the first Dominick's on the list at 8847 S. Harlem Ave., Bridgeview, is the grocery store I grew up going to. I actually will be a little sad that it is closing, as I have a many memories of riding my bike there as a kid and buying candy there. I wonder what will take its place, or where my mom will now do her grocery shopping.

That particular Dominick's was waaay nicer than any of the Jewels in the area. Much to my surprise, when I moved to the city proper, all of the Dominicks' looked like run down warehouses. Jewel in the city is definitely nicer.

Mikey / February 7, 2007 1:57 PM

k -

Thanks for the tip. I'll look into it...

Marilyn -

I think what Spence is referring to is the current debate of organic v. locally grown (i.e. any environmental benefits of buying organically grown produce are offset by the environmental detriments incurred when the produce is not locally grown and must be shipped from somewhere around the world.) It tends to create quite the conundrum for mindful consumers...

the pet / February 7, 2007 2:46 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who isn't sad to see the Dominick's at Belmont and Kimball go.

I went in there exactly once and was pretty appalled at the selection. And you can't find someone to help you find something.

I do tend to shop at Dominick's, though. Part of the reason for that is that I got my grandpa's Fresh Values card when he passed away, and his name shows up on the receipt when I shop there. It makes me feel like he's not quite so gone.

Hopefully they'll be able to do something constructive with the space rather than let it sit empty.

printdude / February 7, 2007 3:14 PM

Appleby wrote And supermarkets nearest to 5829 S. Archer in Bridgeview are Alaqsa and Hiba Supermarkets. Not exactly your big chains
Not true, not at all. I pass by this Nick's on my way to the geed jewels, leaving the dank Jewels for quick runs. There's and Egg Store (good produce), the Gilmart (good cheap food), and the Fancy new jewel, just a quarter mile away.
Plus there's the whole nifty International Food mart, which I hope never, ever, ever goes away. It makes living south of I-55 worth it. Seriously, take a trip and visit this oasis of well-prcied, fresh foodstuffs.

4point44 / February 7, 2007 3:50 PM

giant eagle!

Emerson Dameron / February 7, 2007 4:17 PM

Since no one has mentioned the Wicker Park Food Co-op, I'll suggest y'all give it a look:

Depending on your grocerey-buying habits (and the flexibility thereof), it might be a good deal.

Me, I've always been amazed that the Dominick's at Western and Belmont manages to stay open, literally next door to a Jewel.

skafiend / February 7, 2007 4:21 PM

What? ... no shout out for Fox and Obel?

LOL... kidding...

Appleby / February 7, 2007 5:09 PM

Thanks for the info, printdude, I don't know that area well and was just going on my poorly-informed observations.

CC1st / February 7, 2007 5:11 PM

I never go to Dominick's - the one on Lincoln and Foster near my house because whenever I go there, I feel like it's a ghost town. I go to Jewel on Foster and Pulaski for stuff I can't get at H Mart in Niles, TJ's, and Lincolnwood Produce.
I like going to locally-owned stores, but I supplement it once in a while at Whole Foods for their meats and some produce. Even though their store is expensive, it's an amazing place with their organic selections.

When I lived in CA for a bit, I would always go to the farmer's market every Sat. I miss that.

I think we should all lay off Marilyn.

Lori / February 7, 2007 5:41 PM


have you thought about peapod? It sounds crazy and like it would be insanely expensive, but the prices are somewhat comparable, and it's so convenient, especially if you do a big order.

I used it once last year when things were super crazy and it was awesome.

No consolation for your close by grocery closing, but just thought I'd mention it.

I think you can get a discount for your first order as well.

and, NW siders: have you tried A & G at Belmont and central? It's the best! and cheap-

Justin / February 7, 2007 6:12 PM

Emerson, thanks for linking to the co-op; it reminded me about Growing Power. I've ordered their Market Basket before and should again.

Brandy / February 7, 2007 7:55 PM

I was sad when the Delray closed at Granville and Broadway.

Awww... that makes me sad all over again.

peanut / February 7, 2007 8:09 PM

I'll never forget seeing a pigeon in the oranges at Edmar. Don't worry, it was alive--after hopping all over the produce with its birdy feet, it spread its beautiful lousy wings and flew to the back of the store. I have a feeling the new Dominick's won't have much tolerance for such things.

What this city shamefully lacks is established food co-ops. Thanks for the WP co-op post, Emerson.

vit / February 7, 2007 8:25 PM

while I may not be the biggest fan of Dominick's. I will not miss Edmar's one bit, I shopped there for two years and hated that damn place. Being that I have no car and don't wish so spend my off days schlepping my groceries all over the city via the bus, I'll probably shop there when it opens.

CSR, Chicago, IL / February 7, 2007 8:38 PM

When I was a kid, Dominicks was the top of the line grocery store (over A&P and Jewel). My dad went to Dom's when he needed the best cuts of meat; the freshest produce or herbs and quality ingredients (re: special guests coming to dinner).

By the time I was an adult, all that had changed. Dom's stores were unclean; the produce is usually anything but fresh (hey, I can get wilted produce at Jewel!); the meats are poor to just average. In other words, there was nothing to make me want to shop at Dom's.

I have a Jewel 2 blks and a Dom's 2 1/2 blks from my home and I drive miles away to go to Costco. And while I hate spending any money at Jewel, I completely refuse to spend any money at the pigsty of a Dom's that's nearest to me.

CROK / February 7, 2007 8:47 PM

yeah that kimball belmont dominick's reminds me of the harrison ada jewel - yuk! i hope they close that one so maybe nearby chgo food gets more business (cheap shrimp and good cafeteria) if anything, maybe these closures will result in more people doing weekly food-getting the old fashioned way ie two or three or four stops.

Brian / February 7, 2007 10:24 PM

Dominicks is SO expensive, I would be happy if they all closed.

I find Target to have the best value.

jo / February 7, 2007 10:39 PM

Yes, I am sad to see the North Riverside Dominick's go. It's the only OK grocery store within walking distance of my house.

And, despite living in the burbs, I still believe I can get around without a car.

As for other stores in the area, the Jewel nearby sucks and Riverside Foods isn't very big -- only carrying the basics and a lot of frozen stuff. Super Target in Broadview has a large selection, if they could ever keep anything in stock (is Target EVER stocked). And the Whole Foods in Oak Park is woefully crowded and also understocked. Plus, the River Forest/Oak Park egos winding their way through the aisles is unbearable.

So, good-bye, North Riverside Dominick's. You were the only well-stocked, down-to-earth, walkable grocery store around. I'll miss you. :-(

Jane / February 7, 2007 10:54 PM

Haven't heard a peep out of Alderman re Dominick's closing at Damen/Ridge. The traffic around is incredible and would be great for an expanded version of TJs, or a co-op that makes money. I would nominate a store like in Santa Cruz, Staff of Life, good produce, soup, mix of organic and conventional...
The real problem besides the length of time it takes to get the food trucked in is the quality is bound to suffer and there is no community plan for the abandoned and shuttered stores.

printdude / February 7, 2007 11:04 PM

12 Helens agree:

GapersBlockers take their food shopping very seriously!

James Reyes / February 8, 2007 6:09 AM

The Belmont-Kimball store is right by the Blue line.Its closing will only encourage more driving or longer shopping trips if you use to use the C.T.A.

OMFG / February 8, 2007 6:16 AM

The other night, I needed some crackers. So I put my shoes on, and was confronted with a serious question:

Where do I purchase these crackers from?

There is a lot to consider. Price. Quality. Selection. Do I use a big box retailer? What if by doing that, I am hurting local mom-and-pop businesses? Can I even tell my friends I shopped at a big box retailer? What will they think of me? Are the lights in the parking lot of the store be too bright for the neighborhood, and am I being insensitive to the people that are forced to live near the store? Are the employees in the store wage slaves? Are they being forced to choose between food and medicine?

Are mom and pop even awake at this hour (7pm) to sell me crackers? Do they have any in stock, or are they all on back order? Am I willing to put 10% down and wait a week to get them?

Where were the crackers manufactured? Did they have to truck them in from far away? How much did I contribute to global warming by purchasing from this store? Were they manufactured in a state that has a similar political ideology to mine?

Are the crackers organic? Is the manufacturer and the store lying to me about it? Will I have to borrow against my 401k plan to purchase a box of crackers that won't slowly poison me and my loved ones?

So many complications...

Paul / February 8, 2007 6:16 AM

jo, that's my ego you're bumping into at Whole Foods in RF! (Seriously, I understand.)

I'll second tat it's sad to see the North Riverside one go. That's the one I grew up near - and the Jewel that's practically across the street. Fond memories? Not really; more familiarity than anything else.

The last time I was at that Dominick's was when I was temporarily living in Berwyn, and was just doing regular ol' grocery shopping. I nearly fell over when I saw organic milk for $4.00 a 1/2 gallon three years ago... that was a lot then.

The same store had gotten a mild upgrade, but it was still a dingy and sad shop. jo's right though, there's not a good alternative in that area. Although, I haven't had any problems with SuperTarget and would probably marry it.

fluffy / February 8, 2007 9:09 AM

Me and my cat, Mr. M, suggest reading 'The Undercover Economist" by Tim Harford (he's a regular guest on MPR's Marketplace).

We liked it a lot.

vit / February 8, 2007 9:12 AM

Brian - you can buy all your grocery's at Target? None of the Target's I've ever been to sell groceries other than a few things.

Wendy / February 8, 2007 9:15 AM

I remember the North Riverside one, too. When I was growing up my folks insisted on driving all the way from Oak Park to shop at that Dominick's because it was so much better than the Jewel a block away from our house.

Twenty-five years ago, Dominick's was the classy supermarket chain and Jewel was the shitty one.

amyc / February 8, 2007 9:15 AM

You mock, OMFG, but actions have consequences, even when just buying some crackers. There's nothing crazy about being aware of how our decisions -- and shopping habits -- affect the community and the planet.

Besides, did you really need to buy those crackers? Couldn't you have just ground some of your own organically raised wheat by hand and baked it in your solar-powered clay oven? I mean, come on, dude -- you're not even trying!

paul / February 8, 2007 9:57 AM

I actually like the Dominicks near me in Evanston (Dempster and Dodge). Good produce selection, decent affordable meat, crappy beer selection though. It's quite a bit cheaper than any Jewel in town. (Perhaps cause one is up by the rich people on Green Bay and one is across the street from Wild Oats where you can pay 6 bucks for a dozen eggs and $20 for a chicken. )

And I was afraid it might be on the list since it doesn't have the long lines and full parking lot found in every other supermarket in town.

That said, if I want to go slightly out of my way to Devon Market or Lincolnwood Produce and save another 10-20%.

Rebecca / February 8, 2007 10:12 AM

I avoid big-box grocery stores whenever possible. A couple of friends and I just bought a share in a CSA, so the bulk of my weekly produce comes from there. I supplement by going to Stanleys for more fruit, the Korean grocery, and Trader Joes. I am looking for a good fishmonger though. I heard Dirk's was good.

ps / February 8, 2007 11:09 AM

Edmar was king. A great mix of people and the prices were fantastic. Yes, the occasional pigeon would interrupt your visit, but that was part of the appeal. I pulled my coldest weather jacket out this week and found an old Edmar bad in the pocket and lamented that I don't have Edmar-like store in my new 'hood. I had great hope for Belmont Produce--and while they have OK produce, they are exceedingly rude. The Dominick's across the street was/is a pit. I actually had employees dissuade me from buying certain items there, as in "you don't want to be buying that chicken." My guess for that space is the largest Dollar Store in the country or perhaps Son of Mega Mall.

skafiend / February 8, 2007 11:12 AM

OMFG... I just read in Mother Jones about the effort to stop the selling of "blood crackers" in Southeast Asia.

But seriously, it's great to be concerned about the planet to the point of choosing where to buy your Cheez Doodles so that it does the most good. But buying organic or free trade or free range or free whatever can get pretty expensive. I shopped for chicken breasts at Dominick's last night. Organic chicken breasts were $8 for two. Boy was I pissed Devon market was closed. I applaud the people who make a big effort to shop with a socially conscious mind and I try to do so if the situation presents itself, but if I see non-organic, slave-labor crackers at the little store down the street from me for less than half anywhere else, I'm probably going to buy them there. I know, I know, I'm selfish and going to hell...

spook / February 8, 2007 11:44 AM

What the F*&*#k is happening here?

What does it say about our “City O Plenty”- Chicago- when poor and working class folk can’t access decent grocery stores in their communities?
Some of you call me a class warmonger, instead of a truth flame thrower, but I didn't’t start this topic and only join it now, utterly amazed to read all these posts detailing what is clearly so common!
Yes, I know first hand about crappy grocery stores! Let me tell you about Tanguis
“Finer Foods”!

My nose is permanently damaged from spoilage sniff testing in the packaged meat section! My insurance company has threatened to drop coverage if I continued shopping there! Then there was the time I forgot to purchase shrimp at Whole Pay Check for a date that night. I ran to get two pounds from Tanguis and it was spoiled! And now those S.O.B.’s don’t even sale BEER any more! WTF!

Oh, and news flash peanut, Edmar sold that pigeon( on contract) to Tangues for its behind the counter exotic food selection, that includes hooves, tongues, heads, and guts, of a variety of great beasts, yet they don’t sale the most basic food staples!

Except for parties. I don’t even grocery shop any more, which means all three of my meals are either delivered or eaten at restaurants.

And it’s pathetic, that the only place we can collectively agree that is an above par full selection grocery store is Whole Pay Check! How problematic is it that only the “rich” can afford to shop there? Yet I would convert to any sort of religion/worship any deity, fetish, or idole, that could guarantee one in my hood!

What’s going on?

Steve / February 8, 2007 12:03 PM

Of the two Dominick's in my 'burb, it is indeed the "bad" one that is closing. If they do it quickly enough, I believe it will leave the never-ending mega-strip mall at 75th and Lemont completely grocery free for a spell until the Cub Food replacement opens.

The great thing about Dom's is the random clearance liquor I frequently can get there (a three pack of Patron 375s on post-holiday markdown at $30? An $80 value? Score!) and the fact that there's always no line/no waiting. Went there at 3:30 on SBS to get some orange-and-blue-decorated brownies and was in and out instantly.

I do love how varied two locations of the same chain can be, to where out here we have "the good Jewel," "the bad Jewel" (where I got paid 10 bucks to talk about bacon on my first visit), and "the decent Jewel that's half a mile further away than the good Jewel."

And the Dominick's at Lincoln and Foster is the dankest supermarket ever -- at least since the old Roscoe Village Jewel was torn down and rebuilt. And you can't keep my grandpa and uncle from shopping the Butera!

OBT / February 8, 2007 12:52 PM

I am surprised that the OakBrook Terrace store is not on the list. Its pretty nasty and although theres always a line at the register, theres never anyone in the aisles.

The fancy new Doms are too dark and their layout is not intuitive to me.

jen / February 8, 2007 12:52 PM

spook - i would NEVER advocate getting meat a tony's. i think i said produce was good/inexpensive.

Mac / February 8, 2007 1:18 PM

No, not really.
I only eat out (of dumpsters).

I'm just sayin'... / February 8, 2007 1:23 PM

The Jewel on Southport has the hottest female shoppers...

rebecca / February 8, 2007 2:03 PM

i just found out about new the trader joes downtown! i had no idea it existed - what have i been doing trekking to the clybourn one?

p / February 8, 2007 2:15 PM

If you read the Transmission feature and are planning to venture out to Beverly Records- head to County Fair on 108th & Western to check out a super solid grocery store. County Fair is the TRUTH as far as stock, pricing and comfort, and was doing their thing and had a team of dead-head bag-boys/girls since before trader joe's daddy got his mom to drink schnapps. That's for grocery-groceries.

Of course you get your vegs at stanley's and your meats at paulina mkt. or fox & obel (if cost is not an issue and you want to see more newscasters grocery shopping than a Umizzou pigglywiggly) or costco (to get 40lb. portions of salmon while scoping the finest that albania and hertzagova have to offer.) Or a supermercado which are prevalent and have, in addition to avocados, bad-ass candies (corn-flavored yumpops!!). Oh- also get your klachkeys and sausages at whatever that polish deli is off 51st and pulaski if you prefer your grocery stores to be staffed almost exclusively by polish models.

Mikey / February 8, 2007 2:48 PM

Each time I walk into Paulina Meat Market, I inhale deeply through my nostrils and imagine that's how Heaven must smell. I only wish I had the $$$ to shop there more often...

spook / February 8, 2007 2:50 PM

reread my post.
I never mentioned Tony’s, at Central Park and Fullerton, which at least has beer!
I said Tanguis, Central Park and Armitage.

But perhaps you’re a internet mind reader, because I was about to mention your Tony’s comment in my last post by saying that, I’m was/am sure the selection at Tanguis is the same at Tony’s, besides for the “good produce”.

But I like most people am not a vegan or vegetarian, (actually I think in one of my past lives, I was a Tyrannosaurus Rex!) so for me to be mollified because Tony’s or Tanguis has “good produce” but sales pigeon meat from Edmars and other meat,( I bought bad chicken there too), as old as the Pharaohs aint going on.

kelly / February 8, 2007 4:23 PM

does anybody know why the trader joe's people are always so damn cheerful? I like it, but it's always slightly disturbing.....

spook / February 8, 2007 4:34 PM

They get paid a living wage and heath care included?

curious shopper / February 8, 2007 4:41 PM

I find it fascinating that Dominick's used to be the classy grocer in town, as a few people have mentioned. It's all making sense to me now.

I tried shopping there for a while, and I always thought it was so quaint that the checkout clerk would ask if I needed "help to my car." Help to my car? Is this 1952? But they actually still offer a service, if you want it, where the bag boy carries your groceries to your car.

ONCE, I said yes, because it was pouring rain and I had a lot of stuff. I still regret that decision. This poor woman held five bags and got soaked while I held my umbrella. I tried to cover her with the umbrella too, I tried to take some bags off her hands. She wouldn't let me. The whole experience was fraught with guilt and awkwardness and class divides.

Dominick's is shutting some doors because it has failed to remain relevant. Instead of offering the same "premium services" they offered 50 years ago, maybe they could think of some new ones.

spook / February 8, 2007 4:54 PM

"The whole experience was fraught with guilt and awkwardness and class divides"

I guess this means you either didn't tip or barely tipped her

dominicks / February 8, 2007 5:16 PM

I have forsworn the Jewel at Bryn Mawr/Ashland/Clark, so I think I'm actually going to start shopping at the Dominicks on Broadway/Thorndale. It less convenient but they always seem to have cashiers and a better selection.

I also enjoy the Asian Market at Broadway/Catalpa-ish.

I hear that New Leaf in Rogers Park has a great co-op, but it's jut not feasible for a single person... too expensive for cheapo me and half the produce would go bad by the time I ate it.

Target on Peterson/Ridge is now carrying produce.

le / February 9, 2007 8:05 AM

A living wage is the root of their happiness? Not sure how happy you can get for $8-12 dollars an hour. Maybe if you are single and have zero debt. I would guess most of the workers are young, part-time, short-timers who enjoy working at a funky, progressive store where they can get discounted tofu. This is also an underwriter's dream when it comes to health-insurance. Young, organic munching vegans are more healthy and much less expensive to insure than say an aging, in-it-for-life union workforce. I personally love TJ's, but they are vehemently anti-union. A friend of mine makes just under $18 dollars as a local grocery chain in the produce dept (non-management).

Mark / February 17, 2007 1:05 PM

When I was a kid we had great stores. In the South Suburbs we had


The most expensive were Jewel and Dominick's ironically they are the ones that survived.

As for buying your dog food, just saw on 20/20 not one thing is gained by buying the pooch premium dog food. It is all for show of the owner. In fact organ meats such as udders and hearts are better for dogs, but places like Petco and Whole Foods leave them out becuse they "smell."

As for the poster who said they should tear down the K-Mart at Milwaukee and Ashland and put the Dominick's there. Yeah right next door is Jewel/Osco. That is just dumb.

The Dominick's on Belmont and Kimball survives mearly by being so close to the subway. It isn't nice but I can carry a load of groceries quickly back to Logan Square on the subway. You can't say that about a bus.

jenny / February 26, 2007 10:46 PM

this sux cause i got laid off-im so pissed at safeway corporation

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