BY LINDSAY WELBERS
After nearly 30 years in Hyde Park, Village Foods closed its doors on Tuesday Oct. 16, and donated the remaining unsold foods to Hyde Park area nonprofits.
The long time, affordable grocery store, opened its doors in 1983, said general manager Barry Monroe.
“We outlasted Mr. G’s, the Co-op, Michaels, all of our competition,” Monroe said. “We’d still be here if we hadn’t lost our lease.”
The buildings at the Village Shopping Center, 5100 S. Lake Park Ave., are slated for demolition in the coming months.
Members of the Hyde Park Kiwanis Club on Monday worked with Village Foods and St. Martin de Porres House of Hope, Chicago Youth Programs, Ald. Will Burns’ (4th) Ward office and Ronald McDonald House to distribute the unsold merchandise to area non-profits and shelters.
Monroe told Kiwanis that the total value of foods was estimated between $20,000 and $25,000.
Village Foods employed about 70 people, roughly half of them Hyde Parkers, and served 10,000 customers a week, said Monroe.
“This was a place for people with families that was affordable,” Monroe said.
Antheus Capital will replace the Village Shopping Center with City Hyde Park, a 187-foot-tall building designed by Gang Studios.
Upscale grocery store Whole Foods is going to be anchor tenant on the first floor of the building, the second floor will have space for medium size box retailers and the remaining stories will have 182 apartments, including 38 affordable units.
Monroe said he would be interested in opening a similar store in Hyde Park in the future, if he could find a retail space that was large enough, had parking and was in a desirable location.