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Bensenville Dominick's leaves behind questions

BENSENVILLE – Susan Palucki has worked at Dominick's for five years, but at noon Saturday she'll say goodbye to the store that's called Bensenville home since 1980.

While Mariano's and Jewel have purchased other Dominick's locations and Whole Foods is rumored to buy a few of the stores, Palucki said store managers told employees no one has picked up the 1145 S. York Road store.

"Everybody likes it," Palucki said.

Overturned carts blocked off empty aisles at the store this week. The sadness of the scene was not lost on shoppers who skimmed the remaining items on a few spare shelves.

"I just feel sorry for the people that are going to lose their jobs," said Susi Koller who came from Itasca to pick up any last-chance deals she might be able to find.

Mark Hanson doesn't work for Dominick's, but as a truck driver he used to drive deliveries to the store's division headquarters in Northlake. Now that stop's permanently off his list.

"Not only does it hurt this company..." said Hanson of Oak Lawn.

The Addison Dominick's location at Lake Street and Mill Road closed years ago and the space has stayed vacant. A new XSport Fitness is planning to move into the space in 2014.

The Dominick's location at York Road and Grand Avenue was a repeated concern for regulars who were considering their other options since another grocer has not announced any plans to purchase the store.

"I'm so sad," said Felix Damas of Melrose Park. "It's close to my house."

Monika Brody of Northlake searched through greeting cards, one of the few items left, days before the closing. While the Elmhurst Mariano's opened this year just less than a mile south on York Road, Brody said the Dominick's is convenient.

"Some people walk here," Palucki said.

She worried that even a mile would make a big difference for Dominick's regulars who walk from the apartments directly behind the building.

"Some of them are elderly," she said, unsure that they'd be able to make the trek to another store or if driving was an option for them.

The store was scheduled to reopened Thursday after being closed Christmas, but the shelves were so bare, some might wonder why. Most are wondering what will come of the barren space when Dominick's locks its Bensenville doors for good at noon Saturday.

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