ELMHURST – While rumors that Whole Foods might buy the Dominick's on Route 83 haven't been confirmed, one thing's for sure.
Come noon Dec. 28, the store will close its doors forever.
"I'm partial because it's close to my house," said Elmhurst resident Michealene Zarach, who was just one of the bargain shoppers filling her cart Dec. 20 with 75-percent off merchandise during the stores final days.
Carts were overflowing with canned foods and anything else that could be found on the sparse shelves of the store's remaining open aisles last weekend. Shoppers crowded into checkout lines awaiting the satisfaction of their bargain shopping.
"I'm excited about the sale," Crystal Young of Berkeley admitted.
She added that she would like to see an independent grocer open at the location as opposed to a large chain.
Young wasn't the only one scouring the Elmhurst store for great deals. Joshua Sosa of Franklin Park was home from college and knew how to find a bargain.
"I'm not sad," Sosa said. "Typically, I don't shop at Dominick's."
Others were more excited about the Whole Foods rumor. Kate Doyle of Villa Park thought the possibility of a Whole Foods would be a nice addition to the area, not long after Mariano's moved to town.
"I guess it's a little sad," Doyle said. "What can you say?"
Nakia Hall came from Bellwood to get 75 percent off groceries, but she was sad to see the store close after 47 years in Elmhurst.
"I mean Dominick's has been a staple since I was a kid," Hall said.
Leo Krahule of Villa Park said he was going to miss the grocery store and predicted its closing will be a hardship.
Other retailers in the strip mall at Route 83 and St. Charles include Kmart and Kohl's as well as several smaller stores like Shoe Carnival and Petco. Neighboring managers weren't able to comment on how the loss of Dominick's might affect their business.
Dominick's managers also did not release any information about the fate of the store and its employees.
Whoever does lease the space in the future will be part of the city's TIF III, which is set to expire in 2019. Swapping in a new business will not affect the TIF, according to city officials.
Wendy Lau of Elmhurst supports the idea of Whole Foods, but hopes the space remains a grocery store even if another company buys it.
"It's kind of sad," Lau said. "It's a long standing Chicago tradition."