WHEATON – Since 1988, Dominick's of Wheaton has been a popular spot to grab groceries, dinner or a quick cup of coffee.
But now its shelves stand empty.
The store was one of the many in the Chicago area to close its doors Dec. 28.
In early November, representatives from Dominick's parent company Safeway confirmed reports of a massive corporate exit that would close all locations in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs by the end of the year. Some stores were sold to other grocery chains, but Wheaton's was not among them.
A representative from Dominick's of Wheaton, formerly located at 91 Danada Square West, said he was unable to comment on the store's closing, but several community members said they will miss the location.
"I'm really sorry to see it go. It provided a nice balance to the other stores," said Wilbur Hughart, a Wheaton resident who was looking through the few items remaining on the shelves in the days before the closing. "And I feel really sorry for all those people who worked here."
While some of the stores bought out by competing grocers kept select staff, those that went unsold let their employees go, according to original reports from November. These cuts were the true loss for some.
"I've shopped here for 20 years, so you miss the people, miss the store. It was a pretty constant staff here," said Wheaton resident Mary Peters. "They're practically family if you come here two or three times a week."