Food 4 Less on 81st and Powell is closing.
We found out last week.
We have been faithful customers for 15 years, despite the poor lighting and dubious quality of some of the produce, not to mention the guy that died, while I was shopping for my mother in law's 70's birthday dinner (see my blog entry for March 2009)
I am willing to overlook a dead body, for the large and expansive selection of eastern European and Latino articles you could find there, and the giant selection of exotic produce and Asian stuff that came at a better price than any where else in town.
They also carried a lot of other stuff at better prices than you could find up any place else. Need a giant bar of decent soap, for a dollar? Yup, they have it! plus a plethora of cleaning supplies that you would never think you needed until you saw them there, for pennies, and thought
"well for .89 a bar of ringaroundthecollarremovingsoap seems like a really good idea!"
The store was a throw back to the 70's with a unapologetic no frills attitude that I personally find endearing. We also got attached to the clerks.
There was the jittery former addict with the swastika tattoo on her forehead (no really), and Nazarene, the motherly tough as nails woman that worked every Thanksgiving & Christmas for the time and a half "I can celebrate tomorrow when I get PAID. Love you baby, you have a nice night, darlin'", Rolf and I brought her dinner on holidays the first couple of years we lived in the neighborhood, before she politely told us that she received multiple dinners each holiday and that a donate to a charity would be better spent. There was Brad, who looked like he was about 14, but had this absurd John Wayne voice, who called me Ma'am. Oh, and the hard ass kid that used to bust on the drunks, refusing to sell them alcohol. He was there tonight, when Rolf and went to make a final trip, stocking up on soap, rice, PBR and applesauce.
It is a sad closing for our neighborhood, the only place with fresh produce for the poor folks who live between Division and Powell, east of 60th. Our little pocket of the hood, closer to the river and on the right side of Division, has gentrified like crazy, but 82nd will never be anything other than poor and depressed and now the people forced to live in that island of misfit & hopelessness will have one less option.