WEST ROGERS PARK — Just about the only merchandise remaining at the West Rogers Park Dominick's Friday were in aisle three. Pet-care products, batteries, leftovers from the deli and a long rows of canned gravy. Most everything else was picked clean by customers in the weeks ahead of its last day of operations Saturday.
But there was still ice, marked to sell at 75 percent off.
"What the hell else?" said James Rasho, 37, as he unloaded giant bags of ice into his car. "Everything's gone. I'm getting ready for a party, so I might as well buy it now."
In October, the grocer's owner, Safeway, announced the closing of its 15 Chicago locations, and earlier this month Dominick's began offering discounted prices at some of the closing stores. Saturday marks the last day the venerable chain's stores will operate under the Dominick's banner. Mariano's and Jewel-Osco have each purchased two stores, leaving question marks hanging above 11 stores, including the one in West Rogers Park, 6623 N. Damen Ave.
In a refrigerator near aisle three, Two Lean Cuisine salads, three bags of beans and two large tubs of yogurt sat forgotten in the scramble as employees scrubbed the shelves clean Friday.
But for the customers searching for one last deal, a gold mine lay in the freezer at the front of the store.
Maria Villanueva said she was sad the store across the street from her home was closing, and was "looking for some cheap items."
"I don't really feel good about it because I really like Dominick's," Villanueva said.
Disappointed at the meager selection, she almost left the store before buying a cart full of ice.
A steady stream of shoppers checked out the remaining selections, including Christine Wachter, who left empty handed.
"I knew they were pretty much out of everything. I came to see if they had greeting cards but they didn't have any," said Wachter, 34. "I was in the store about 15 seconds. I walked in and out."
Wachter said she used to visit the store several times a week.
"It's kind of sad. I hope they can find a store to take it's place," she said.