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Market Place Grocer Closing After Nearly 90 Years on Diversey

By  Mina Bloom and Ariel Cheung | January 6, 2016 2:59pm 

 Market Place Foodstore, 521 W. Diversey Pkwy., with
Market Place Foodstore, 521 W. Diversey Pkwy., with "Everything Must Go" signs plastered around its exterior.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

LINCOLN PARK — The Market Place Foodstore survived The Great Depression and World War II, but it could not survive chain retailers Trader Joe's and Walmart Neighborhood Market moving in down the street.

After calling Lincoln Park home since 1927, the grocery store, 521 Diversey Pkwy., will close Jan. 15, the owner confirmed Wednesday.

Jessica Rojas, who had been working at the grocery store for almost 10 years, blamed competition from the aforementioned big chain retailers for the demise.

"We can't do anything. There's too much competition around," she said.

The owner of the business, Peter Stellas, is the grandson of the store's founder.

When Stellas' grandfather, Peter Stellas, opened Shop & Save in 1927, it was known for its exotic groceries. The elder Stellas, who died in 1998 was known to customers as "Mr. Pete" and his motto was "give people the best," according to a Tribune obituary. The business changed its name to The Market Place in 1986.

"It's like a family here," said Rojas, adding that she's not sure where she'll work next.

Stellas declined to comment on the closure, but he told DNAinfo Chicago in 2013 that the "saddest thing is when you have to let people go."

"We’ve let some people go who have been here 20, 30 years working for my family. It’s heartbreaking," Stellas previously said. 

Back in July of 2014, a developer presented plans to build a 17-story condo building on the site of the grocery store, which had been in the works for 1½ years.