BUCKTOWN — Discount grocer Strack & Van Til will be closing one month before its tenth anniversary along a stretch of Elston Avenue that's become a shopping destination for Bucktown, Logan Square and Lincoln Park residents.
Located at 2627 N. Elston Ave., Strack & Van Til enjoyed little competition when it replaced Cub Foods on May 11, 2007, manager Michael Buckley said on Monday.
"The competition has gotten greater over the years. We have Target across the street selling groceries, Mariano's came in, and Fresh Thyme also across the street. It's a highly competitive business. The sales weren't there. It was a business decision [to close]," Buckley said.
On Sunday night, cashier Dalita Bowers said she joined Strack & Van Til in 2008, one year after the grocery store opened.
"I will miss the customers the most," said Bowers, who added that she is in the process of applying for other jobs.
Currently the store employs 89 workers who will receive pay through the end of April, even though the store will likely close on April 18 "or sooner" depending on how fast the liquidation sale goes, Buckley said.
Amancay Kugler, who was strolling the aisles on Sunday, said she shops at Starck & Van Til weekly and will miss it when it closes.
"I feel like the produce is cheaper and it has one of the best stocked liquor sections I've seen in a grocery store, Kugler said.
Nancy Stark, a Bucktown resident and another loyal shopper, said she will miss several of the store's featured deals.
"I loved their $5 take-home meals. You could choose between four and five entrees and two sides, assembled in a microwave-able tray with a lid. Their deep-fried catfish was worth a special trip there," Stark said.
Based in Highland, Ind. the family-owned chain will also be closing three other Chicago area stores and one in Merrillville, Ind., according to reports.
Strack & Van Til. [Photos by DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]
A Strack & Van Til cashier since 2008, Dalita Bowers said she will miss the customers.
Liquidation hours at Strack & Van Til, 2627 N. Elston Ave.