Garfield Park’s Save A Lot Could Reopen In March After Nearly 2 Years Closed

The Save A Lot at 420 S Pulaski Road, which was closed in February 2022. Credit: Google Maps

The store was shut down in 2022 after a rat infestation and was then closed in early 2023 for a renovation that was supposed to take 10 weeks.

GARFIELD PARK — A West Side Save A Lot that’s been closed for most of the past two years could finally reopen this spring.

Owners of the shuttered Save A Lot, 420 S. Pulaski Road, are aiming to reopen in March following long-promised and delayed renovations, said Mike Tomas, Garfield Park Community Council’s executive director. A firm opening date isn’t set, Tomas said.

The store is owned by Ohio-based company Yellow Banana, which has taken over multiple South and West side grocery stores to renovate and reopen them. The Garfield Park council will be in contact with the new owners every week for updates on the store, Tomas said at a community meeting Wednesday night.

The store will also work with other small businesses like The Hatchery to operate as food vendors within the store, Tomas said.

The store, under its old ownership, was closed by the city in February 2022 because it was infested with rats. It was the only grocery store in West Garfield Park at the time, rendering the neighborhood a food desert.

Yellow Banana took over the Save A Lot’s business license later that month and briefly reopened the store. The company then closed the store in spring 2023 to launch a $2 million renovation.

The renovation was supposed to take 10 weeks, with a permit for interior and exterior renovations being granted March 24, 2023, according to building records.

Yellow Banana owners Joe Canfield and Michael Nance told neighbors in July the Pulaski store would receive upgrades such as refrigeration units, on-site security, specialty carts for older people and customers with disabilities, security cameras, signs, decor and a rebuild of the building’s front facade.

Renovations at a Yellow Banana-owned store in Auburn Gresham are also months behind schedule, and a South Side community leader told Block Club in November that has led to the delays for the West Garfield Park and West Pullman stores, as well.

Yellow Banana has been approved for $26.5 million in TIF funding and tax credits to improve six Save a Lots on the South and West sides. The West Garfield Park location is getting more than $2 million in renovations, owners previously said.

Establishing a new grocery story has been a major priority for Garfield Park stakeholders after the former Aldi’s at 3835 W. Madison St. was closed. In place of a permanent grocery store, the Garfield Park Community Council has opened pop-up stores to continue serving the community.

The shuttered Aldi’s in West Garfield Park will be redeveloped into a new building that will include affordable housing and a grocery store.

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