The shelves are left bare at a Dominick's on Monday. (Scott Strazzante/Chicago…)
Dear Ukrainian Village Dominick's,
I'm not sure how to say goodbye. You've changed so much lately; it's like I don't even know you. Your shelves are stripped bare. The cereal aisle looks like a mashup between "The Walking Dead" and "Supermarket Sweep." Remember all the good times? The $1 Greek yogurt sales? That super friendly cashier? Those are the memories I'll try to hold on to when you're gone.
I mean, sure, there were rough patches. Why did you stop offering free cheese samples on Saturday afternoons? I'm sorry I blew up like I did. I just really liked the cheese samples.
What about all the weeknights when I was exhausted after work and trying to buy some goddamn quinoa to make dinner and I had to wait for 20 minutes to use self-checkout because only one of your scanners ever works? Or how your Redbox has only the wackest movies in stock and none of them is on Blu-ray? You could be so insensitive sometimes. I have needs too, Dominick's.
Overall, though, we had a solid run for the year-plus that I lived nearby. You saw me at my worst: hung over, sweatpants on, eyes rimmed with red as I stumbled toward the coconut water display. Yet you never judged. And you supported me in my accomplishments. Your organic produce section helped me put together some great dinner parties—remember the awesome grilled squash from July?—and you even had a Starbucks inside where I could treat myself to a latte on the weekends.
I hope you find happiness outside of Chicago—city life isn't for everyone. Maybe I could even come visit you wherever you land, you know, just to see how you're doing. No pressure, though, since I think we'll both need our space in the beginning.
I'm sorry you had to find out about Mariano's the way you did, through rumors and social media. Believe me, I didn't like how people were saying it's "replacing you." I mean, physically it is, and sure, it's going to be new and shiny and I hear it has a fantastic meat counter and a bigger bakery selection and—yeah, sorry.
No matter what new grocery chain comes along, I promise not to forget you and your florescent gaze. You might hear from mutual friends that I'm shopping at Mariano's now, and I need you to be OK with that. I've moved on, Dominick's, but it wasn't really my choice.
I wish you the best, and I hope that if we run into each other somewhere, you'll be happy for me. I'm retiring my Dominick's savings card keychain now, since we're going our separate Safeways.
Kate Bernot is RedEye's nightlife reporter. She occasionally bought Dominick's out of club soda. firstname.lastname@example.org
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