Oak Park Food Mart is closed

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By Sarah Corbin

Shopping & Business Blogger

Gus is gone.

Maybe someone knows the answer as to why Oak Park Food Mart closed its doors, but there isn't a note.

First the buzz around our offices was that Gus, the manager/owner of the food market had jury duty. The common response to that guess was, "But you would think his brother would fill in for him right?" After a full week went by, it started to settle in: The Oak Park Food Mart had closed.

Closing a business is tricky business. I have watched over the past few years as different businesses closed in different ways. Some owners leave slightly bitter and loudly. Those folks didn't want to close. They blame the economy, the community, and themselves.

Some business owners are just ready to move on to something else. In a standard "corporatish" job people get to move up, move on pretty regularly without question. But when you want to leave your own business many of your customers look at you with pity eyes and say, "Just couldn't swing it huh?" When in reality as a business owner you just wanted to try out something new.

I think most people understand that owning a business, running a retail store front, running an office isn't easy. Being an owner of a business can be draining & energizing at the same time. Making that final decision to pull the plug is extremely hard. But no matter how hard, I think it's important to take a minute to say goodbye.

The fruit is still in the window. We look everyday to see if the interior of the food market has changed. This is a whole building of folks that relied on the Oak Park Food Mart for little convenience items. When the Laundromat was across the street, there were a lot more of us that relied on the market for little convenience items. And we all got to know Gus because of it. A couple of weeks ago Gus closed the store for a couple of hours to help out one of his older customers who had been evicted. Her belongings were in front of her building and he closed his doors to help her load some things into her car, and a cab. That's a kind thing to do. It's the kind of thing communities rely on small business owners to do.

We appreciate the years of service Gus. We do.  And we wish you good luck in whatever endeavor is calling you.

Email: sarah.abboreno@gmail.com Twitter: @localoakpark

Reader Comments

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times up  

Posted: February 28th, 2012 12:03 PM

This is so sad, and Frank Furillo i totaly agree ewith you about the Head Shop idea in oak park, tht location would be great for one.

Frank Furillo  

Posted: February 22nd, 2012 2:43 PM

The old-timey Pepsi sign likely has value. Maybe we can now get that high quality head shop OP needs!


Posted: February 21st, 2012 9:17 PM

If you didn't work next door to it, it was a gross and smelly store with very little to offer. I am sad for the owners, but really it was on death watch for at least the past year or more.

Christine P. from Oak Park  

Posted: February 21st, 2012 7:14 PM

Why? You really had to ask? It's called property taxes, which always reflects in the rent amounts.


Posted: February 21st, 2012 5:06 PM

OP food market was a dump. They actually sued Jewel on Madison and made them take down their sign. Another joke.

Molly from Oak Park  

Posted: February 21st, 2012 4:56 PM

I work on the block and Pagani always pumped out the music onto the sidewalk. It is not a false statement. It's what Pagani did. I went there as a customer too. But working on the block and walking past Pagani on a regular basis, loud music was playing outside of Pagani's building.

Also closed on that block...  

Posted: February 21st, 2012 4:44 PM

@epic, as a regular at Pagani for 5 years, every 5 weeks (and many times in between), I don't recall any loud music ever being "pumped out" into the streets. Are you referring to the TV in the window that showed the style channel? Many salons do this. Perhaps there were times when music was involved in the broadcasting. To say they "pumped loud music" out onto the streets would be a false statement and poor impression to leave people with. That wasn't Pagani's "vibe" or Frank's style.

epic lulz  

Posted: February 17th, 2012 7:18 PM

@Also, I'm sorry to see any business go, but I won't miss Pagani's loud music they pumped out onto the sidewalk at passersby. With all the rules in OP, I can't believe that was ever allowed.

Also closed on that block...  

Posted: February 17th, 2012 1:14 PM

Pagani hair salon quietly closed it's Oak Park doors at the end of January. The word is due to increaased rent costs. They have condensed their business to the Riverside location.

Sarah Corbin from OP  

Posted: February 16th, 2012 3:13 PM

Word on the street is that for sure they are closing and are looking for someone to rent the space.

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