Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Neighbors on Syracuse’s North Side have one more day to shop before Wegmans closes its doors on Pond Street for good.
Many seniors and refugees who live near the store are worried about a lack of options for groceries in the area.
Neighbors in the area will need to turn to the many specialty shops that dot the North Side. One place they can turn to for meat is the Liehs & Steigerwald on Grant Boulevard.
“Our biggest competition definitely is the grocery store and what I mean by that, not that I am in direct competition with them, but convenience. You know people want to do a one-stop shot,” said Liehs & Steigerwald manager Chuck Madonna.
When the meat market opened in 1936, the owners relied on a loyal base of German and Italian immigrants, who were accustomed to buying fresh food from mom-and-pop shops on every corner.
Di Lauro’s Bakery has a long history on the North Side and it also offers and alternative to Wegmans.
“It was one of the first ovens that was built like this in this area – it’s 17 feet deep and 17 feet across,” said bakery owner Paul Waverchak.
The bakery has been open for 104 years and business remained steady even after Wegmans moved into the area.
“The quality of the product that they made that would compete with our product…it wasn’t even close. It was white bread compared to handmade Italian bread,” he said.
But Waverchak doesn’t expect a surge in business when Wegmans leaves the area. He believes customers who can drive to his location already do. Madonna believes Wegmans’ departure could still result in more business.
"Hopefully it means more business. It can't hurt me, that's for sure. It can only help,” he said. Wegmans representatives say the Pond Street location simply couldn’t compete with their larger stores nearby.
Mayor Stephanie Miner’s office says they certainly hope Wegmans sells the location to another grocer.