Magruder’s: Visions for a (Temporary) Vacancy
The grocery store closed on Thursday. Many hope it will re-open under new ownership, but others want to see a difference use for the space.
Sunday afternoon, two older women pulled their black car into the mostly-empty parking lot outside the Alexandria Magruder’s, got out and walked to the door. Seeing four hand-written signs on the window announcing the store’s closure last week, they sighed, got back in their car and drove off.
After more than 25 years in the neighborhood, Magruder’s at 4604 Kenmore Ave. closed its doors Thursday—for how long is anyone’s guess. There’s a chance the low-price grocery store may reopen, as Magruder’s owners are working to sell the company.
"We are currently in negotiations to sell the remaining four locations to a group who wishes to purchase the individual stores and reopen them as quickly as possible and we are working diligently with all parties involved," according to a letter from Magruder’s Vice President Gary Bortnick.
For now, the future of the grocery store is uncertain—the sale may not work out, or the new owners could choose not to re-open the store.
Longtime Alexandria resident Carolyn Griglione is concerned about elderly residents, lower-income residents and thousands of other residents who were able to walk to Magruder’s from Southern Towers, surrounding neighborhoods and even nearby hotels.
Griglione said many elderly residents liked the smaller size of the store. The store was also less expensive than some other nearby grocery stores, and the products they offered were less expensive than food items available at CVS.
Magruder’s “provided that opportunity to be frugal,” Griglione said. “If we’re concerned about people and affordable housing, we need to provide establishments that will support people.”
A few people on Patch’s Facebook page agreed: “Another grocery store. That one was gross anyway. But the neighborhood needs a store.”
Several people suggested a Trader Joe’s. Griglione said some people have suggested a restaurant, but she fears that wouldn’t serve the community as practically as Magruder’s did.
The Safeway less than 1.5 miles away is also closing soon, but that closure is definitely temporary: The Safeway at King Street and Quaker Lane will be undergoing extensive renovations.
Are you hoping Magruder’s comes back, or would you rather see another business occupy that space? Tell us in the comments section below.
See also: Magruder's Closing All Locations