My math is pretty bad but not as bad as the news out of Liverpool in central New York near Syracuse that the Galeville Grocery has shut after being a grocery store since 1926 and a building since 1854. Reader Jack forwarded me last Friday's news in an email earlier this week:
Even into this week, this storehouse turned store was a draw for customers prowling tightly drawn aisles, seeking canned goods, lottery tickets, plastic containers of bread crumbs, foreign and domestic beers, pool supplies, Italian bread, meats, sandwiches. You name it. But life moves ever forward and sometimes, there’s no time for nostalgia. Galeville Grocery becomes a part of the local Byrne Dairy family. It gets a new building in 2011, one designed to look like the current, but with 21st century touches to reach a 21st century shopper. The floors won’t creak and the cramped checkout counter will likely be larger. The aisles will be wider and the selection, some of it already with the Byrne Dairy name on it, may not be as wide and deep, but convenient, fast and easy. We’ll likely see some of the same, familiar faces.
Gee, I'm a 21st century shopper and I kind of liked the old place. I've been stopping there since at least 2004 soon after we moved to Ontario. I always seemed to find a well priced beery surprise I hadn't seen elsewhere. And there was the service beyond even the counter guy loading your trunk for you. I really appreciated that time that I drove back 30 miles after realizing I didn't have my receipt for the border declaration to Customs Canada - only to watch the staff dive into the trash to find it. But then there was the sad news of the passing of owner Bernie Rivers this past summer and one can imagine the prime location and all the good will lead to a great offer for the property. Don't know if good beer sales will continue especially with the move Wegman's has made over the last few years to fill central New York demand. I'll keep an eye on it but it's probably the end of an era.