Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Farewell Sentry's

Sentry's Foods on N. Oakland is closed.

I'll miss the convenience of it. It was a five minute walk from my front door, mine and thousands of others in the blocks around me. There are other options, including a corner store right on our block, but nothing as close, cheap, and large.

I can't say I'll miss the store itself all that much. It was a 1950s-era building which probably wasn't terribly glamorous when new, and today is a beat-up, remuddled mess in need of a major overhaul. The selection was so-so, the produce was lacking, and the parking lot was a visual blight on the neighborhood.

The Sentry and its vacant adjoining neighbor will be torn down. The Walgreens that is currently 2 blocks south will put up a new building on Sentry's parking lot, with apartments on top. A parking lot will replace Sentry's location. Some sort of deli is apparently taking Walgreen's old location.

It's kind of a lateral move for the neighborhood, at best. With a Subway's and a Cousin's on opposite corners, we've already got a source for cheap sub sandwiches. We've already got a fine Walgreens. The addition of new apartments is a good thing in a neighborhood that is flooded with students, as is removing a surface parking lot. But unless the new building is large enough to reach all the way to the Cousin's building at Oakland, it will just mean the surface parking gets shuffled around. Hopefully Walgreens' inevitable surface lot will be as small and unobtrusive as their current one.

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