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Is Whole Foods The Wal Mart of Grocery Stores?

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jul 19, 2005 3:03PM

wfoods2.jpgSorry, we're just not a fan of Whole Foods. It's one of those buzz phrases- "Starbucks", "Irish pub", and "Golden Tee" are others- that makes us break out in hives and forces us to crane our heads looking for ballcap-wearing graduates of Big Ten universities. Chicagoist is a frugal lot and has often asked itself whether we're paying for the products Whole Foods sells or the privilege of shopping at Whole Foods. Besides when we can buy fresh produce for a fraction of the cost at Stanley's, Cermak Produce, Egg Store on the South side, farmers markets, or any of the legion of mom-and-pop produce stores across the city, which gives us more money for beer.

So we weren't surprised to find this article in one of the training papers this morning. Plans are afoot for the largest Whole Foods in the city- 55,000 square feet- to be built in the South Loop. Slated for a 2K7 opening the Whole Foods will be the anchor for a new five-story shopping mall called Southgate Market which will also house a Linens N' Things, DSW, Office Depot, a Bank of America branch and parking for 1,100 cars.

The area, which in the past two years has seen the opening of a two story Target at Roosevelt and Clark and a "boojie" Jewel at Roosevelt and Wabash, is one of the most ethnically diverse and rapidly growing neighborhoods in the city, so it could use some more retail nearby. But with the new Jewel we just mentioned and a Dominick's at Roosevelt and Canal that was just renovated in the past five years, Chicagoist wonders what will happen to the stores that make Chicago Chicago.

Image courtesy of Beautiful Atrocities.