Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ave atque Vale, Cos Cob Food Mart

As regular readers of these pages know, your scribe is fond of quoting Heraclitus to the effect that change is the only constant. "You never step in the same river twice," the old bird said, and he was right. The water is always rushing by, and the river changes from nanosecond to nanosecond. And thus it is here in Greenwich.

Your scribe was in the Cos Cob Foot Mart yesterday, and it looked like a war zone. Acres of empty shelves and miles of empty aisles. The former hub of "The Hub" (as Cos Cob is known), where you could be sure of meeting all your friends and neighbors, is no more.

Many (but not all) of the staff have been relocated to the Old Greenwich store. TAG (the Transportation Association of Greenwich) will run a twice-weekly round-trip shuttle from the old location over to the OG store, for the price of a buck and a pocketful of patience. This is meant to help the elderly and infirm who used to walk to the store. The actual cost of the service is $3 per person, but the Porricelli family is kicking in the other two bucks, no doubt figuring that it's good PR as well as a smart business move.

It's sad to think that the grocery store that has been there for over half a century, under different names, is no more. It survived fire (1983) and flood (it sits smack dab in the Strickland Brook flood plain), but not an offer from CVS to take a long-term lease. As the AuthorBabe has already said in an earlier comment thread, that's about the last thing we need in this town.

Your scribe would venture to guess that the new CVS - assuming it gets approval from the Planning and Zoning board - will not be nearly as popular among the locals as the Food Mart was. He will further venture to guess that many locals, he among them, will come in out of curiosity when it first opens, and then never darken its door again. His final guess is that the parent corporation will wind up subsidizing a money-losing operation for years to come rather than losing face by admitting they've oversaturated the Greenwich market.

But the river is still a-changing, dear reader, and it may be that when CVS finally bails, some smart cookie with an MBA from Harvard will do a fancy-pants study and come to the conclusion that this is the ideal location for a supermarket. Well, duh! We all coulda told him that years ago.


Blogger Vicki said...

I'm so sorry to hear that the place has closed. Too many areas get rid of the neighborhood places in put in place the new shiny store. Sure some of them may offer more items, some of them less, but none of them offer the family feeling as the place you have described.

Funny thing is, people will shop, they have items they need, but it will not be the same. No longer will they feel the need to linger and talk about the day, weather, what the kids are doing. No, now they can quickly get in and out. Time savers...we have them everywhere in St Pete and I miss the old stores still.

January 22, 2008 2:45 PM  

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