Week by week, the Safeway at SE 27th and Hawthorne has emptied out. When products disappear, they're not replaced, creating a bizarre and inconvenient supermarket that no longer stocks random items such as chili powder, peppercorns, or red cabbage. They're also selling off the least popular items one by one at discount rates. Last week, off-brand poison ivy cream and plus-size nude leggings shared discount shelf space at the front of the store with DVDs of Tom Hanks' The Terminal. This week, what seems to be all the Jewish food in the store is tagged half-off for quick sale.

All this because my Safeway, arguably the ugliest and worst-laid-out Safeway in the city, will soon be burned to the ground. From its ashes will rise a new, bolder Safeway! A shiny $20 million Safeway with 20,000 more square feet of shopping space, an underground parking lot, and what seems to be a bland, vaguely Spanish Mission-inspired facade.


The store itself will be closed for a year, leaving me and the rest of the neighborhood to find a new place to buy our discount gefilte fish.