Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR. Today, we’re taking a second look at the now-closed Foodarama at Wilcrest and W. Bellfort. We last visited this store a week ago, with photos I took days after its closing was announced. HHR fan htownjake took the pictures for today on the day of closing. Picking up where we left off last time, let’s finish up the history. As we’d left it, Safeway had entered the area as a “neighborhood grocer,” the first in a sea of highway-based stores attempting to draw people up the Southwest Freeway. Safeway’s choice of location was excellent; while not officially in the city limits of Meadows Place, the store was, for years, the closest option. The choice of location showed so much promise that in 1983, Randalls would move their store away from the Freeway further down Bellfort to the location where El Rancho currently sits. In fact, with Randalls closing and El Rancho moving in, this Foodarama once again became the closest Mainline Supermarket to Meadows. While competition has moved into the South, like Wal-Mart and Sam’s some years ago, and Aldi more recently, Foodarama seemed to hold firm.
While I did not reach out to the company on this specific store closure, the recent sale of the property, which was leased, indicates this closure was probably unrelated to foot traffic. Foodarama seemed to do quite well. In fact, I found myself shopping at this location in my personal life more than a few times. I worked in the area, and this store was one of the best options in the area. Foodarama is pretty good at tempering a store to fit local needs, and it reflected that as the heart of the community. It used its old Safeway-era ad board below an original Safeway framed sign all the way to the end, even surviving a relocation during intersection widening. The store not only hired community members but was a part of the community itself. According to signs photographed, the old Safeway building will be torn down and replaced with a new shopping center and Star Stop gas station. The grocery store is separately owned from the rest of the center, so it looks like Hickory Barn is safe for now!