A familiar store in North Buffalo had increasingly empty shelves Sunday. Dash's Market closed its store on Hertel Avenue as it prepares to open a replacement in about 10 weeks.
The new store, an estimated $12 million project, has been in the works for a while after a somewhat contentious passage through the city regulatory process. There were objections because of the older buildings along Hertel that were demolished to make way for the much larger new store.
The company said the closing will allow work to prepare for the new store, especially tearing down the old building to make way for the much larger parking lot. Many customers say it is going to be inconvenient the intervening weeks.
Some customers leaving the store with food for the week or the Super Bowl game said they will have to go just down the street to the Lexington Co-op or to much larger stores that are a drive away.
"Now I've got to go to Wegmans, fight the traffic down there. Dash's is very convenient, because you can spend a little bit more money and it's in the neighborhood and it's really there. It's good. It's a neighborhood store," said shopper Dennis Warne.
Judy Hellerer bought lots of bread and prepared for the closing before the reopening.
"[I'll] go to Aldi or the Co-op, but they don't have quite the bread that Dash's does and the deli and such," she said.
Most said they will be back when the new store opens. But there was also a sense of loss for a building that has been an institution in North Buffalo for decades.
"I'll miss this place. I've been here 40 years. So I'll miss the store," said longtime customer Mark Zimmer. "The new store is going to be really spectacular. My kids worked here. I'm a Boy Scout leader. All my Boy Scouts have worked here and so they've been here for a long time. It's going to be missed."
Once the store is open, Dash's is expected to continue work on its new corporate headquarters across the street in a former bank branch.