Garfield has not had its own grocery store since 1987, but that's going to change Thursday with the opening of a Bottom Dollar Food.
The store will be located at 5200 Penn Ave. on the same site of the neighborhood’s previous grocery store, a Giant Eagle.
Richard Swartz, executive director of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, said the neighborhood has several convenience stores, but residents need an actual grocery store.
“We are about a mile from several stores in Bloomfield and East Liberty,” Swartz said. “But there is no store that’s actually in the Garfield neighborhood now that sells general groceries.”
The closest grocery stores are ShurSave on Liberty Avenue and Aldi on Baum Boulevard, both about a mile from the Bottom Dollar.
Swartz said this might not sound far, but it is inconvenient for residents who don’t own cars.
“If you’re dependent on public transportation and you’re trying to get from your house in Garfield to a grocery store in East Liberty you’re looking at waiting on a bus, a 10 or 15 minute bus ride, and then the same thing coming back, but this time with all the groceries in hand” Swartz said.
According to Swartz, the Bottom Dollar is only about a half block from the bus line.
Bottom Dollar Food estimated that the new store will add about 50 jobs to the local economy. Swartz said that it can even help the neighborhoods surrounding Garfield.
“I think even for people who live in Bloomfield and Friendship and Lawrenceville, you’re now going to have more competition in terms of grocery pricing,” Swartz said.
The store donated $1,500 to Mercy Behavioral Health Renaissance Center and $1,500 in gift cards to Sojourner House.
It will open 8 a.m., and the first 250 customers will receive gift cards ranging from $5 to $250.