In profoundly local news, the quality of life in my northern Aberdeen neighborhood took a serious hit last week with the temporary (we hope) closure of Bargain Mart. Rain last Monday caused part of the roof at the rear of the store to collapse. On Friday, an engineer from the insurance company said the North Main building needs a new roof (what? we pay money for advice like that?).
I love Bargain Mart. I have referred to the store to friends as “the used-grocery store.” No, I haven’t found any half-eaten granola bars, but I have found Power Bars for 20 cents apiece. Bargain Mart brings in groceries that have been on the shelf elsewhere and passed their expiration date but are still perfectly edible. I can stop on my way home up Main Street and get a backpackful of bike snacks for a deal that no one in town beats.
Bargain Mart doesn’t have everything, but it provides old-fashioned corner-grocery convenience for the northwest quadrant of Aberdeen, within walking distance for a lot folks who aren’t Aberdeen’s richest. With Bargain Mart closed, my neighbors looking for cheap supper or snacks have to go out of the way to Shopko on 281 or an extra mile south and east to the traffic chaos at Kessler’s.
Let’s hope Bargain Mart can find some better-than-bargain steel and shingles so the store can reopen and I can restock my stash of bike bars and potato chips (not to mention that cooler by the door with random pop for 50 cents!)