Charleroi officials hope supermarket loss is temporary

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Charleroi will lose its only grocery store next month, but local officials said Thursday they’re confident another will move in to fill the void.


Vince Vaccaro, owner of the Save-A-Lot at 110 McKean Ave., announced his retirement earlier this week, after having operated a supermarket at the site since the mid-1980s.


Charleroi Mayor John Mollenauer remained optimistic another operator would come in to the space with a food store.


“I hate to see them go, they’re a wonderful family,” Mollenauer said Thursday of the Vaccaro family.


While acknowledging that losing the town’s only supermarket “is a critical thing for local people,” Mollenauer said the vacant store “should be another opportunity for someone” adding that his administration and the Mon Valley Chamber of Commerce would do whatever was necessary to assist a new owner or operator who might be interested in bringing a store to the town.


“There’s a void, there’s no question,” he said.


The Save-A-Lot was left as the sole supermarket venue after Sparkle Market left its 29,000-square-foot space at 100 Chamber Plaza a couple of years ago.


The other closest stores to Charleroi include a Giant Eagle in Belle Vernon, Duritza’s in North Belle Vernon; a Foodland in Monessen; and a Giant Eagle between Charleroi and Monongahela.


Debbie Keefer, executive director of the Mon Valley Chamber of Commerce, echoed Mollenauer’s optimism that the Save-A-Lot space won’t stay vacant for long.


“We look at it as another opportunity” to bring a grocery store to the borough, Keefer said.


“We have a lot of resources; we’ll make sure we have an environment that supports it.”


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