National grocery chain interested in Clifton grocery store

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - As renovation work continues at the IGA store in Clifton, new ownership may be in the offering. The locally owned grocer may become part of a national chain.

The doors of Clifton's neighborhood grocery store have been closed for nearly two years. During that time the current owner, Steve Goessling has faced challenge after challenge to get this store open. Now he's getting offers to sell.

"A national grocery chain was looking for a location," explains Goessling. "This fits to a tee and they are very interested in that location."

Since then other grocery stores have also expressed interest in the Clifton store.  Goessling says he may be willing to sell if the price is right.

"It's been a long, long road and if at this point in time I have the possibility of considering another option I feel I would be foolish not to do that. I'm not getting any younger."

Goessling has spent the past several months trying to secure financing and dealing with a myriad of structural issues at the Clifton store. "Nothing has happened on schedule so far. I would have never have expected the roof; having closed this loan on January 30th would I be sitting here on almost the end of May and the roof is still under construction."

As the store's re-opening gets closer, local shoppers like Robin Lee, have mixed feelings about whether they'd like a national chain in their neighborhood.

"Clifton has never had big chains and in the past there's a history of having fought big chains moving in," explains Lee.

Tim Kilbane from East Walnut hills says "I think it's good that if they can't pull it off locally that a national chain will step in. At least they can use the buying power of that and provide economically produce and goods for the local community."

"I think it does matter to Clifton a lot in the sense that Clifton likes to support small and independent businesses," Mike Anagnostou, owner of Ludlow Wines. "For many people a grocery store in Clifton is a quality of life issue. "

For some people, like Amy Herold, it doesn't matter who owns the store. "Food's a basic human need. It's one of Maslow's hierarchy, it's on the bottom, bring it on. I just think it's taking awhile for the renovations."

Steve Goessling would be the first to admit that the renovations have taken a long time and that's why he's hesitant to say exactly when the store will reopen, but when it does Goessling says it will be done with much fanfare, no matter who owns it.

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