Tiny Town, USA – Old news but still painful:
The owners of Tops "Friendly" Markets did not come to the rescue of Tiny Town's Hancock Street P&C, a Northside fixture since the mid-70s.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, Tops, based in Buffalo kept but three of the 79 P&C stores, owned by the bankrupt Penn Traffic Co., in Upstate New York.
The rest, like the store in Tiny Town, were axed.
Tops kept P&C grocery stores in Watertown, Lowville and Pulaski open, with all three stores changing over to the Tops name.
Tony Petito (pictured), owner of the building, is anxious to get a new tenant, he said. He also worried about the security general state of the building as contractors for Tops, we assume, scrapped and gutted the interior, he said. The lease for the building runs out on April 30.
Petito, 82, is a lifelong Ithacan-American who grew up just blocks from the building and would like to see the site used again as a supermarket. Without the P&C, residents of Tiny Town's Northside do not have a neighborhood grocery store, with the exception of Aldi's, along Meadow Street and the road to the farmer's market.
Speculation as to what kind of supermarket would work in the spot run from to the mainstream to the local, with food stores like Greenstar being mentioned by Pepito as potential tenants.
Many Ithacan-American would love to see a Whole Foods of Trader Joe's move in.
"Yeh, I wish," said Pepito.
But Northside could use more of Price Chopper or budget supermarket given the demographics of the area. Although populated by more up and comers than in the past, it is still a working class and poorer neck of the woods that could use ... well: A P&C Foods.
Fall Creek was working class many years ago when I was a kid, but it is overwhelmingly yuppie now, and out of reach of working class wage earners. Except, of course for a concentration of the underemployed in public housing . That P. and C. has always survived by being a lot better and appealing a lot more widely than a food-stamp and beer store.....but Fall Creekers now mostly prefer to drive to somewhere else.
There is some talk now of establishing a vertical farm on the site.
Thank you for your note. While the city insists on called everything west of Cascadilla Creek "Fall Creek" -- so designated incorrectly by real estate junkies to inflate housing prices -- my understanding having worked on The Ithaca Journal and covered area, is that the Northside begins before or about First Street, with the block between Lake Ave and First a gray zone. Those "yuppies" you refer to have gentrified the Northside (same-sex and dual-earner yuppie sprawl) to an extent owing in part to the housing market bubble, but there are many occupants in the subsidized housing complexes opposite the DMV and along the area's perimeter who are poor and working class. That is the city's true Northside. Those folks needed the P&C. The large Tudor-style building on Third St. occupied by the 12 Tribes cult was the Northside Community Center back in "the day," as you well know. The "Fall Creek Yups" and their little dual-earner families, along with upper class EduCorp grads and geeks who keep Gimme! Coffee in business, make up the bulk of residency in Fall Creek proper, which is everything Cascadilla Creek east to University Ave, I don't care what any City Hall pickpocket says.
-- Franklin Crawford, administrator