After being a staple for more than 40 years on Syracuse's north side, the Wegmans on Pond Street closed its doors at 4pm today. Wegmans announced the store was closing on June 1st, breaking the hearts of many of those who live in that neighborhood that regularly shopped there.
For many, it was not just a convenient place to pick up a gallon of milk, but to see neighbors and friends, and sometimes just to brighten the day.
"It's right around the corner here," Marie Cyr, who grew up in the area says. "You zip in, and you zip out, you see people you know. I'd always run in here if I wanted to get away from something else."
Cyr was one of the many who showed their sadness that the store was closing, some even crying when they left the store for the last time this afternoon. Employees, both past and present, also were affected.
"It was my first job back in '85," Sam Felicia says. "I just came back one last time to give it a quick walk through, and just hope for the best."
Felicia's walk through came with a heavy heart, as the store was not the store he grew up with, with many of the shelves and aisles missing both the goods and the people that used to be there.
"It's empty," he says. "I've never seen it like this, even when I worked as the night stockperson and stuff like that years ago, it was not as quiet as it is today."
Regular shoppers are hoping another store will occupy the space that Wegmans left, so that they will be able to still have the convenience of a grocery store in their own neighborhood.