Dash’s Markets is closing its supermarket on Kenmore Avenue as of Sunday to prepare the former Budwey’s grocery store for extensive renovations, owner Joe Dash said Monday.
However, work at the Kenmore Avenue store won’t begin for some time as Dash’s executives weigh their options for the project and await final design details.
Dash said he hopes remodeling will begin in the summer or early fall, and he expects to open the renovated store by spring 2015 following six or seven months of construction.
“The store needs a major renovation to do what we do,” Dash said.
The Kenmore Avenue Dash’s will be open through Saturday and signs there advertise a storewide remodeling sale.
Dash said closing the store now, months before construction begins, gives Dash’s the chance to place its nearly 100 employees in positions at its four other area locations.
“A majority” of employees at the 416 Kenmore Ave. store agreed to transfer, and Dash’s wouldn’t have been able to accommodate them if the company had waited until construction began to close the store, Dash said.
He said the company also held off on doing its normal level of new hiring in recent weeks to further ensure the Kenmore Avenue employees could find positions elsewhere in the chain.
Dash’s has between 550 and 575 employees in all, said Mark Mahoney, executive vice president and director of operations.
The chain agreed in November to buy the former Kenmore Avenue Budwey’s after Frank Budwey decided to retire from the supermarket business.
Budwey initially put his North Tonawanda and Newfane stores on the market, too, but in March he changed his mind and opted to keep those stores open.
The purchase of the Budwey’s left Dash’s with three stores within three miles of each other, counting its existing markets at 1210 Colvin Blvd. in the Town of Tonawanda and at 1770 Hertel Ave. in Buffalo. The Kenmore Avenue store is much larger than the two nearby stores.
Dash’s closed the Budwey’s in late January and reopened one day later with a new name.
At the time, Dash said he hoped construction would begin in late May and finish by the fall, and he envisioned creating an “Anglo-Italian market,” with a large supply of imported specialty foods, fresh pasta and fresh mozzarella-making operations and wood-fired pizza.
Dash said Monday that company executives haven’t made any concrete decisions about what the redesigned store will include and he said he is waiting for an in-depth report from his architects and engineers. “Nothing’s finalized,” he said, adding, “There’s still a lot of balls up in the air.”
Customers of the Hertel Avenue store worried that Dash’s purchase of the Kenmore Avenue store meant the chain would seek to close the Hertel location – and keep it out of the hands of a rival grocery store – and they took to social media to express their concerns.
But Dash on Monday said, “Hertel will never close.”
Dash said he believes there’s enough business to go around to support the three stores, and he said the company would “eventually” begin renovations at the Hertel Avenue store once Kenmore Avenue is finished.