Since 2016, the University City location of The Fresh Grocer, which is owned and operated by Burns' Family Neighborhood Markets, has been battling its landlord—the University of Pennsylvania—and has finally decided to close the store in early March, according to a statement from The Fresh Market. Acme Markets will take over the space with plans to open later this year after renovations are complete, noted a local news report.
The legal battle began when the university claimed the grocer did not renew its lease in a timely fashion. The university asked The Fresh Grocer to exit by March 2017, when the lease was set to expire. In turn, The Fresh Grocer filed a lawsuit in December 2016 claiming the university had unlawfully terminated the lease.
“With the forthcoming closing of The Fresh Grocer’s 40th and Walnut Streets location, we remain committed to the community and look forward to providing a first-class supermarket experience and source of local employment via our other nearby Fresh Grocer locations,” Karen O’Shea, Fresh Grocer spokesperson, said in the news release.
All employees will be placed in one of the Burns' Family other locations, and customers are encouraged to shop at one of the five other local The Fresh Grocer stores. O’Shea also noted that the company is working with Lyft to provide free rides for customers to the other locations, and if customers can’t get to another location, they are encouraged to use the e-commerce solutions offered at thefreshgrocer.com to have their groceries delivered via Instacart.
Acme’s store will feature an expansive variety of the freshest produce, top quality meats and seafood, and a large selection of natural, gluten‐free, organic and local products, as well as a sushi and noodle bar, a guacamole station, a Starbucks, and a beer and wine shop along with indoor seating.