Two years, no food store

Sean McGowan

Two years, 714 days, 17,136 hours, 1,028,160 minutes — that's how long Germantown Hills residents have gone without a single grocery store.

At approximately 4 p.m. Dec. 6, the Jubilee Foods store in the Germantown Hills Jubilee Center officially closed, causing residents to need to travel 5.5 miles to the Metamora IGA to keep their homes stocked with food and other groceries.

Rumors circulated after the closing of the store that officials from Haddad's West Peoria Market would open a location at the old Jubilee Site, but that never left the gate. Now the most recent update in the Peoria Journal Star shows that Germantown Hills village board members wrote a letter in August to the Iowa-based Hy-Vee Inc. about opening a store in town.

Germantown Hills President Kenny Mitchell said he and the board also wrote at least 10 letters to various grocery corporations.

"We've gotten a few replies from companies, but they're not busy because of the economy," Mitchell said.

One of these businesses includes Schnuck's, whose corporate facility is located in St. Louis, Mo. Mitchell said Hyvee Inc. may have responded as well but with no better news than Schnuck's.

Even though these businesses won't establish themselves in the village, Germantown Hills is quite prosperous in these shaky times. New businesses are sprouting up all over the Jubilee Center off of Route 116.

To mention a few, Germantown Hills resident Ray King's Photo-Artistry establishment opened Oct. 26; Pizza Hut opened a couple doors down from King in the summer; the Germantown Grille was re-established in August in the Jubilee Center under new management; Germantown Hills will soon experience what it's like to have a Chinese restaurant in the village; and CEFCU is building an entirely new property in the Jubilee Center as well.

Other available space in the Germantown Hills Jubilee Center includes the property between the Germantown Grille and the soon-to-be China Garden restaurant.