Ideal Grocery owners still pick up pieces after fire two months later

Posted by: Marlenia Thornton

Tuesday marks two months since the iconic Lincoln market, Ideal Grocery, was engulfed in flames.

It was located near 27th and Randolph.

Since then, the store’s walls have been knocked down and piles of rubble are what’s left.

It’s still a tough sight for co–owner Chad Winters.

"It’s been sixty days since the fire and it’s still hard to accept," Ideal Grocery & Market Co-Owner Chad Winters said.

There is still a lot of uncertainty about the fire.

It was ruled accidental.

 The flames are believed to have started in a motor room that kept the coolers running, but what exactly sparked it isn’t determined yet.

"I’m just as interested anything to know what caused that to happen and I don’t know if we’re ever going to really know,” Winters said.

The questions don’t end there.

The owners are still in the insurance settlement process.

Tuesday is also the day insurance will stop covering benefits of the non–management staff.

Since the fire, all Ideal’s staff was hired at its sister location Leon’s.

The store’s customers also moved over, which former employees enjoy.

"It’s being nice being able to talk all the old customers. So, it doesn’t feel like it’s a completely new store because we’re still seeing a lot of the same faces over here,” Former Ideal Grocery & Market Employee Craig Alley said.

He worked there for 21 years.

Winters said a market analysis is being done to evaluate the future of ideal.

So, what’s the plan?

"The honest truth is we don’t know and I hate to say that. You think by now, ‘it’s sixty days you would know something,’ but it went so fast," Winters said.

So, we’ll just have to just  wait to see what’s next for the former staple neighborhood store.

The owners said they want to thank the community for its outpouring of support.

They said it’s been really helpful during this tough time.