Wants a New South Austin Grocery Store

RECEIVED Mon., July 12, 2004

Dear Editor,
   Austin's booming economy has placed an incredible burden on South Congress. It's shocking to find that some older residents purchased a house built on tree stumps for one-fourth of the going rate. Prostitutes have been replaced by shopping divas. Homes have been converted into boutique spas. The rate of change is too drastic for some residents, while others revel in the success of First Thursdays.
   Regardless of the perception of this growth, residents from I-35 to Barton Creek are relegated to one budget grocery store. After the fall of Fiesta on Lamar, the only choice for a cheap loaf of bread in South Austin is the Ghetto B.
   Regular shoppers of the HEB on Oltorf embrace this amusingly derogatory term. We dig Ghetto B's funky nature and burgeoning diversity both in food selection and people shopping its aisles.
   With Fiesta closing its doors, HEB is experiencing unsustainable traffic. A lack of parking and lines at checkout is anticipated even on a Sunday morning. We need another grocery store. Anything. Please.
   Fortunately, the used car lot next door to Güero's (the one with the big neon Texas flag) is headed out. The space it leaves on the strip contains huge amounts of on-site parking and square footage. This space reeks of potential, and hopefully it will be used for the good of the community.
   Give us an alternative to the organic giant at Sixth and Lamar, the megabudget store on South Congress and Oltorf, and the disturbing hybrid over by the Westgate theatre. A small organic or small budget grocery store is just what this part of town needs. Some are recruiting Trader Joe's from the West Coast. Fresh Plus, this is a shout-out for you too.
   Somebody, please feed us.
Rad Tollett
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