Today...a Sendik's. Tomorrow...the World?
And, it should've been here about ten years ago.
Allow me to be territorial for just a moment as I hail the arrival of Sendik's to Franklin--a rare acknowledgment of Milwaukee's great southwest side by merchandisers who seem to think that all of us live amid dirt floors and naked ceiling bulbs.
While high-end grocers built new stores one on top of the other in Brookfield and the north shore, our little part of the world went largely ignored--why, I don't know. Have any of these folks ever driven through Franklin, Muskego and New Berlin? They would seen sprawling subdivisions with large new homes and kitchens just waiting to be filled with their offerings.
I remember talking to someone from one of the Sendik's clans years ago, literally begging them to build a new store on the southwest side. I told him it was low-hanging fruit--a market waiting to be tapped, and that he could be the first one in.
Don't get me wrong--I'm far from being a grocery elitist. I love my Pick 'N Saves, and our Sentry on Highway 100 in Hales Corners. I still enjoy the occasional trip to Ray's Butcher Shop on Loomis, and it's great knowing Rupena's is just up the road on South 76th and Oklahoma. That said, what shopper doesn't like options...without having to drive to a half hour to find them?
The parking lot of the new Sendik's at 51st and Rawson would seem to validate me--my wife and I went there just after lunch Friday afternoon and had a hard time finding a parking spot. I hear that's the case no matter the day or time.
Which brings me to my next point: Southridge. While Bayshore, Mayfair and Brookfield Square buffed up and added on, Southridge stays in a holding pattern amid a series of ownership changes and some fairly hefty defections. It's a sleeping retail giant, and whoever has the keys needs to give it a badly needed shot in the arm to keep it competitive. I hear from too many of my southwest side neighbors who say they have to go elsewhere--even Chicago--to find what they want.
Little by little, our part of the County is catching up. We have Noodles, Friday's, and even a redone Sherper's. Dare we dream more?
Then again, our embarrassment of riches grows next summer, when a second Sendik's opens on Highway 100 near Drexel.