For second night in a row, west Louisville Kroger closes early
For the second night in a row, a west Louisville Kroger will close early.
The Kroger near the intersection of South 26th Street and West Broadway will close at 7 p.m. Saturday, "to allow our associates time to properly close the store and exit the parking lot prior to LMPD barriers being placed at entrances," according to a statement from the grocery chain.
It's the second night in a row that the store has closed early.
On Friday night, the store was closed and its parking lot barricaded off. Concrete barriers could also be seen blocking the entrances of the nearby Dino's Food Mart.
The Louisville Metro Police Department said in a statement Friday evening that it put the barriers in the parking lots to "ensure the safety and security of citizens and businesses in that area," according to Alicia Smiley, a spokesperson for the police department. Smiley added that the barriers were put in place "solely for the purpose of traffic control" and would "not impede pedestrians in that area."
When asked for clarification on what prompted the closure and blocking of the parking lot, Smiley said the area of 26th to 28th streets and Broadway "has been significantly impacted" in years past during Derby weekend.
"At times it hindered employees from leaving so businesses would close early. This year some area businesses returned to this practice," she said. "Traffic issues also make it extremely difficult for emergency response. We are engaged in a delicate balancing act to keep our community safe so that all of our citizens and visitors have the opportunity to partake in Derby festivities."
West Louisville Kroger closing early for Derby Day
The one major grocery store in West Louisville closed its doors early the Friday night before the Kentucky Derby. The sign on the Kroger store on W. Broadway said it closed at 5 p.m., surprising everyone who walked up to the door.
Police put up barricades around every entrance to the parking lot and shoppers who traveled miles by bus were turned away. A spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Police said it was an attempt to ensure the safety and security of businesses and citizens in the area, but many are asking “why?”
"I am very disappointed because I caught the bus down here very disappointed, and now I have to go back home and see if someone can take me to another Kroger,” Carol Jackson said.
Jackson was coming to get her Derby dinner. The 65-year-old took the bus to get to Kroger only to be met with locked doors and no explanation.
“I think it’s awful because they should have announced it or something because I am on the bus. I don't have a car,” Jackson said.
Friday evening LMPD released a statement saying, "Following careful consideration, particularly as it relates to risk vs. safety, these measures are being taken to ensure the safety and security of citizens and businesses in that area. It should be noted that the barriers are being erected solely for the purpose of traffic control.”
Erin Grant with Kroger corporate said the store will close at 7 p.m. Saturday night "to allow our associates time to properly close the store and exit the parking lot prior to LMPD barriers being placed at entrances."
Grant said LMPD was in charge of putting up the barriers and Kroger did not request them.
There is a long-time tradition of Derby Cruising in Louisville. Charles Finley Jr., a long-time West Louisville resident, said Derby Cruising is West Louisville's Derby.
“Derby is a big event for us. It's like a big family reunion for everybody," he said.
For Finley, it was a family celebration--meeting new people and seeing the cars. He said for years it was a huge event, but recently it has phased out. He said he was surprised to see the barricades up and precautions.
The Kroger on 28th and Broadway is closed, and the parking lot is barricaded off. Concrete barriers are also blocking the entrances of the nearby Dino's Food Mart.
Originally, police said they store would close at 5 p.m., but on Saturday, they rolled it back to 7 p.m.
Many of the residents are upset because the change to the store's hours was not announced.
"I'm very disappointed because I caught the bus down here. Very disappointed! Now I got to go back home and see if someone can take me to another Kroger," said Louisvillian, Carol Jackson. "I think it's awful because they should have let somebody know on the news or announce it another way. Because I'm on the bus and I don't have a car. If I knew they were going to close at five o'clock, I could have come at like two or three."
In a statement Friday evening, the Louisville Metro Police Department said that it put the barriers in the parking lots to "ensure the safety and security of citizens and businesses in that area."
The department did not clarify the safety concerns that prompted the closure and blocking of the parking lot.
The statement also said the "barriers are being erected solely for the purpose of traffic control and will not impede pedestrians in that area."
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