A beloved Montrose grocery staple is closing its sliding doors after 42 years. Kroger Co. announced that it is closing its popular outpost located at 3300 Montrose Blvd. in mid-January 2021. The location had been losing money for some time, according to a statement from the company.
Known for its wildly diverse crowd, such as drag queens and colorful local characters, who would show up at all of the hours looking fabulous, the store quickly earned the moniker “Disco Kroger” by neighborhood regulars.
The closing is not a complete surprise to industry watchers. Kroger has faced increased competition in the neighborhood from both H-E-B's Montrose Market and a Whole Foods Market that opened last year on the border of Montrose and Midtown. The brand’s relatively small footprint and lack of amenities — witness the coffee robot at Whole Foods — didn't measure up to its more modern competitors.
“We never want to close any of our stores,” Kroger officials said in a statement. “However, to keep prices low for our customers across the city we cannot continue to operate a store that has lost money for a sustained period of time.”
Some good news: Employees of the Montrose location won't be losing their jobs, according to a company statement, as store associates are being offered jobs at other locations. Pharmacy customers at the Montrose location will have their records moved to the West Gray store once the closure is complete.
Fans of the Kroger brand can take heart: The Houston area boasts more than 100 stores, including a location in the 1900 block of West Gray, less than 2 miles away.
As ABC13 notes, the Montrose Kroger is the latest in central Houston to close permanently over the past year. The Fiesta Mart in the 4200 block of San Jacinto closed in July.
Eric Sandler contributed to this story.