New and former owners address neighbors’ concerns about future of McGonigle’s Market

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As the popular McGonigle's Market closes and changes ownership, neighbors are bracing for the end of an era.

"My biggest concerns were for my neighborhood, my people and my customers, and they've got the customers covered," Mike McGonigle said.

After 75 years in business, Iowa-based Fareway Stores, Inc. will take over the store near 79th Street and Ward Parkway.

On Wednesday night, former owner Mike McGonigle met with longtime customers and neighbors to explain why he sold the business and what it means for the neighborhood.

"My goal was to keep the best interest of the city and the neighborhood in mind, and I think once you get to know these guys a little better you will understand they do what we do and they do it very well," McGonigle said of Fareway.

RELATED: As popular McGonigle’s Market transfers ownership, KC council committee considers its future

He said although his ownership of the business is coming to an end, the essence of his beloved brand will not change dramatically.

Fareway will open for business at its new KC location on March 2, and things like catering and barbecue will still have the familiar family name.

"The McGonigle's name is staying," he said. "Randy Ross who is part owner of McGonigle's is staying. The plan is still the same. It's a family-owned specialty meat market that still carries, in part, the McGonigle name."

McGonigle's employees were given the option to stay on board when Fareway reopens next month.

And although the sale of McGonigle's came just after the Kansas City Council approved plans to expand the footprint of the business, Fareway's president and CEO insisted those plans are 2-5 years away and will be mainly cosmetic.

Addressing concerns that McGonigle's will eventually be replaced by a big box store, Reynolds Cramer said that's not going to happen.

"I don't think there's going to be really any change from the standpoint of how things have been for so many years when we open up on March 2," Cramer said. "It's going to be the same as it's been the last few years as far as traffic flow and just what's going on in the neighborhood, and we're going to be a great community partner."

Councilman Kevin McManus, whose district covers the market, said safeguards and covenants will be built into any future expansion plans for the business. And when a new building replaces the current one, the footprint will remain roughly the same size.

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