New NE OKC Grocery Store Construction Stopped; Owner Suffering From Lyme Disease
OKLAHOMA CITY - We're learning more details on why the opening of a new grocery store in Northeast Oklahoma City has been delayed.
Uptown Grocery was supposed to open within the last few months, but Friday morning News 9 learned one of the owners is suffering from serious health issues.
Hank and Susan Binkowski previously owned Smart Saver off of Northeast 23rd Street and North Martin Luther King Avenue. After they closed that location, the northeast side was left with nowhere to buy fresh produce.
In August of 2019, the couple announced plans to open Uptown Grocery, near Northeast 36th Street and North Kelley Avenue. They were hoping to have the new location ready in less than 90 days.
Months have passed and just this week city council members expressed their frustration. Councilwoman Nikki Nice said broken promises hadn't be fulfilled.
In the last 24 hours, Hank reached out to News 9 directing us to an update that was posted on the Uptown Grocery website.
It says the opening day could be late in the second quarter of 2020.
"However, after multiple and ongoing meetings of the community leaders and stakeholders, it became clear that the overall message was slow down and do it right," the post read.
Apparently the owners purchased some neighboring retail space and had more of a major remodel than anticipated.
It also says Susan has been sick since September with two strains of Neurologic Lyme disease. The update says the couple has temporarily moved out of state while Susan tries to heal, but others are in OKC keeping the momentum of the store moving forward.
News 9 crews went out to the new store's location and saw a sign from the city. It said construction has been stopped because they didn’t have the necessary permits.
According to the city’s website, no new permits have been filed since October.