Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
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GRETNA, La. -- As Gretna celebrates its 100th anniversary, the city is saying goodbye to a beloved grocer that's been around for half of those years.

Casey Jones Supermarket is a West Bank landmark.

'There's home. There's school. There's church and there's Casey Jones,' shopper Wayne Freeman.

Cleotha Bush said she's been coming to Casey Jones since it opened its doors in 1964.

'It's a place of gathering,' she said. 'We see all of our neighbors, all our friends from Algiers to Marrero to Westwego, everybody comes to Casey Jones.'

Like K&B drugstores and McKenzie's Bakeries, Casey Jones will soon be part of New Orleans area history.

'It's a good, low price store and times have changed, you know,' said shopper Jim Pierce. 'Megastores are moving in now.' 'It's going to be definitely sadly missed, and the thing of it is, you know it's just progress,' said shopper Hylas Baudean. 'You can't stop progress.'

Casey Jones' owners decided to close the store as the shopping center around it goes through a major makeover.

The Rouses chain will soon break ground on a new supermarket next door.

In recent years, Academy Sports, Planet Fitness and a number of other new shops have also opened at the strip mall at Stumpf and the Westbank Expressway.

Mayor Belinda Constant said the business growth is bringing needed tax dollars to Gretna.

'It's been an $8 million expansion of Westside Shopping Center North, which has become a true retail hub for our city,' said Constant.

So far, there's no definitive date as to when Casey Jones will be closing, but according to the store's flyer in this week's newspaper, Casey Jones is expected to remain open through at least April of next year.

'It's one of those things that we really don't want to let go of,' said Constant.

'It's just a neighborhood store and it looks like we're going to miss a neighborhood store if it leave us,' said Cleotha Bush.

Constant said she would like to find a way for Casey Jones to re-open at a new location, possibly as some type of a specialty grocery.

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