BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — It’s been nearly two months since 10 people were killed at the King Soopers on Table Mesa Drive. On Wednesday, managers from the store announced it will open again.
According to King Soopers representative Jessica Trowbridge, the chain is planning a redesign of the Table Mesa grocery store that will open in late fall.
Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver said he looks forward to the sense of closure the opening will bring.
“This announcement launches the next phase in our healing process,” Weaver said. “We’re doing everything we can to expedite.”
Logan Smith was working in the store when the shooting happened. He says the past couple of months have been challenging. With the shooting still so fresh, the planned reopening brings back memories.
“I think it’s respectful that they are wanting to take insight form us as employees. Opening in the Fall comes as a surprise to me, I think it might be a bit early, but for some people in the community it might be a little later than what people want,” said Smith.
Just behind the King Soopers sits the Southside Walnut Café, with a tribute in the window of the victims of the shooting.
Just the thought of reopening the grocery store reminds some at the café of their own reopening after being shut down for five days after the shooting.
“It was really hard. I remember coming in and the first day we were reopening we really thought should we do this right now? Should we be opening the restaurant right now,” said Jess Owen.
The café reopened to give the community a place to gather after the tragedy, it was the beginning of the healing process in this space for so many people.
John Joseph lives nearby, and says the store is a vital part of the community.
“This is a hub of South Boulder,” he says. “People need to come back, they need to talk to each other.”
Joseph is a therapist, and says he isn’t sure how he’ll react to returning for the first time. He expects it will be difficult for many, especially for store associates.
“There’s going to be trepidation, there’s going to be people walking in the store looking for where the nearest exit is,” he says. “I think remodeling it is perhaps the best solution. So that people walk in and it’s not like, well, someone was killed there, it looks like a brand new store.”
Associates like Andy Arellano remain undecided on if they’ll return to work.
“It’s something that I’m still thinking about. It’s very hard for me to come back here, and see all this,” he says. “My friends passed away here, so it’s not an easy task to say I’m going to come back, to forget about it, it’s just going to be there.”
King Soopers says it’s hoping rebuilding the grocery store will also help to heal the community’s wounds.
The city is in the early stages of discussions about a permanent Boulder Strong memorial, according to the assistant city manager Chris Meschuk. Boulder is seeking input.
The store has been closed since the shooting happened. It took investigators several weeks to finish searching for evidence.
Since the shooting, King Soopers has donated about 10 million meals worth of food that was left sitting in the store to a local food bank, as well as $1 million to the Colorado Healing Fund.