CHICAGO (WLS) -- A planned soft open of a new Englewood grocery store is now on hold after protests outside the site.
Dozens of Englewood neighbors, along with city leaders, voiced their concerns outside the new Save A Lot grocery store on West 63rd near Halsted.
"We want fresh food, we want quality options," said Asiaha Butler, residents Association of Greater Englewood.
"We want an opportunity for an affordable, quality fresh grocery operator in Englewood," said 16th Ward Alderman Stephanie Coleman.
The grocery store, which is operated by Cleveland-based Yellow Banana, hosted a special preview event Wednesday for its new location, which was previously occupied by Whole Foods. Neighbors who opposed the opening stood watch.
"You're not going to ignore us. We need that conversation before any opening, if it happens," Butler said.
Protesters and Englewood leaders said they were left out of community talks with store owners.
"If you go to this store down the street on 63rd and St. Louis you will see spoiled product, off brand product," Ald. Coleman said.
"We've been in this community all our lives and we just feel like you should at least say something to the people who advocate for the community," said resident Samaiya Butler.
Freddie Batchelor, who attended Save A Lot's preview event, said she understood protesters concerns, but didn't necessarily agree fully with them.
"I'm glad that somebody came in to say, 'okay, we're going to reopen it and reopen it to be a grocery store,'" she said.
Then a turn of events: During the preview, store owners stepped outside and spoke with protesters. Within minutes, the way was paved for progress.
"It was a productive conversation. I appreciate people expressing their views, we want to respect that," said Joe Canfield, CEO of Yellow Banana.
Canfield and owners ultimately decided to postpone the store's opening until a meeting with city and community leaders can take place.
"Part of being a good corporate citizen is listening to the community and responding to those demands," said Michael Nance, owner.
"We're not always going to be perfect, but when we make mistakes we're going to own those mistakes," Canfield said.
Whether or not the store's efforts to appeal to the larger community work remains to be seen.