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Sendik's Swimming With Bidders During Auction

Before renovations begin, the Sendiks owners are auctioning of everything short of what's attached to the walls. The store was full Monday morning as people came from as far as Texas and Pennsylvania to place bids.

Ever wanted to own a commercial meat slicer? How about a 7-foot-tall cigarette dispenser?

Sendik's in Bayside is emptying the store of, literally, anything not attached to the walls. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, anyone can stop in the store or go online and place a bid on everything from massive deep-freezers to coffee grinders, digital scales to receipt printers. 

"The equipment that's here is being sold for the purpose of a complete renovation by the new owner, the Balestreri Sendik family," said John Sendik, who, along with brother Tony Sendik, just sold the store. 

He also said that while the Bayside grocer is emptying out and beginning renovations, gas will continue to flow non-stop, if you're paying at the pump. 

Ted Balistreri announced in early December that his branch of the Sendik's markets will partner with Devo Properties of Mequon to purchase the entire shopping corridor from Sendik's gas pumps east to Mohawk Road. This purchase includes the building at 326 W. Brown Deer Road, which houses Community Bark Dog Wash and Coffee Bar, Kurth Chiropractic and Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Center. They will also purchase the home at the corner of Mohawk and Brown Deer roads, which is zoned commercial. 

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Tony Sendik also helped out during the auction Monday, helping direct people not just through the public area on the surface level, but through the basement where bidders could find the deep freezer and other food preparatory and storage items. 

"It's taken us a while to get us to this point and by the time this is done, it should be to the walls for the most part," Tony Sendik said. "Then the only thing we need to do is clean up the floor and we'll be done with it. We still have two other stores that we operate. The Ballestreris bought this from us and I'm sure they're going to make it absolutely beautiful."

Tony and John also own two other grocery stores — at 2643 N. Downer Avenue, and 2315 N. 124th Street.

Shelves previously piled high with loaves of bread now feature scales, credit card machines and receipt printers at Sendik's in Bayside. On Monday, dozens of people from across the country made their way to the local grocer for the one last chance to anything not attached to the walls before the store is gutted and remodeled entirely. Anything not purchased by 4 p.m. will be thrown away.

Grafe Auction, are running the auction and representatives say they've seen people coming from as far as Texas and Pennsylvania. But Jim Possing from Franklin is a more casual shopper, particularly interested in some of the metal pieces. 

"The reason I came up here is just kind of looking around for some odds and ends. I've got a sister-in-law who's a crafter, welds a lot of stuff together," Possing said. "So I'm looking at stuff here. We'll just have to wait and see where the chips fall here."

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