The Hubbard Save A Lot is still open as the grocer and landlord continue to work out a dispute involving missed rent payments. Being one of the two grocery stores in Hubbard, the community is rallying around the business to keep its doors open. 

Almost every customer picking up some groceries Thursday evening at Save A Lot in Hubbard told its staff how sad they'd be to see it go.

"I hope they can come to a resolution that doesn't lead to this place closing," said Wyatt Prelee, an employee with Save A Lot. "Because it's a good job."

Just a few days ago, Prelee and his fellow employees found out the store may close after its owners have missed thousands in rent payments. According to court records, Hubbard Food Store LLC owes $425,074.70 in rent.

It was announced the store must close its doors on Thursday at 3 p.m., but a Friday mediation hearing between the building's landlord and store owners could solve the problem. This is a result of Hubbard Mayor Ben Kyle's efforts to keep the store open.

"I texted the general manager and she said she wasn't sure [if the store was closing] so I just kind of held off and waited. Then we got to here and nothing has happened yet," Prelee said.

"Shop N Save is on one side of town and Save A Lot is on the other side," said Fran Papa of Hubbard. "I'm sure it draws other people from different areas too. We shop here all the time and it's a great store with great buys and great people that work here." Papa said she was shocked when she first heard of the situation on 21 News earlier this week.

Hubbard native Donn McConnell owns the property and told 21 News via phone call that payments have been missed for years and he's tried to even negotiate rent with the grocer. He wants to see the business succeed but he said he's done what he can do.

"I hope they stay open," said Vincent Fabrizi of Hubbard. "I shop here very regularly because there are certain things you can get here that you can't get at the other grocery store. It saves me a drive out of town."

McConnell told 21 News a 30-day notice was sent last month but employees didn't find out about the financial troubles until earlier this week.

Some store employees believe the eviction is partially due to a roof repair dispute. The dilapidated roof has needed to be replaced for years but McConnell told 21 News the tenant agreement shows the tenant is responsible for all maintenance repairs. He said the roof situation has nothing to do with the eviction. 

Manager Ron Harris told 21 News McConnell wants Save A Lot to expense the entire roof at a price tag of $220,000. Harris added the Save A Lot owners put $70,000 in an escrow to help pay for the roof but McConnell did not agree to the amount. 

Hubbard Mayor Ben Kyle knows how important to grocery store is to people living in town and is working with all parties to try and find a positive outcome.

He posted the following statement on his Facebook page Thursday:

"The city administration firmly believes that we cannot lose any business in the city, especially one vital to everyone’s health and wellbeing. I have been in daily contact with the store manager and employees about the ongoing situation. My heart aches for the dedicated employees and the thousands of customers that visit our Save a Lot."

Friday's hearing is scheduled for 1:30 Friday at the Trumbull County Courthouse in Warren.

21 News reached out to Save A Lot corporate and has not heard back.