After more than two hours in civil court, an agreement couldn't be reached between the Hubbard Save A Lot store and the landlord during a mediation hearing on Friday.

Save A Lot will have to vacate the W. Liberty store soon, but Donn McConnell, owner of the property, said he's giving them time to sell the product they have left.

"It wasn't the resolution we were looking for," McConnell told 21 News. "I was looking to keep Save A Lot in the plaza but Friday's hearing showed they just can't financially afford the location."

Just a few days ago, 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. Court records show the store owners were notified about the closure on January 17, 2024 but all staff members were not aware of the situation until mid-March.

"This is such a surreal experience," Alex Bennett, an employee at Save A Lot. "Just last week I was stocking shelves and now this week I'm being told we aren't even getting a truck. This is my first job I've had for over two years and it's not how I wanted it to end. I wished both sides reached an agreement for the sake of the Hubbard community, especially our regulars."

Bennett is one of 18 employees that will soon be out of a job.

Hubbard native McConnell said he's made concessions for many years trying to keep the grocery store open.

McConnell told 21 News 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.

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.

“We are saddened to hear the news from Friday’s mediation that the Save a Lot will be closing in the near future," said Ben Kyle, Mayor of Hubbard. "Unfortunately, events outside the control of the hard-working employees led to this decision. I can’t thank all of the employees enough for their dedication to the customers. The city and surrounding area need to have more than one grocery store. I will continue to work towards a resolution that includes affordable and easily available food.”

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. 

"I am really sad to hear it's officially closing," said Michael O'Rourke of Hubbard. "The people are great and they've always been attentive to your needs. I want to know why the owners owe so much in rent. I know other tenants have had problems in this plaza. It's sad it's come to this."

"This is my main grocery store. The community needs somewhere that's a good bargain and everyone is so nice here," said Steven Young of Campbell. "I'll try to give them as much business as I can before they close. As far as a solution, maybe something can still be worked out. A grocery store needs to stay in this plaza."

So far, there's no official closing date for Save A Lot.

McConnell said he's working to find a new tenant for the spot and hopes it will be another grocer.

"I'd like to have a grocer in that side of town," McConnell said. "We are looking to find one that can make a good profit and stay there for a long time."

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