After 17 years and eight months, Sunny and Renu Bhanot walked out of their 7-Eleven convenience store at Cleveland Avenue and Lake Street late last week for the final time.
After a state mandated removal of its gasoline tanks, the 7-Eleven Corporation decided the tanks and pumps were not worth replacing. Patronage and sales fell dramatically. According to Sunny Bhanot and records, customer count fell by as much as a half over the past few months.
Since taking over the franchise, the Bhanot family had operated a friendly and clean 24-hour business.
“The family is always nice and it is the cleanest convenience store I have been in,” said a longtime customer, who wished to remain anonymous...