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Porto's oldest grocery store to close

The Mercearia do Bolhão, located on Rua Formosa in Porto, will close on April 30. A shop belonging to the Spanish chain Ale-Hop will open in its place.

On its window displays and inside the shop there are notices advertising the "total sale", with discounts of 40%.

The owner of the space talks about the "huge transformation" of the town. "Most of them were banks and insurance companies. Then there were also residents. Residents who have been disappearing, because they've now been replaced by Local Accommodation", he told Porto Canal.

For now, the deal with the Spanish chain will be a lease, but the owner doesn't reject the possibility of selling the building.

Porto's councillor for the economy said that the municipality can do nothing to stop the grocery store's closure and defended the need for a legislative change to regulate commercial activities.

Mercearia do Bolhão has been around since 1880 and is the oldest of its kind in Porto. It has been in the same family for over twenty years. It strives to maintain tradition while keeping up to date in some areas. Mercearia do Bolhão specialises in codfish, Cafés Cristina (1806), sold here exclusively, and other high-quality products.

There is also a myriad of regional products, including various types and brands of Port wine, cheeses and sausages, bread, honey, olive oil and other delicacies. In Christmas time, the shop usually filled up with long queues to buy cod, dried fruit and candied fruit.

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