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On eve of Murder Kroger death, a massive candlelight vigil is planned

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It’s 8 p.m. 7 p.m. Thursday. Candles not provided

Hundreds of Atlantans have made it Facebook official they’ll be attending the sendoff for an iconic grocery store in Poncey-Highland widely known as Murder Kroger.

According to the CandleLIT Vigil in Memory of Murder Kroger Facebook page, the luminous tribute goes down at 8 p.m. 7 p.m. Thursday. As of noon today, more than 700 people had pledged to attend. Almost 3,000 others are more tepidly “interested.”

They’ll be, uh, mourning the pending demise of the Ponce de Leon Avenue landmark and its famously seedy reputation.

Murder Kroger — picked-over and sad-looking after fire sales this week — is scheduled to close forever on Friday, ending a 30-year run pockmarked by terrible tragedies in the parking lot and vicinity.

At first blush, the vigil idea sounds sarcastic and frankly hilarious (exacerbated by the use of Harambe the Gorilla in the official announcement), but organizers stress the gathering will kind of serve a deeper purpose:

“Pls join us in mourning an atlanta icon (also bring ur own candles we're poor). We are not forgetting those who have fallen at MK. Lets make it a remembering time.”

More recently today, organizers expressed surprise at the huge response to the vigil idea. And now they really want to make the occasion meaningful:

“Hey everyone! We totally did not expect this to get as big as it did, so why not also do something good for the community! During the vigil, we will also be hosting a food drive for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.”

Canned foods, dry goods, even diapers are encouraged donations. Just don't expect to buy them at Murder Kroger.

Developers have said the Poncey-Highland chain grocer will quickly be demolished to make room for 725 Ponce, a Brooklyn-inspired mixed-use project that will rise a dozen stories with a fancy new Kroger prototype and other retail at the base.

The newfangled Kroger is projected to open in early 2019, a few months after the office component above.

In anticipation of the event, one FB user offered this, like, prayer in homage of MK:

“Praise be to the Murder Kroger and your untimely demise ... you have not only saved me thousands in ATM fees over the last decade ... provided endless entertainment and fear for my life, beer, drunken cigs, a very very disgruntled deli lady who hate my lack of mayonnaise use in ways I will never understand, an unlit completely safe parking lot with absolutely no parking lines, effervescence of Atlanta wafting all up through you, crack bags galore and all the other unholy, but mostly I will miss your dedication to be the Murder Kroger you know you are inside — regardless of some ridiculous mural meant to ‘save you.’ You will always be Murder Kroger in our hearts.”