Update 5:33 p.m.: Employees and customers said the grocery store has become "like an old home" since it opened in Vienna in 1970.
The store's manager said it would be open through 8 p.m. Wednesday. Employees anticipated having enough produce to open again at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
For more employee and customer reactions, click here.
Update 12:22 pm:
They could reopen under a new name, but details of the sale or the future of the chain are not available.
Original 11:34 a.m.: Magruder's Supermarket in Vienna hasn't formally announced its closing, nor its plans for a 50 percent off closing sale.
But late Wednesday morning, just hours after it had opened, word the longtime Vienna Shopping Center flagship was closing had spread throughout town, creating lines that stretched back through the aisles as longtime customers made what would be their last purchases from the store.
Everything in the store is half-priced. The closing date? "When everything's gone," one employee told Patch.
Outside, the front windows — usually used to display weekly specials — are lined with signs about the sale and closure. The wooden bins that hold produce along the walkway to the store have only a few boxes of clementines and some scattered tomatoes.
Inside, customers — some of them patrons of the store for more than four decades — filled carts with toilet paper, beer, wine and frozen goods.
Some transactions reportedly ran up into the hundreds of dollars.
"It's more crowded than I've ever seen it," resident Laura Goyer said after leaving the store.
Magruder's Supermarkets, "a Washington landmark since 1875," has five locations across the area, including Alexandria, Chevy Chase, Gaithersburg and Rockville.
Magruder's closed its Silver Spring location this summer.
Calls to Magruder's corporate office by Patch have still not been returned. A store employee said the company was in negotiations with someone who might be interested in buying the chain; in that case, a supermarket could remain in the space, but under a different name.
Much remains unclear about the future of the space, but one thing is certain: The Magruder's name that has stood at the corner of Maple Avenue and Courthouse Road since around 1970 won't be there much longer.
"It's all about the bottom line," the store employee told Patch.
Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.
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Future of Magruder's Unclear