Best Supermarket Checkers - 2000
Schnucks on the Hill
The Schnucks on the Hill (5055 Arsenal St., 314-771-5008) soaks up the aroma of good food and goodwill that defines its famous location. The checkers push all the right buttons. Each is different in the way he or she negotiates the endless promenade of groceries that advances like a food army that won't give up. And when an item won't scan, each checker has a special way of sighing, then trying again for that high-pitched cue. They handle the pressure without falling apart like a cheap grocery sack -- stress is contained in a double-bagged good-naturedness. The night-shift checkers greet purple-haired freaks, college geeks and white-clad nurses with the same nonjudgmental smile. When you least expect it, the checker may make a sweet comment about your dessert or ask you whether those fat-free potato chips are really any good. And though none of the checkers is over the Hill, a few actually upstage the store's location. Frankly, they're the prettiest checkers this side of a game board -- sometimes it looks like a Miss UPC contest. But they're more than just symbols, of any kind. The checkers at the Schnucks on the Hill ring true, making you want to buy a few things just to watch them in action. And you can pay with paper or plastic.