SOUTH LOOP — The mayor joined in welcoming a new Mariano's to the South Loop Monday, a day before its formal opening to the public.
"I can't wait to open the doors," said Roundy's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Mariano at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the store Monday afternoon. "We aim to be the grocer of choice for everyone living and working in the South Loop community."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) joined in the ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday. Dowell cheered bringing "the Mariano's experience" to the South Loop, while the mayor said it was no accident.
"It's the fastest-growing downtown in America," Emanuel said, pointing to the South Loop and West Loop, as well as Downtown proper.
"South Loop was growing, there's no doubt," Emanuel added. "But can you accelerate that growth? Absolutely."
He pointed to infrastructure improvements in the area such as breaking ground on a new Cermak Road CTA stop. "Then the private sector has the confidence to invest in that area," Emanuel added.
Emanuel pointed out, however, that the new Mariano's at 1615 S. Clark St. did not benefit from any Tax Increment Finance funding.
Mariano said the store would provide 425 jobs when it opens Tuesday. Store hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The 12th Mariano's to open since the chain launched in 2010 is also the fifth in Chicago. The chain boasts of fresh, inexpensive food, a dietician onsite and a bright, clean look with wide aisles. The 65,000-square-foot South Loop building includes parking for 340 cars outside and on the second and third levels above the supermarket.