UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Mayor Rahm Emanuel and grocery chain owner Bob Mariano on Monday helped cut the ribbon for the Ukrainian Village Mariano's, which will be the first of the company's stores to offer wild game for sale.
The store, the first Mariano's in a former Dominick's in the city, will open to customers at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.
The store at 2021 W. Chicago Ave. has filled the 350 jobs it promised to create ahead of the store's opening, Mariano's spokeswoman Dana Schueller said, though more jobs may be added when the store remodels.
"In the coming months ahead we'll transform into a complete and full Mariano's as we listen to our customers tell us what they are looking for," Mariano said.
The nearly 55,000-square-foot location — which Schueller said is "fairly small" compared to Mariano's other stores — will include a "Squeez'd" smoothie bar, a spice shop, and a grill station among its offerings.
It will also be the first spot in the 18-store chain to include wild game such as boar, pheasant, ostrich, alligator, quail, rabbit and buffalo in its meat department, Schueller said.
"We really looked around, scanned the neighborhood and found a lot of eclectic restaurants and [a] great culinary scene," Schueller said of the decision to test the company's more adventurous meats at the store.
The layout of the Ukrainian Village Mariano's is fairly similar to the Dominick's it replaced, with some adjustments, Schueller said. The company plans to ask for feedback from the community before deciding whether to make major changes to the floor plan, Schueller said.
The store provides 101 parking spots next to the store and on a rooftop parking deck.
The UK Village store is one of 11 former Dominick's locations Roundy's, the parent company of Mariano's, has purchased in the Chicago area, three of which are in the city. The Milwaukee-based company has already opened three stores in former Dominick's in the suburbs.
There's a new Mariano's planned to open in nearby Bucktown, at 2112 N. Ashland Ave., though the company has not disclosed a start date for the store.
The company has said that by the end of the year, it will have created 10,000 jobs at 29 Chicago-area stores over the past four years.
"Those are people supporting families, people going back to school to learn and do other things, and it's a real economic engine," Emanuel said of the jobs Mariano's has created at the Ukrainian Village location.
The city is currently working with Mariano's to help students at Chicago Public Schools as well as City Colleges of Chicago pursue jobs at the stores, Emanuel said.
During the ceremony, Mariano also helped present a check for $2,500 to the Onward Neighborhood House, which provides social services in the neighborhood.
"We look forward to serving this community for a good long time," Mariano said.