LOGAN SQUARE — It may not look like much now, but a new grocery store on the border of Logan Square and Bucktown is weeks away from opening.
Father-and-son team Paul and Peter Marinis have worked for more than 1½ years to open Fresh MarketPlace in the former Danny’s Fresh Market, 2140 N. Western Ave. In addition to running their first grocery store in Belmont Cragin, the two said they’ve invested more than $2 million in the Logan Square grocery.
The 16,000-square-foot store is slated for a grand opening by early September, according to the Marinis family, likely in conjunction with a job fair and a family-friendly neighborhood block party in the newly redone parking lot.
The long winter put construction plans on hold, pushing the opening back from October 2013 to this September.
A sidewalk cafe complete with a sidewalk service window is one of many wholesale changes to the storefront. The store's kitchen will serve rotisserie, bakery and cafe items, Paul Marinis said, in addition to an olive bar, a cheese island, a deli and a modest beer and liquor section on the store’s new shelves.
The Marinis say they've distinguished their store from others like Mariano’s, Whole Foods and Jewel-Osco by guaranteeing affordable prices with a mix of goods that match the local demographics — traditional Mexican goods and a taqueria feature prominently in the store alongside high-end organic products and other standard goods.
“We’re very customer service-oriented,” Paul Marinis said. “That’s what we feel makes us successful.”
An attached vestibule on the store’s southern side will sell flowers and other outdoor home items, but it’s the arrival of a new electronic marquee that has Peter Marinis excited, he said, calling it his “pride and joy.”
Four former employees of Danny’s have been hired at Fresh MarketPlace since Danny’s Fresh Market closed after three failed inspections out of 11 between August 2010 and September 2012.
According to Marinis, former employees of Danny’s will have first option for the 30-40 job openings at Fresh MarketPlace. And the new owners also committed to hiring a majority of the total positions from within the neighborhood, they said.
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