LINCOLN PARK — The wait is finally over.
Whole Foods Market is set to open its Lincoln Park location near DePaul University Wednesday morning in place of the former Dominick's.
The two-story, 29,600-square-foot store at Sheffield and Fullerton avenues will cater heavily to students and commuters.
The first floor features a variety of prepared food for on-the-go purchases, and the second floor includes more traditional grocery store aisles.
The new shop also will feature a bar on the second floor called the Red Star Bar with eight beers on tap and an exclusive Fullerton Stop pale ale brewed in partnership with Begyle Brewery.
The Whole Foods Market also will feature a full-service coffee bar with a street-side coffee window on Fullerton Avenue, just feet away from the Fullerton "L" stop.
Customers will be able to get free coffee from the window Monday and Tuesday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., as baristas train.
The coffee window will begin serving coffee and smoothies at 6 a.m. daily and prepared lunches at 11 a.m.
Specialty sections of the first floor layout include a Cuban-inspired taqueria with pollo asado, ropa vieja, mojo pork and jackfruit tacos, a build-your-own sandwich station and a Neapolitan-style pizza counter.
Customers can place their orders on touch-screen computers.
The Lincoln Park location is the second of seven Whole Foods Markets that are planned to open in the Chicago area this year.
The corner location at 959 W. Fullerton Ave. has been undergoing a renovation since Dominick's closed at the end of 2013
"At each location we took the building and gutted it to the floor," said Allison Phelps, a Whole Foods spokeswoman.
To celebrate the opening Wednesday, 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith and DePaul's president, Dennis Holtschneider, will join Whole Foods Market team members for a "bread-breaking ceremony" at 8:45 a.m.
The first 500 customers through the doors starting at 9 a.m. will received a Whole Foods Market gift card with a value ranging between $5 and $50. One card will be worth $500.
Phelps said the store still is hiring, and both full and part-time positions are available at Wholefoodsmarket.com.
During its first week, the store is featuring five days of community giving, where 1 percent of each day's net sales will be donated to a Chicago-based organization, including Climate Cycle, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Sit Stay Red and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.
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