The grocery store, which opened Wednesday, has four other locations in the city, but this is its first spot north of Downtown. Samir Kanan, one of the store's founders, said they picked the Sheffield location because it's a prime corner in Lakeview with a lot of foot traffic.
The 5,300-square-foot space contains all the grocery store staples: dry goods, a deli counter, a bakery, frozen foods, produce, dairy, toiletries and cleaning products. It also sells liquor and has a small cafe by the entrance that sells coffee, pastries and other snacks and offers limited seating.
Kanan described South Loop Market as a cross between Whole Foods and a convenience store. It's small and offers plenty of grab-and-go options, but it also focuses on natural and organic products.
Samir Kanan and his brother Jamil opened South Loop Market in 2009 when they grew frustrated with having to drive to grocery store chains, even when they only needed a few things. The idea behind South Loop Market was to provide a small, local grocery store in the South Loop. There are now three South Loop locations and one Near West Side location in addition to the new Lakeview store.
Before South Loop Market opened on Sheffield, its building was vacant for more than a year after Pompei closed in July 2016. The Italian restaurant opened in 1909 by Luigi Davina near Our Lady of Pompei Church in Little Italy. Ralph Davino took over the business in 1984 and expanded it to Western Avenue.
Ralph Davino opened the Sheffield location in 1997, and two years later he opened locations in Oak Brook, Schaumburg, Downtown and Taylor Street.
He sold everything but the Taylor Street location in 2004, and the Sheffield restaurant closed in 2013 amid financial and legal issues.
Davino reopened this spot in 2015, but the business climate in the area had grown more competitive, and after only one year he closed Pompei down for good.
The Taylor Street location remains open.