Frankfort welcomes upscale grocery store
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY firstname.lastname@example.org February 3, 2013 8:30PM
The new Mariano's Fresh Market grocery store is under construction in Frankfort Friday, January 25, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
MAN AT THE TOP
Bob Mariano, 62
Chairman and CEO of Roundy’s Supermarkets, owner of Mariano’s supermarkets.
Formerly president and CEO of Dominick’s Finer Foods.
History: Mariano grew up in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood and started his grocery career in June 1968 as a part-time deli clerk at store No. 13 in Des Plaines. His father worked as the deli buyer for Dominick’s for 20 years.
Bob Mariano worked his way up to president and CEO of Dominick’s grocery stores — a leadership position he held from 1995 to 1998 — and played a key role in taking Dominick’s public in 1996. He left Dominick’s in November 1998 after Safeway bought the chain.
Mariano is a graduate of Loyola Academy and the University of Illinois’ Circle Campus. He earned his MBA at the University of Chicago.
Strategy: The Mariano’s stores aim to appeal to “foodies” with organic produce, meat cutters, attentive clerks and full-fledged delis and bakeries, and to attract bargain hunters with low-priced boxed goods and store brands.
Updated: March 5, 2013 6:08AM
Frankfort residents will have 450 new jobs and its largest grocery store when Mariano’s Fresh Foods opens, as expected, early next month.
The 74,000-square-foot store, owned by the Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Corp., “will be something unique and special,” village planner Jeff Cook said. “It’s a great fit for Frankfort.”
The upscale grocery, which was built on the former site of Enrico’s Italian Restaurant in the 21000 block of South LaGrange Road, will include an Italian coffee shop, sushi bar, bakery, a wood-fired pizza oven, prepared foods and a full-service pharmacy.
The creation of new jobs in this area will be “significant,” Mayor Jim Holland said.
The store is now hiring for some full- and mostly part-time positions, with applications available at www.marianos.com, Roundy’s spokeswoman Vivian King said.
The store will be open seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Cook said.
All the outside work is finished and crews are wrapping up on the inside. The store is expected to open the first week of March.
Meanwhile, Enrico’s still is searching for a new location in Frankfort, Cook said.
The village is looking forward to more economic development this year when the widening of U.S. 30 is complete, Holland said.
Crews will install landscaping in the median and along the curbs as well as a bike trail from Harlem to Wolf Road.
To accommodate Mariano’s and future development, the village installed a new road on the north side of the store, which will extend east to Pfeiffer Road to open up the area east of Mariano’s, and east of LaGrange Road, the mayor said.
“We hope to see activity there in the near future,” Holland said.
Silver Cross Hospital previously proposed an urgent care center and other developers proposed a shopping center on the vacant land on U.S. 30 east of LaGrange.
“We would love to see them come back,” he said.
Riverside Hospital also is considering an urgent care center at LaGrange and Steger roads. It has not yet made a proposal to the village, but is seeking a certificate of need from the state, Holland said. Frankfort currently does not have a 24-hour medical facility.
To entice industrial development, village officials may offer economic incentives. The village board will consider a proposal in February, the mayor said.
To further improve Frankfort’s downtown area, the stage at Breidert Green may be rebuilt this year to enhance visibility and sound, making it more audience friendly and more appropriate for a variety of performances, Holland said.