Bob Mariano returns to Des Plaines to break ground on store
At age 17, Bob Mariano spent Saturdays, Sundays and evenings slicing deli meats at a Dominick's store in Des Plaines.
Now Mariano is building the 41st store of the growing grocery store chain that bears his last name about a mile away.
The Chicago native joined Des Plaines officials at a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday, marking the start of construction of a new store on the northeast corner of Golf and Mount Prospect roads.
Mariano was driving past the vacant bus company site two years ago when he thought it would be a good location for a store.
"We're always looking where we can get into where we aren't," said Mariano, sporting a white shirt and black tie, much like his grocery store employees. "That's the way you find out. You can look at maps only so much. You gotta get out and see the neighborhood."
Despite its sale to Kroger Co., Mariano's stores will remain "Mariano's in every way, shape and form," he said, taking the "best of both."
Mariano lauded the intergovernmental cooperation of the city, park district, county and state to make the $24 million project happen. The park district is giving Mariano's developer an easement for a driveway leading to the store's parking lot, in exchange for $670,000 in upgrades to neighboring Blackhawk Park.
Construction crews have been on site for the last week clearing trees and now plan to do a mass grading before building the store.
The opening is planned for the first quarter of 2017.