Starbucks, burgers, subs among novel features at new Mariano's in Lombard

 
 
Updated 8/22/2017 9:27 AM
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  • Mariano's will open a 71,066-square-foot store in Lombard Tuesday.

      Mariano's will open a 71,066-square-foot store in Lombard Tuesday. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

A Mariano's opening Tuesday morning in Lombard will serve as a testing ground for the chain's first in-store Starbucks and other new offerings.

Coffee drinkers can sip their java in between aisles stocked with the grocer's popular staples and more made-to-order choices in the 71,066-square-foot store at Roosevelt and Finley roads.

And while customers will see those additions when the doors open at 6 a.m., the Lombard Mariano's in the next few months will join a select number of suburban stores with online shopping services.

"What you'll notice in this store that's different from other stores is that we have a really good selection of grab 'n' go and convenience items," said Amanda Puck, Mariano's director of strategic brand development.

Behind one counter, for instance, shoppers can pick pre-made foot-long subs or build their own from a menu of meats, cheeses and sauces -- a new concept for the chain.

The new Mariano's also will launch the chain's second burger bar. The first debuted in a store in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.

More familiar to Mariano's regulars are aisles devoted to global cuisine and a beverage department where customers can fill their own six-pack with bottles of craft beer from Noon Whistle Brewing in Lombard, Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville and other local producers.

"We're really about a sense of discovery and experience," Puck said during a tour Monday ahead of the unveiling.

But Mariano's also is looking past that in-person experience as grocery stores cater to online shoppers. Lombard customers will soon be able to place orders for pickup through the Mariano's website or the ClickList app. Store employees then will choose and bag the items.

"Our shoppers are personal shoppers," Puck said. "They're staffed by Mariano's, trained by Mariano's, and they are Mariano's team members doing it like they would do their own shopping."

Last summer, the village, Glenbard High School District 87 and Lombard Elementary District 44 approved an economic incentive agreement with Bradford Real Estate, a Chicago-based firm that redeveloped the prominent site. The deal will provide up to $3 million.

Bradford didn't receive the money upfront but will recoup a portion of the property, sales, and food and beverage taxes generated by the Mariano's.

The project tore down a former Kmart that closed in 2013 to make for the 43rd Mariano's store since the chain launched in Arlington Heights in 2010.

A new Mariano's also is expected to open in Bannockburn later this year.

The new store's hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

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