Bob Mariano, a 2015 Market Watch Leader and founder of the Mariano’s grocery chain, is returning to the retail game. Dubbed Dom’s Kitchen & Market, the new store is slated to open in June in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The 18,000-square-foot space will feature a centrally located dining area with food stations serving prepared fare, along with fresh produce, meats, baked goods and other grocery items.
Mariano—who retired from his namesake grocery chain in 2016 after parent company Roundy’s merged with The Kroger Co. the year before—is partnering with Jay Owen, a great-grandson of Dominick’s founder Dominick DiMatteo, and Don Fitzgerald, a former executive at Dominick’s, Roundy’s and Mariano’s. The new concept aims to create a quick and easy shopping experience in a more intimate environment than the average supermarket. Mariano says consumers are ordering paper goods and cleaning supplies online, so there’s less of a need to purchase these items at the grocery store.
“More people over time will get the basics online, and so that business in terms of brick-and-mortar retail will decline over time,” Mariano told the Chicago Tribune.
Catering to convenience in a post-pandemic retail landscape, Dom’s Kitchen & Market will offer a mobile app, and curbside pickup will be available from the very beginning. Mariano also hopes the store will become a neighborhood gathering place for customers. The grocery executive envisions eventually expanding Dom’s Kitchen & Market to roughly two dozen locations throughout Chicago and then possibly to other cities.