OPA! Mariano’s invading Greektown

Shoppers who enjoy a great experience at grocery stores and finding international products can look forward to new expansion of Mariano’s in Greektown.  In a recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Bob Mariano, owner of the Mariano grocery chain, unveiled a new plan to open up the new store in the Halsted area.  The plan would be to open up the 71,132 sq. ft. store at 40 S. Halsted that would include a walk in beer cooler, where customers could make their own craft beer 6-pack, a classroom kitchen, a gelato cafe with bar included, energy efficient water and electrical systems and a parking lot that could fit 150 spaces.  Opening up such a store could create as close to 450 jobs.

In the state the economy is in, I think opening up the store can have both good and bad effects.  The upside would be the creation of jobs and added attention to an already diminishing Greektown area.  It could put that area on the map for diversifying it’s client base and adding more revenue and attention to surrounding businesses.  The downsides include, taking business away from the small specialty shops that have been in the area for years.  Along with that, Greektown has gotten smaller by the years.  With people not having money to spend on local businesses, this area will just be known as one that once housed the greatest Chicago Greek community.

A few questions to think about.  Do you shop at Mariano’s?  What effects do you think it will have on the overall economy?  Should Mariano’s choose a different area and leave Greektown alone?  How could this store be beneficial/disastrous for Greektown?