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New Mariano’s Fresh Store To Open On Onetime Riverview Site

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Riverview

Aladdin’s Castle at Riverview Park, located at Western and Belmont aveues from 1904 to 1967. (Credit: Chuck Wlodarczyk)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mariano’s, the local concept for the Roundy’s supermarket chain will soon make its debut in the city, on the site where past generations enjoyed roller coaster rides and sideshows.

Mariano’s Fresh Market will anchor the redevelopment of the Riverview Plaza shopping center at Western Avenue and Roscoe Street, on the onetime site of the Riverview amusement park.

Construction and renovation work is now underway at the 140,460 square-foot shopping center in the Roscoe Village neighborhood, of which Mariano’s will soon claim nearly 52,000 square feet.

The store, set to open late this summer, will feature a selection of regular and specialty foods, including bagels, imported cheeses, and butcher cuts of meat, along with an Italian coffee and gelato shop, a wood-fired pizza oven, a sit-down sushi bar and a pharmacy.

It will open in the place of a Dominick’s grocery store in the shopping center, which closed late last year.

Meanwhile, the redevelopment now underway will include a new exterior façade and architectural components for the shopping center, new parking lots and walkways, and new lighting, landscaping and signs, according to shopping center owner Regency Centers Corporation.

A number of green features, including energy-efficient lighting, underground storm water retention and a green roof covered with plants are also part of the project.

The shopping center also includes a Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us store that was remodeled last year, and other retailers including a Quizno’s sub shop, a Radio Shack, a Payless Shoe store, a GNC and a Walgreens. It is 93 percent leased, Regency Centers said.

It sits on a portion of the former site of the fabled Riverview amusement park, which entertained generations of Chicagoans with such attractions as the Pair-O-Chutes Tower, the Bobs roller coaster and a notorious freak show, from 1904 to 1967.

Riverview Plaza opened on the site in 1981. The Jewel store just to the north, the DeVry University campus, the Belmont District and Area police station, and Richard Clark Park also occupy the former Riverview site.

Mariano’s parent company Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc. has expanded far beyond its original base of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Last month, the store said it would hire 900 people for its two new city stores – the Riverview Plaza store and another one at 333 E. Benton Pl. in the Lakeshore East district north of Millennium Park.

Mariano’s opened its first location at 802 E. Northwest Highway in Arlington Heights last year. A store is also set to open in Vernon Hills.

The chairman of Roundy’s, Robert Mariano, previously served as chief executive officer of Dominick’s.

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