Live Piano Player in Mariano’s
Jewel’s not the only one with the 10 for $10 deal!
Time for a Luau
When Dallas and I lived in Roscoe Village there were two supermarkets across the street from each other on Western at Roscoe: Dominick’s and Jewel. No one went to the Dominick’s because it was so old and dumpy. The Jewel was the clear winner in this contest. When we moved to Logan Square, we still went to the Jewel often, since it was still close.
Fast forward to the fall of 2011. The Dominick’s had closed and a new supermarket was set to open. The anticipation was palpable. And Jewel was kind of scared. They redid their parking lot, they fancied up the store by adding things like an olive bar. They rearranged everything, which was frustrating after years of the same layout.
Mariano’s Fresh Market, the new supermarket, opened with much fanfare. Everyone I knew was going to check it out. Hey, kids, this is how you know you’re old. All of your friends are talking about the new supermarket! Much of the packaged food, refrigerator, and freezer sections are the same as you would find in a Jewel or Dominick’s. But the stars of the market are the bakery, cheese, deli, liquor, and prepared food areas. The produce is good as well. It reminds me of a hybrid between something like Whole Foods and Jewel. With pretty reasonable prices. And the many free samples you’d find at a more high-end store.
Everything in Mariano’s is so bright and new. I get bored really fast with going to the same supermarket over and over and I found Mariano’s to be really refreshing. It has quickly become our favored place to grocery shop.
The store brand at Mariano’s is Roundy’s, which is based out of Milwaukee. I’m familiar with this brand because it is the store brand at some of the supermarkets in Wisconsin that I used to shop at. I’ve been getting the discounted Roundy’s products a lot at Mariano’s and have been happy with them all so far.
Everyone I’ve talked to so far aside from 2 people (Loden! Guy at work!) have all had good things to say about Mariano’s. I ran into a different coworker in the parking lot one day and he lives clear across town. Is it becoming a destination? Maybe he was just checking it out to see.. Another day I was in the kitchen in my office and someone commented on my Mariano’s bag in the fridge, which held my lunch. This coworker lives in Roscoe Village and was saying how much he loved the new supermarket.
The live piano player is a little over the top and unnecessary, but he’s positioned in spot that is out of the way, so live piano music? Ok, I’ll listen to it. It’s not hurting anything. Also, the areas I listed above as being the standouts of the store: cheese, deli, bakery, prepared foods, can get packed sometimes, but so far it’s been worth it. Dallas went to Mariano’s one weekday to avoid crowds and guess what? It was packed. Seems the Lane Tech students are now going to Mariano’s on their breaks to eat the sandwiches, pizza, sushi and salad bar food that is available.
If I could change one thing about the store it would be the parking lot. It’s horrible. The parking spots are not at an angle and they’re very tight. You can’t pull in without backing up and pulling in again to get the right angle. Also, the cart return areas are not always convenient, forcing you to walk clear up and back down aisles to return carts. Sometimes it’s easier just to take them back up to the store. Which is frustrating, especially for those cars who are waiting to take your parking spot.
Overall, though, we’re happy with this new store. I still go to the Jewel sometimes. It’s empty now, so it’s easy to run in and out. I wonder if there are die-hard Jewel shoppers over there. I can guarantee there weren’t that many die-hard Dominick’s at the old store. That Jewel has not has any real competition in Roscoe Village for years!
On Friday my office moved to Randolph east of Michigan and there’s a Mariano’s in the building next to the building we’re moving to. Maybe I’ll turn into one of those Lane Tech Students and start taking my lunch in the Mariano’s prepared food stations!
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