The grocery chain that some Evanston residents have dreamed of having in town for years finally arrives with a grand opening ceremony Friday.
The Hawaiian-themed store will hold a ceremonial “lei-cutting” with city officials at 8 a.m.
The 13,000 square foot store at 1211 Chicago Ave. will offer face painting for the kids, music, giveaways and food demonstrations on its opening day.
The decor at the store, which will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, features several hand-painted murals that pay homage to local landmarks including the Charles Gates Dawes House, Dempster Street Beach, Northwestern University’s campus and the Gross Point lighthouse.
Until now the nearest outposts of the chain were in Glenview and Chicago.
The city spent $2 million to acquire properties north of the store site to become a parking area for the new store. The project generally drew applause from nearby residents and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz has estimated that the store will generate a net increase of $500,000 a year in sales and liquor tax revenue for the city.
The new store is on the same block as Jewel and Whole Foods markets — and all Evanston supermarkets are expected to face new competition from a Mariano’s Fresh Market planned for a site just across the border in Skokie.