A big crowd of shoppers turned out for the opening of Evanston’s third Whole Foods Market this morning on Green Bay Road.

The store replaces the former Dominick’s market on the site, but Alderman Jane Grover, whose 7th Ward includes the store, said, “It’s nothing like it was before.”

Part of the crowd waiting for the store’s 9 a.m. opening.

Some customers had to walk for blocks to park, the store lot was jammed and the market was offering valet parking during the grand opening event.

Store Team Leader Dan Gordon said the Green Bay Road site is the first Whole Foods in Evanston to have a beer and wine bar.

The bar features 20 draft beers, including an Evanston Pale Ale from Beygle Brewing Company and a Brio Pale Ale from Evanston-based Sketchbook Brewing Company.

The bar will also offer fresh-cut pastas, specialty cheeses and grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the beer and wine.

It’s the 25th Whole Foods store in the Chicago region and is the first in the area to offer fried shrimp, calamari and walleye fingers at its seafood bar.

The chain, which emphasizes so-called natural foods, also will make charitable donations on five days of one percent of each of day’s net sales to one of five local organizations — the Evanston Public Library, The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, the Evanston Animal Shelter, the Wilmette Park District and the Winnetka Community House.

Combined with the opening last week of the Valli Produce supermarket in the Dempster Plaza shopping center, the Whole Foods opening completes the process of replacing the two Dominick’s that closed here a year-and-a-half ago when Safeway shuttered the Dominick’s chain.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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