DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It took $10 million to take a building closed since 1991 and turn it into a jewel in downtown. A ribbon cutting was held Wednesday for the new downtown
The store, which will employ about 80 people, is located on the corner of East 9
Street and Euclid, inside the Cleveland Trust Building.
"It's just gorgeous. It's great. Downtown needed this," said one customer.
"It's vibrant and it's alive," said another smiling customer.
The Heinen brothers, Jeff and Tom, say it's more than a grocery store. They call it a destination. Sure, there are traditional aisles with food, but in the breathtaking rotunda, complete with a Tiffany-esk glass ceiling, it's so much more.
Fresh meat and seafood cases, soup and salad bar, sushi and poke bar, prepared food and carving station for the lunch crowds. Upstairs, it's all about the after-work crowd with eight beers on tap and 40 self-serve wines. Insert your prepaid card, choose a taste or a full glass, and out it comes from a space-age looking contraption. In total, there are 500 different beers and 1,600 wines.
"But truthfully, every day, the way this store is designed, it can be a destination for people to come and gather, linger, really enjoy the beautiful space we have, but also, all the great food we have," boasts Tom Heinen.
The Heinens make no qualms about perhaps the only negative: the parking. They will validate 90 minutes of parking at the 740 Euclid Lot and garage, if you spend $50 inside the store. Use those options, and you'll want to also use curbside pick-up. But then again, this store isn't for people driving in from the burbs.
"This is a store that was built for the people who live and work here. And they're going to walk here. They can take the green line," says Jeff Heinen.
According to the brothers, they have taken two risks with this store. First, they've never attempted anything like this anywhere in their chain of
stores. Second, it's a numbers game. Jeff says it's common knowledge in his industry you need 20,000 residents living in the area to be a successful grocery store. Although downtown is booming, it isn't quite there at 13,000 residents and counting.
"We know it's going to be a long road, but it was an opportunity to continue the momentum that's happening in Cleveland, and we thought that was worth the risk," Jeff says.