Dominick's out by Dec. 28, Mariano's analyzing market

Village officials notified locations closing by year's end

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Regardless of when a sale goes through, Dominick's will be closing its doors by Dec. 28, which includes the Oak Park and River Forest locations.

Oak Park Business Services Manager Loretta Daly confirmed the village received notice via letter of the Dec. 28 closing date. Conversations have been held prior to that announcement about interested companies looking to possibly move into the space, but Daly said she has not heard about any specific offers. Because negotiations are private, Daly said the village is not currently involved in formal discussions.

When the initial news broke last month about Dominick's closing, Daly said there have been conversations with groups that have shown interest in bringing another grocery store to the Lake Street location.

While the fate of the two area stores remain unknown, an announcement made Thursday by Bob Mariano, CEO of parent company Roundy's, indicated that Mariano's is reviewing locations in the Chicago area. Mariano gave a report about the company's third quarter earnings Thursday.

"We are reviewing those stores and are in the process of determining which stores could fit our strategic plan for Chicago, based on our existing network of stores and our current expansion plans for Mariano's," Mariano said, according to a statement provided by the company's corporate communications office.

"We are also analyzing what that could mean from a capital requirements perspective.  The review is ongoing both internally and with our financial advisors, and if and when we have more to say on this, we will communicate accordingly at that time."

The Oak Park store at 259 Lake St. has been in business since the late 1980s and replaced a large and obsolete bus barn operated by West Towns Bus Company. Dominick's owns the Oak Park property.

The River Forest Dominick's, 7501 North Ave., is among the chain's oldest and smallest locations. Situated on North Avenue it has been the subject of rumored closings for many years though the Journal reported in January 2012 that a five-year lease extension had just been signed.

Four of the 68 Dominick's have been sold to Jewel and the future of the Oak Park and River Forest locations are unknown. Either way, according to multiple media reports, employees could be without a job comes Dec. 28 if a deal with another company doesn't come through. Dominick's employees also recently received notice by letter. 

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C Stewart  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 6:56 PM

Please no Moo and Oink. That's the last thing that Oak Park needs to attract the west side of Chicago. It's bad enough with all the wig/braid/nail places that take up all of Madison. The east side of Oak Park is starting to look just as bad as the east side of Austin. Nothing upscale about that.

dystOPia from OP  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 6:06 PM

According to the Lake St. Neighborhood Plan (SCB, 2007), in 2005 there were 4026 households with a population of 8789 within a half-mile of Dominick's. Total retail expenditures were $100,315,428, and $16,677,794 for grocery stores. The report stated Aldi's had announced plans to double the size of its store, and after improvements in 2007, Dominick's was willing to consider opportunities in 5 years to redevelop the store into a larger 4.5 acre site redevelopment project. What is going on?

Marty Bracco from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 5:28 PM

Crain's also reporting that Whole Foods is acquiring 7 other Dominick's stores, OP & RF not included among them either. I wouldn't compare Mariano's to KK. The CEO is former Dominicks exec, and they are indeed growing, but rather prudently. The fact they aren't including the Lake St. store is now a major concern. It's hard to see how 31st & Wolf Road is a better demographic, but I don't do that for a living.

dystOPia from OP  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 5:27 PM

Now Crain's reports that "Whole Foods Market Inc. has zeroed in on seven Dominick's stores in the Chicago market, according to sources, who caution that the deals still could fall through as negotiations finish up." None of the seven are OP or RF sites.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 5:02 PM

One commenter on the Chicago Tribune's Facebook page compared Mariano's to Krispy Creme (meaning expanding too much, too quickly, and then going out of business). I haven't studied Mariano's financials, so I don't know. But that (stability) is something to keep in mind when thinking about what businesses, on those kinds of parcels, would be good for Oak Park.

dystOPia from OP  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 4:23 PM

Crain's just reported that "Mariano's Fresh Market is paying $36 million in cash to Safeway Inc. to take over 11 local Dominick's grocery stores", which does not include the Oak Park or River Forest sites. Very disappointing, esp. for the Ridgeland neighborhood. Wonder why the Lake St. site did not make the cut.

OP resident from Oak Park  

Posted: November 13th, 2013 10:14 AM

I sent Mariano's a note yesterday...and received a response back..., if folks are interested:or want to reach out as well: On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 8:34 AM, wrote: Thank you for taking the time to contact us. The Dominick's announcement certainly gives us a lot to think about. As always, we will analyze all opportunities that are in the best interest of the company. Thanks for bringing the Oak Park store to my attention. Sincerely, Max Dickman, Real Estate Deve

OP Resident #649 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 11th, 2013 9:51 PM

@Theresa Broderick - I'm with you, but only if they can draw another wig shop to take over the old Jewel. Oh wait, the old Jewel is big enough for a strip club. Snap! Maybe the Admiral can expand into the 'burbs.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 11th, 2013 6:54 PM

I think a Tony's would be good here. Caputo's has gotten to be really expensive and we sure could use a grocery store that does lots of business to help with our taxes.

theresa broderick from oak park  

Posted: November 11th, 2013 6:30 PM

I think they should close the Jewel on Madison which is small and out of date...and move it to the place where Dominic's is. For those of you who think that we don't need another grocery store on this side of town, must not live on this side of town, There are a lot of people who can't afford to shop at wf or trader joes we need a store that will accommodate everyone from limited income to the ones with money. I agree Moo and Oink would go good there or maybe caputo's

Chris Carrier  

Posted: November 11th, 2013 3:41 PM

I have to agree that a staple grocery chain is best, especially since it serves near west Chicago. I'm happy to have TJs and WF within five minutes. Sometimes, you need a place to buy name brand/generic cleaning products along with the pharmacy. Those near and south of Madison have Jewel, CVS, Walgreens (not to mention what's near Roosevelt). In Northern OP, it's a dead zone.

Liberal Gun Enthusiast from Oak Park  

Posted: November 11th, 2013 1:45 PM

It would make a great spot for an indoor gun range.

To Swimmer without a pool  

Posted: November 11th, 2013 12:25 PM

Forget going in with OPRF. The PDOP should by that space. Indoor pool, multi level, multi use facility ie. indoor basketball, volleyball etc. Excellent idea!

Judy Lichten from Oak Park  

Posted: November 11th, 2013 12:06 PM

Wisconsin's "Woodman's" grocery opened a little west of North Aurora (off 88 at Orchard Rd). Prices are good, and there are a lot of local and Wisconsin products, organic produce, meats chicken & dairy, natural foods, international foods...a wide range. Would be something unique to Oak Park area.

Lynn from Oak Park  

Posted: November 10th, 2013 6:46 PM

There is a Meijer in Berwyn and Melrose Par, so that is out I think Mariano's would be a perfect fit for Oak Park!

Violet Aura  

Posted: November 10th, 2013 6:00 PM

@East Side: Named after your family members, no doubt...

East side resident from Oak Park  

Posted: November 10th, 2013 4:49 PM

The word on the street is that Moo & Oink, is set to reopen. A Moo & Oink Store on Lake Street would vitalize the entire district! Moo & Oink offered quality food products at a fair price. Let us all lobby Village Hall to help us get an Oak Park Moo & Oink.

James from Oak Park  

Posted: November 10th, 2013 4:31 PM

Great spot for a new police station

A Swimmer Without a Pool from Oak Park  

Posted: November 10th, 2013 7:48 AM

Do we really need another grocery store? I think OPRF should buy the location, join forces with the Park District and together build this town an indoor pool that the entire community could use. The location is perfect!

Karen Walsh from Oak Park  

Posted: November 9th, 2013 11:00 PM

Caputo's is good! Mariano's too. But with all of that Free Parking Space, is there enough room to add more retail on the south side of the lot?

Violet Aura  

Posted: November 9th, 2013 11:12 AM

What we REALLY need is a Caputo's type of large ethnic produce market! Jewel and WF's don't have the variety that Caputo's does, nor the deals. Why can't OP have a blasted produce market?!


Posted: November 9th, 2013 6:38 AM

Thoughts and prayers go out to employees who are baring the brunt of poor strategy and management decsions.

Brett from OP  

Posted: November 9th, 2013 6:11 AM

I think they should put a "Nappy's" in there to compliment the anchor tenant Sleepy's mattress store

dude man  

Posted: November 9th, 2013 12:11 AM

Mariano's would be a great edition to the east side of Oak Park. It would provide more competition to whole foods, and I for one would be spending a lot less money at whole foods if Mariano's opened on my side of town. Plus, people on the east side would be able to access an up market store easier without a car.

donna suriano from oak park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 8:33 PM

What we need is a Caputos. There are no real fruits and vegetables stores left in Oak Park, Caputio's is very competitive now in organics still does great bulk in fresh herbs. Sorry, does anyone remember the days when you went to Whole Foods and were able to buy bulk basil and lettuces? Great homemade deli, daily specials from the hot items at the entrance, and the center of the store has a great ethnic selection and not playing the high low pricing game that Mariano's is, Caputo's rocks

Reggie Johnson  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 7:37 PM

That would be a great location for a Sleepy's.


Posted: November 8th, 2013 7:17 PM

The "east central end is more upscale?" How about the east side is more upscale than people think. Central has nothing to do with. I bet you never shopped at the Dominicks, too low-brow for you.

Elizabeth Hiltscher from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 6:06 PM

What a wonderful thing it would be to have a Mariano's in that location! That location is GOLD! And the footprint is large enough to support such a place. Like Whole Foods, an attractive, upscale grocery attracts residents from all of the surrounding neighborhoods. (ALL neighborhoods.) The east side of Oak Park would richly benefit from such an investment. You want to bring more business to Oak Park, add a Mariano's-type grocery. There are plenty of everyday ho-hum groceries all over the place.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 5:03 PM

Writing an email of encouragement to Mariano's is an excellent thought, Dan. I'd be ecstatic if a Mariano's moved in a few blocks from me.

Daniel Seltzer from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 3:50 PM

I recommend that everyone send an email to Mariano's ( and let them know we would shop at Mariano's if they open here.


Posted: November 8th, 2013 3:50 PM

They could replace that River Forest Dominicks with a toilet bowl and it would be an improvement.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 2:45 PM

As a neighbor of the Dominick's, I'd be perfectly happy with a Mariano's in this location. Their prices for staple items is competitive, food is always fresh, stores always well kept. The east central end of town is more upscale than folks realize, not that it matters. It would also raise the bar for the lousy Jewel on Madison St. That store is awful.

Oakparker from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 2:44 PM

A Marianos or Caputos would be great for the area.


Posted: November 8th, 2013 2:34 PM

Know it wont happen but would love if a Meijers went in, hate driving to Melrose park

Pamela from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 2:33 PM

Mariano's is a nice upscale store but, we have Whole Food and Trader Joe's. We need another grocery like Dominicks or Jewel with staple items and more price friendly than an upscale market. The east side of Oak Park has a need for such a store.

OP Resident #642 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 1:54 PM

I would love to see Mariano's come to Oak Park!

Da Bears  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 1:49 PM

Dey should put a Jewels dere.


Posted: November 8th, 2013 1:05 PM

If you haven't shopped at Mariano's, then you're missing out. Best grocery store hands down!

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