- Kroger's new store in downtown Cincinnati, called "Kroger on the Rhine," is set to open Sept. 25 across from the company's headquarters, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.
- The two-level store, which is the first downtown location that Kroger has opened in roughly 50 years, spans 45,000 square feet, while a typical Kroger supermarket is about 100,000 square feet.
- Kroger on the Rhine will feature a 100-seat food hall with five in-store restaurants, including Kroger’s Kitchen 1883, Eli’s BBQ, Dope Asian Street Fare, Django Western Taco and Queen City Whip. The store also features a Murray's Cheese Bar and a Starbucks.
Kroger on the Rhine is intended to be more than a grocery store. The company sees it as a gathering place for people who work and live in the community to dine, socialize and shop. With its design centered around the large food hall and multiple eateries, the downtown location could be a dining destination unto itself.
For the grocery shopper, the new store will emphasize both fresh and prepared foods. A spokesperson for Kroger told Grocery Dive that "ultra-fresh" produce will be a key feature of the new store, with a produce department that is particularly large for a store of its size. Additionally, a variety of meal kits and grab-and-go options will be available for shoppers who live and work in the area.
Kroger on the Rhine will bear similarities to the company's more urban stores that operate in Chicago under the Mariano’s banner, the Cincinnati Business Courier reported. It will fill the first two floors of a $90 million, 18-story mixed-use building that will also house 139 luxury apartments.
As other retailers like Giant and Aldi have opened a variety of new store formats and remodeled existing locations, Kroger has stayed true to its traditional physical footprint, but not for a lack of effort. Kroger on the Rhine has been years in the making for the grocer. While construction began two years ago, the city of Cincinnati and Kroger have been trying to place an urban format store downtown for more than a decade.
Kroger's existing location in downtown Cincinnati, an 11,000-square foot space that opened in 1961 and is located five blocks from the new store, will be shut down and demolished once Kroger on the Rhine opens. Its 60 employees will be transferred to the new store.