As much as the boom of restaurants on 7th Street reflects the rising fortunes of Downtown, nothing quite offers a window into the future like acceptance from a supermarket chain and these days, more than a few are interested in the neighborhood. Following recent news that Target would come to Fig and 7th in 2012, L.A. Downtown News reports that Rio Ranch Market is constructing a 24/7 branch at Grand Plaza on a well-trodden corner of Cesar Chavez. The 35,000-square-foot store will open in the second quarter of 2011 and never, ever, EVER close. Not only that, but this first L.A. location of Rio Ranch thinks it can do it better than the big guys.
The Riverside-based company is veering from its usual hyper-focus on Latino clientele and in a possible challenge to Whole Foods, Ralph's, and Trader Joe's, company CEO Jay McCormack offers that it will, "be an international marketplace serving all ethnic groups...We think we’ll be able do it better than most chain stores." Oh, snap! Did you just hear that, Joe's?
Rio Ranch will also have an in-store cafe and a built-in audience, with seniors living in the building that houses it, Chinatown residents nearby, and a high school within walking distance. Despite a scattering of smaller markets geared towards regional ingredients, this will be the only supermarket in the neighborhood. Think Rio Ranch can take out Ralph's and Target in this new battle-ground? Let us know in our comments.
New Supermarket Coming to Downtown [L.A. Downtown News]