“There’s a lot to like about that neighborhood,” Owen said. “The number of apartments that are being built there is very attractive to us. . . .With that increased population, there’s going to be a need for what we do.”
Opening date likely won’t be until 2024, depending on the building’s construction, Owen said. The entrance will be on Lake Street. Developer Fulton Market Cos. expects the building will be complete in the second quarter of 2024, with Dom’s getting access before the building is complete.
Dom’s will join Gibsons Restaurant Group on the first floor of the soon-to-be-constructed building. Alex Najem, co-founder of real estate developer Fulton Street Cos., said Gibsons is also close to signing a lease in the building and will likely open a restaurant with a bar-and-grill vibe.
Construction is set to begin on the 11-story building early next year, Najem said. It is a mix of new construction and an existing loft building. Fulton Street Cos. plans to connect the two structures, to house a mix of retailers and office space. Investment management firm Harrison Street is also close to signing a lease for 150,000 square feet of office space, Najem said. That leaves about 200,000 square feet of office space left to lease.
When Dom’s opens, it’ll be one of the first grocery stores in the Fulton Market District, though there is a Whole Foods Market and Mariano’s several blocks south and closer to the freeway. There are also two Foxtrot locations nearby, which could provide some competition.
In addition to grocery customers, Owen said he expects the location to attract a robust lunch crowd. Dom’s sells prepared food and has dine-in options for those customers, in addition to its grocery offerings. The company also partnered with Au Cheval founder Brendan Sodikoff earlier this year, and plans to work with him on a concept that would go into the Fulton Market location, Owen said.
“It would be something that would serve three day parts, kind of an all-day type of eating and drinking venue,” he said.
Dom’s was founded by a team that collectively has decades of experience in the grocery world. Mariano founded the namesake grocery chain, and Owen is the great-grandson of the founder of now-defunct Dominick’s. There’s also co-CEO Don Fitzgerald, a former senior executive at Dominick’s.
Dom’s opened its first store at 2730 N. Halsted St. in June 2021, and its second is set to open in November in Old Town. The goal with the stores is to create an experience around shopping for a meal, whether that meal is already prepared or the customer plans to cook it at home. At the Lincoln Park location, for example, there are show kitchens that sell made-to-order pizzas, a coffee shop, a place where customers can design their own flower bouquets and more.
The group is on track to open 15 locations by 2025. The co-founders have said that their focus is on Chicago, but they are also looking at locations in suburbs such as Oak Park.
To fuel growth, Dom’s has raised about $40 million from big-name investors—including firms launched by former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson and former Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson. It plans to raise more.