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The Chicago Tribune reports that Cleveland Avenue, a venture capital firm launched by Don Thompson, the former McDonald's CEO, has put $15 million behind Dom's Market and Kitchen, a new food hall format that is the brainchild of Bob Mariano, the former Dominick's and Roundy's CEO who launched the Mariano's chain before selling it to Kroger.

The first Dom's is expected to open in late spring, on N. Halsted Street, about a mile south of Wrigley Field.

Eater Chicago has described Dom's as a much-anticipated opening of a format that will combine elements of a restaurant with a gourmet grocery store, featuring "food hall-style counters serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner from all over the world."

Also involved in the business - which now has raised more than $25 million - are Jay Owen, a grandson of Dominick’s founder Dominick DiMatteo, and Don Fitzgerald, former senior executive with Dominick’s, Roundy’s and Mariano’s.

KC's View:

There are two reasons to be excited about the Dom's opening.

First, it has been my conviction that one result of the pandemic's impact on the restaurant business would be a growth of food hall concepts, especially those driven by people from the traditional restaurant business.  The pandemic laid bare the degree to which they were vulnerable to economic shifts, and a smartly developed food hall has the ability to spread the bets around a little bit.

Second, it is from Bob Mariano and his team - and their track record is pretty damned strong.