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Wheaton

Mariano's cafe in Wheaton cleared to serve alcohol

WHEATON – When the new Mariano's in Wheaton opens this fall at the corner of Naperville and Roosevelt roads, it will offer a little bit more than typical groceries, thanks in part to a pair of amended City Council ordinances.

The store, which opens in late October, will have a cafe serving alcohol, including wine flights, prosecco cocktails and beer, according to a menu distributed at the Aug. 19 Wheaton City Council meeting.

To accommodate the cafe, the council amended its Class E License for supermarkets to allow for grocery cafes to serve alcohol. The council then passed an ordinance to allow Mariano's to obtain a liquor license.

The store offered a written description of the importance of alcohol sales as an "integral part of the shopping experience." Mariano's intends to function as a full meal destination instead of a place for shoppers to buy groceries.

The description also said that customers may choose to have a glass of wine while they shop and that there will be a certain amount of alcohol sampling.

Wheaton Mayor Michael Gresk said that Mariano's would fill a void in the city, which has been without a grocer downtown since Jewel Osco closed in February 2008.

"People will come to Wheaton now that never had a reason to," he said. "It's a destination store. And the sales tax revenue will be quite a boon for us."

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