Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Retailer plans downtown grocery store and restaurant

May 9, 2017
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Russo's International Market wine tasting
Customers gather to sample wine at Russo's International Market. Photo via fb.com

A long-time retailer in town is planning to open a new grocery store and restaurant downtown.

Grand Rapids-based Russo’s International Market, formerly G.B. Russo & Son, said today it plans to open a 4,500-square-foot location with a restaurant in Grand Rapids, at 241 Fulton St. W.

The location was previously home to Bagger Dave’s, which closed in January.

Kelley Russo, a fourth-generation member of the Russo family and head of the marketing department, said she expects the location to open by the end of August and employ up to 30 people there.

Russo’s operates an 18,000-square-foot store at 2770 29th St. SE, where it offers a wide selection of wine and beer, private-label items, Michigan- and Grand Rapids-made products and a European deli.

It also offers catering, grocery delivery, alcohol delivery, custom corporate gifts and in-store educational events, including beverage tastings.

Russo said the downtown location will offer all of the same services of its 29th Street store “and then some,” as well as many of the products customers have come to enjoy.

“It’s a smaller store, but will have the best of each selection,” Russo said.

Some of the new offerings will include a dine-in and to-go menu, curbside pickup, fresh produce, a coffee and espresso bar and a gelato bar.

The second location will also feature a “60-seat indoor and a 40-seat outdoor restaurant.”

Russo said the restaurant will offer a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, featuring gourmet Italian items. She said the 29th Street location recently introduced a lunch menu, which has been a big hit with customers, with some of them visiting multiple times a week for lunch.

Russo expects the restaurant to be “great for the downtown business crowd.”

The store will also offer items tailored to travelers staying at downtown hotels, such as personal care items, and to downtown workers who need to grab items on their way home, such as milk, toiletries and other staple products.

Russo said she hopes the new location will help fill a need downtown.

“There isn’t a grocery store within walking distance of the residents,” she said.

The downtown location will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., pending approval by the city.

Founded in 1905, the family owned Russo’s International Market was originally named G.B. Russo Importer after its founder, Giovanni Battista. It later became G.B. Russo & Son and earlier this year, was rebranded as Russo’s International Market.

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