Inside Kroger’s New Downtown Grocery Concept and Eatery

An urban grocery store and food hall, Kroger on the Rhine meets the convenience needs of downtown and OTR shoppers.

Photograph by Zachary Ghaderi

After nearly half a century, Cincinnati’s central business district can now officially say it’s home to a full-service grocery store. Not a deli, not a market, but the whole kit and caboodle, complete with dining options and a coffee walk-up window.

The new Kroger store anchors an 18-story residential high rise called 1010 On The Rhine and a six-story parking garage just a block from the downtown Kroger corporate office building and centrally located for West End, Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton, and Central Business District customers. Just looking at the building’s futuristic façade, it’s clear this isn’t your typical strip-mall grocery store.

At 52,000 shoppable square feet—not quite as large as its suburban counterparts—the downtown store is more than three times the size of the recently shuttered Over-the-Rhine location. The urban-format concept, inspired by the Chicago-based, Kroger-owned grocery chain Marino’s, utilizes every square foot of the first level to offer a curated selection of grocery staples, including local produce and deli items as well as ready-made and prepared foods for on-the-go shoppers (think fresh bakery items from local purveyors like Marx Bagels). For customers looking to get in and out, the bevy of self-checkout kiosks, attached parking garage, and free parking with a purchase of $15 or more will make errand runs much simpler.

Photograph by Zachary Ghaderi

Up a quick flight of stairs, near the Court Street entrance, a dining hall, dubbed The Rhine Eatery, seats as many as 200 customers indoors, at the bar, and on an outdoor terrace overlooking Central Parkway. What could easily resemble a high school cafeteria utilizes a thoughtful layout and contemporary design to create dining areas where guests will want to take a break, including Eames-style chairs and a lounge-able outdoor sectional.

Lunch-ready options from local vendors include pulled pork and ribs with all the fixings from Eli’s BBQ; chili parlor classics from Queen City Whip food truck; Tex-Mex bites from Django Western Taco; and plenty of umami flavor at Dope! Asian Street Fare. The food hall is also home to the second location of the Kroger’s American fare restaurant concept, 1883 Café and Bar, offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

The food hall–urban grocery store hybrid is the first of its kind for Kroger, which wanted to open its premiere location in its hometown. “Cincinnati is Kroger’s hub for culinary innovation and experimentation, and the food hall is an example of the types of concepts and ideas we’re creating every day,” said Teri Rose, The Kroger Co.’s senior director of culinary development, in a statement.

In addition to a Starbucks located inside the grocery store for that much-needed pick-me-up while picking up groceries, a walk-up window along Court Street lets passers-by grab a quick coffee without missing a beat.

Between running errands, grabbing a quick bite, or making a pit stop on the way to work, Kroger’s latest grocery concept offers amenities that fit the way people shop and live downtown.

Kroger on the Rhine is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The store will offer grocery delivery, with plans to add restaurant delivery as well.

Kroger on the Rhine, 100 E. Court St., downtown, (513) 263-5900

Click through our gallery below for more photos of the new Kroger store:

Facebook Comments