Kroger's new Downtown store opens Wednesday morning. The store at Court and Walnut features a supermarket on the first floor and a food court on the second.
Sue Byrom is president of the Downtown Residents' Council and says the store is a game-changer for the neighborhood. "For most people I know they either go over to Newport or they go up to Clifton to do the shopping. And it means that now if you live Downtown you can actually take the streetcar or walk and you don't need to make that kind of journey."
The new store will be much larger than the one it replaces, in the 1400 block of Vine in Over-the-Rhine.
Byrom says the neighborhood could see a population boom soon because there are a lot of apartments under construction. She says the new store will make a big difference. "I know that when I moved here, six or seven years ago, I was pretty stunned to discover there wasn't a significant supermarket Downtown. I'm not sure it would put anyone off but its definitely an inducement."
Byrom says she doesn't think the new store will hurt existing Downtown corner stores.
Walnut will be closed to through-traffic between Central Parkway and Court Street, from 9-10 a.m. Wednesday morning for the ribbon cutting. Metro buses and the streetcar will be allowed through.