A specialty market with a long reputation in the community has opened its doors downtown.
Russo’s International Market is holding its grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. at its new location, 241 W. Fulton St. The location is the former home of Bagger Dave’s, which closed in January.
The family-owned Italian grocer, which also operates a store at 2770 29th St. SE, has been in operation for the past 112 years. It is currently run by the third and fourth generations of the Russo family.
Downtown dwellers will now be able to get many of their favorite Russo’s International items downtown as well as enjoy a selection of to-go menu items and dine in food options. The new market offers indoor seating for 60 and outdoor seating for 20 so visitors can not only shop for items to take home, but also enjoy their lunch or dinner there.
Russo’s downtown menu includes gourmet sandwiches, pizzas, salads and Italian entrees. Kid-friendly options are also available. John Chisholm, Russo’s head chef, developed the menu.
The location also features a coffee, espresso and cappuccino bar as well as a gelato bar along with a European deli, an extensive beer and wine selection, produce and dairy staples, essential toiletries and home care items, and corporate gifts.
Russo’s is taking advantage of the growing residential population downtown with its new market. For the past two years, Grand Rapids has been recognized as one of the top metropolitan areas in the country for economic development.
According to Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., 183 residential units were added to the downtown Grand Rapids area in 2015, with an additional 1,437 proposed units to be developed shortly after. With the addition of the proposed units, downtown Grand Rapids would house 5,201 residential units.
“We realized the lack of offerings for downtown residents, and want to meet this demand,” said Phil Russo, president of Russo’s International Market.
The first 112 customers to visit the new location on Saturday will receive grocery bags filled with Russo’s most popular items in honor of the store’s 112-year history.