First Look: Kroger opens its first-ever food hall in new urban-format store


Kroger has gone downtown — for the first time in a long time.

The Kroger Co. on Wednesday opened a two-level, urban- format store that is located a block from its headquarters in downtown Cincinnati. The 52,000-sq.-ft. store — the first downtown location to open under the Kroger banner in about 50 years — features the grocer’s first-ever food hall. The venue, called On The Rhine Eatery, can accommodate up to 200 customers, with indoor and outdoor seating. It houses five Cincinnati eateries, a full-service bar and Kroger’s own restaurant concept, Kitchen 1883 Café and Bar.

In addition to the food hall, the new Kroger offers grab-and-go and ready-to-heat meals for lunch and dinner, fresh fruits and vegetables and a traditional grocery shopping experience. It also has a walk-up window for beverage orders.

The store, which anchors an 18-story residential high-rise, is located in the Cincinnati’s central business district and is close to the historic Over-the-Rhine and West End neighborhoods.

“Kroger is thrilled to introduce our first food hall and offer a one-of-its-kind shopping experience in our hometown of Cincinnati, providing a convenient location to experience delicious, quality meals and foods,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “This innovative destination highlights Kroger’s food-first culture.

Featured restaurants and dishes at the food hall include:

• Kitchen 1883 Café and Bar: Kroger’s second location of its American food restaurant, which also offers breakfast and weekend brunch;

• DOPE! Asian Street Fare: Offers ramen, dumplings, bao buns and more, all inspired by street food throughout Asia;

• Django Western Taco: Mexican food with a flair of American cuisine,also serves handcrafted margaritas, breakfast and weekend brunch;

• Eli’s BBQ: A Cincinnati favorite with a cult following; and

• Queen City Whip: The first brick-and-mortar location of a popular local food truck.

Kroger’s downtown outpost will offer grocery delivery, with plans to add restaurant delivery.

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