SALT LAKE CITY — The Gateway mall continued its ongoing reinvention Friday with the opening of its first grocery store named, appropriately, The Store.
The Store is a Utah-based independent chain of grocery stores that specializes in local products. The Gateway location is its third, following stores in Holladay and Salt Lake's Central Ninth neighborhood.
"Being local was cool (at The Store) way before it was cool," said Amy Christensen, manager of the Holladay location. "There's something to be said about knowing who made, or grew, or produced your food.
"We've wanted to be a part of the downtown area for a while. It's just got a cool, funky vibe," she said. It doesn't hurt, she added, that The Store owner Scott Niederhauser is a huge Utah Jazz fan.
"If you come in on a game day, there's a lot of (employees) sporting their Jazz gear," she said.
Paul Anthony Morello, culinary director and head chef at The Store, said the move to downtown fills a need in the area.
"This area is growing. There's a lot of international people living here, a lot of offices and a lot of people living in these condos and apartments. There was no place to ... buy anything — you couldn't get a gallon of milk without walking a mile. So it was very easy, very smart to open a supermarket here," he said.
"We try to bring you the freshest products and do everything a little bit better than everyone else."
The Store is the latest salvo in The Gateway's transition away from traditional retail toward a lifestyle and entertainment model. Punch Bowl Social, an eclectic dining and games destination, is expected to open soon at the former Barnes & Noble location.
The Store is located on the ground floor of The Gateway mall at 90 S. Rio Grande.