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Retail Foodservice

Mariano's to Open Pork & Mindy's Sandwich Shops in 28 Stores

'Creative barbecue' joint will also feature a grab-and-go hot case exclusive to the retailer
Photograph: Shutterstock

Food Network chef-owned sandwich shop Pork & Mindy's will be taking up residence in 28 Chicago-area Mariano's stores, according to reports. 

A quick-stop version of the "creative barbecue" joint, which was started by Jeff Mauro—host of The Food Network’s “Sandwich King” and co-host of “The Kitchen”—and partner Kevin Corsello in 2016, will set up shop this week in Bronzeville and next week in Park Ridge, with the rest of the outfits opening in phases throughout the year, the Chicago Tribune reported. The Kroger-owned retailer is already known for offering a variety of elevated foodservice and grocerant experiences.

“It is very mutually beneficial,” Mariano’s spokeswoman Amanda Puck told the Tribune. “We are about the experiences in general, and this just brings it to the next level.”

The quick-service restaurants will operate in a 200-square-foot branded space at the front of the store where it will serve select menu items and feature a hot case filled with grab-and-go foods that will be exclusive to Mariano's in what Puck called a first-time restaurant-style concept for Mariano's, according to the Tribune.

Pork & Mindy's currently has four stores in the Chicago area, with one set to open in Irving Park in the near future, as well as one in Minneapolis, Minn., and one in Denver. 

This is not the first partnership between Pork & Mindy's and Mariano's: The retailers started selling the sandwich shop's "Pig Candy" candied bacon in-store in February 2018. They also started carrying Pork & Mindy's bottled sauces in 2015.

Pork & Mindy's serves a variety of barbecue-inspired sandwiches and other items, many of which featuring a Chicago twist, such as its Chicago cheesesteak with giardiniera and Italian beef-inspired loaded tater tots. 

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