Starbucks, sushi, gourmet cheeses and more are coming to the Vine Street Dillons.
Work has started on the multi-million dollar renovation, and should be complete this summer.
The former Rent-A-Center has been gutted and will add approximately 4,000 square feet of space to the store, Dillons spokesperson Sheila Lowrie said.
Starbucks and the deli department and dining area with free wireless Internet, will be in the new space. They likely will be open before the entire project is completed.
Besides a gourmet cheese bar complete with cheese steward, the store will offer an olive and antipasto bar, a new beverage center and expanded organic food line.
All of the departments, including meat and seafood, fresh produce, frozen food, floral and health and beauty, will be enhanced, according to Lowrie.
A larger pharmacy department will have private counseling rooms.
The changes come on the heels of renovations to the Hall Street store, and the decor will be similar with warm colors and ambient lighting.
Lowrie and store manager Don Koerner “walked through the changes with the store team,” Friday morning, Lowrie said.
The sushi will be prepared daily, Koerner said.
“I think it’ll be a real big hit here,” he said.
New departments and a larger store could mean as many as 50 additional employees will be needed, Koerner said.
“Customers want more natural and organic foods,” Lowrie said. “With this renovation we have an opportunity to integrate those products throughout the store. Perhaps you’re shopping for peanut butter, you’ll see regular favorites side by side with an organic.”
Keith Harnack is the Kroger construction project manager, and The Law Company is the general contractor for the project.
The exterior will be painted, ADA parking spaces redone and new lights installed on the building and poles, Harnack said.
“It’s a good investment in the city of Hays,” he said.
The store, which opened in May 1979, will remain open during the renovation, and much of the work will be done at night after closing, Koerner said.
Store staff members will be available to help customers during the transition, he said.
“It’s going to feel like a store that’s in Wichita or Kansas City, and it’s going to be right here in Hays,” Lowrie said.