An IGA supermarket is redefining grocery shopping with its new concept store allowing shoppers the rare opportunity to sit down for a restaurant meal before picking up their groceries.
The modern features of the Romeo's Retail Group store, Locali, include a fine dining restaurant, walk-in cheese room, coffee shop, bar and an extensive liquor department.
The one-of-a-kind store opened on George Street in the Sydney CBD last week, and promises to cater to a broad range of consumers with its diverse offering of Australian and international products.
Sure to rival supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths, the "state of the art" retailer also offers an in-store sushi bar, sandwich bar, deli, bakery and salad bar.
The restaurant's "family friendly" menu features Italian favourites, including fresh-made pizza and pasta, made almost entirely from ingredients sold at the supermarket.
Along with a French-style rotisserie chicken, the restaurant will offer steak and a daily "fish of the day", Director Joseph Romeo told Yahoo News Australia.
"The chicken was inspired by Harrods in London where you would be able to get a half a chicken, chips and salad, but from an authentic French rotisserie," Mr Romeo said.
"We're quite spoilt to have a restaurant in a food market. It's a unique experience in that you can dine in at a high class Italian restaurant and then a lot of the ingredients you can find in our market."
Local and overseas suppliers
Sydney Chef Orazio D’Elia will lead the kitchen, providing meals that can be enjoyed either in store or taken away.
Grocery products including gourmet cheeses, produce and flowers are sourced from a host of local and international producers.
Mr Romeo said the concept was inspired by Harrods in London and Little Italy in Manhattan, New York.
"We thought there was an opportunity in Sydney to bring a similar experience to the CBD and we think it really fits the market now that Covid is more managed," he said.
The supermarket, located at 388 George Street, is open 6am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 7am to 9pm Saturday and Sunday.
The restaurant is open from 11am to 3pm daily, and the cafe from 6am.
In the coming months customers will be able to order meals via the company's app to either pick it up or dine in.
Another of the concept stores is set to open just down the road in the CBD's Wynyard Place by late June.
Mr Romeo said competing with Coles and Woolworths wasn't a huge concern because Locali presented an entirely different shopping experience.
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