George’s Fresh Market, located at 1490 Lewis Avenue in North Chicago, held a grand opening on Thursday, marking the first grocery store to operate in the city in more than 20 years. | Provided Photo

North Chicago, which has gone over 20 years without a full-service grocery store, is no longer considered a food desert after a grocery store opened in the city on Thursday.

A grand opening of George’s Fresh Market, located at 1490 Lewis Avenue in North Chicago, was held Thursday morning.

George’s Fresh Market officially opened its door with a ribbon-cutting and tour of the store.

The store is the product of a 20-year friendship between Peter W. Dremonas and George Anderson, who both have experience operating grocery stores and restaurants.

George’s Fresh Market, located at 1490 Lewis Avenue in North Chicago, held a grand opening on Thursday, marking the first grocery store to operate in the city in more than 20 years. | Provided Photo

In January 2020, the North Chicago City Council approved an incentive agreement to facilitate the opening of George’s Fresh Market.

“A full-service grocery store is something I have wanted to be able to provide the residents of North Chicago and surrounding communities for a while,” North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham said at the time when the agreement was approved.

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“We have worked hard with the landlord and representatives from the grocery store to make this happen. The opening of George’s Fresh Market will finally alleviate North Chicago from being a food desert. It will now be the community’s job to support them,” Rockingham said.

George’s Fresh Market, located at 1490 Lewis Avenue in North Chicago, held a grand opening on Thursday, marking the first grocery store to operate in the city in more than 20 years. | Provided Photo

The incentive deal for the grocery store passed by the North Chicago City Council includes a $300,000 forgivable loan.

The loan is structured for the next ten years and will be forgiven in 2030 if the store follows the guidelines of the agreement.

The City of North Chicago said that the store will also provide additional sales tax revenue for the city and jobs for the community.

The store was originally planned to open in Spring 2021 but was pushed back to October.