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Walgreens Debuts Flagship with Sushi Bar, Smoothies, Wine, Coffee Bar and More

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Welcome to Walgreens
Welcome to Walgreens

[Photo: Barry Brecheisen]

Walgreens today opened the doors on its newest offering: a 27,000 square-foot flagship in the heart of the Loop with a helluva lot more than prescriptions, deodorant and eyeliner. This new store serves as a model for possible future stores of this kind, but for now, it all belongs to Chicago. And if residents take to it, they could be in for some really great things that have never before been found at a Walgreens. Like sushi.

Yes, sushi. The new two-story store at the corner of State and Randolph on the site of a former Walgreens that occupied it from 1926 to 2005 will have fresh sushi and sashimi. But wait, there's more: self-serve froyo, a barista-helmed coffee bar serving the proprietary State & Randolph blend (created by Metropolis Coffee), a bakery with fresh pastries and sandwiches made on site as well as by local bake shop Lovely, a juice bar to get fresh smoothies or malted milkshakes (which were invented at the Walgreens that opened on this site in 1926), a selection of fresh produce, upmarket cheeses and cured meats, a massive selection of 700 bottles of wine and spirits (with advice from the store's Virtual Bartender) and more.

Just a few of the local purveyors being sold at this new shop include Sarah's Pastries, Katherine Anne, Vosges Haut Chocolate, Home Run Inn pizza, and Goose Island and Two Brothers beer, according to the Sun-Times.

To stay fresh, Walgreens is appealing to a broader market and looks to become more of a one-stop lifestyle brand. In addition to the food offerings, the flagship will also have a humidor for cigars, an international newsstand, a nail bar where you can stop in for a manicure, eyebrow shaping or other services and more. The store is open from 6:30 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Check it out in the gallery above.