The new Central Market at Preston and Royal is finally ready to open at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. If you were passing through the neighborhood, you probably noticed the commotion this morning. A sneak preview featured free food, a tour of the grocery store, a festive clown and several neighborhood dignitaries, including Mayor Mike Rawlings and council members Ann Margolin and Linda Koop. The Hillcrest High School marching band performed on the balcony and inside the entryway.

This is one of Central Market’s smaller stores at 30,000 square feet. The produce section is piled high with nearly every type pf fruit and vegetable – there’s even a small section dedicated to exotic ones. Keep winding around and you’ll find the same variety of meats, cheeses, baked goods, fresh sandwiches as well as a sea of wines and beers to choose from.

At the preview, Central Market representatives announced they were giving $10,000 to the Preston Royal and Park Forest libraries, showing how “private enterprise can help with public needs,” Rawlings said.

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