Q: What is going on with the Walmart on the corner of U.S. 41 and 111th Avenue North (Immokolee Road)? Are they expanding it to be a Super Center?
— Jenn, Naples
A: Yes. That Walmart, 11225 U.S. 41 N., will sell grocery items by the end of July, becoming the fourth Walmart Supercenter in Collier County.
While the renovated store will not be as massive as the other, newer 210,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter off Immokalee Road in North Naples, the 16-year-old store will be expanded from 122,000 square feet to 149,000 square feet, according to store manager Jimmy Reinard.
“They are changing every Division 1 (Walmart) store in Florida to create one-stop shopping,” Reinard said. “Bear with us through the process.”
The work force is being expanded, as well. The local store will add about 100 new jobs this year. Some new hires already have been made, but the majority of the new positions will be filled around the beginning of July, Reinard said.
Construction began in February to extend the south side of the building, the area of the store that will feature the new grocery items and the produce, bakery, deli and meat departments. On the north side of the building, the garden center and parking lot are being renovated. During the construction phase, Reinard estimates that the store’s retail space is temporarily about 25,000 square feet smaller than before.
After new construction is completed this summer, the entire expanded store will be remodeled similar to the recent changes made at the Walmart Supercenter near Davis and Collier boulevards in East Naples. The store’s grand reopening will be Oct. 26, Reinard said, noting that the store will not be closed even one day during the changes.
Piper’s Crossing adding 2 new eateries
Q: I noticed there is some kind of new sandwich place going in at Piper’s Crossing plaza (at the Immokalee/Airport-Pulling intersection). I didn’t see a name of what is going in, just pictures of sandwiches and a “coming soon” sign. Any insight? Thanks!
A: The store’s sign went up a few days ago, a few days after you emailed your question. Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches is coming this summer to Piper’s Crossing shopping center in North Naples.
Headquartered in Champaign, Ill., Jimmy John’s is a chain established nearly 30 years ago with more than 1,000 stores nationwide, including about 40 in Florida.
The North Naples location will be the first Jimmy John’s franchise in Collier County. Two are already located on U.S. 41 in Lee County: in Paradise Shoppes of Estero, 21740 Tamiami Trail S., and Park Shops at Andrea Lane, 14261 Tamiami Trail S., in Fort Myers.
The simple menu is anchored by varieties of 8-inch subs and giant club sandwiches. The shop has its own creations, from JJ Unwich, a low-carb lettuce wrap of any sub or club sandwich without the bun, to the JJ Gargantuan, which features “tons” of Genoa salami, sliced smoked ham, capicola, roast beef, turkey and provolone jammed into a homemade French bun and smothered with onions, mayo, lettuce, tomato and Italian dressing.
Sandwiches are made with fresh ingredients and served on bread baked in-house every day. Delivery is available.
Opening earlier than Jimmy John’s in Piper’s Crossing will be China Express, filling the spot vacated by Sweet Tooth Bakery.
The Chinese carryout/eat-in restaurant is expected to open in a couple of weeks, said Jack Crifasi, president of Crifasi Real Estate Inc., which owns and operates Piper’s Crossing.
Jimmy John’s and China Express will add to the dining lineup at Piper’s Crossing, which already includes Mangino’s Pizzeria, Fernandez the Bull Cuban Café and the French American Bistro.
“We have a good cross-section of cuisines there. We offer a little bit for everybody,” Crifasi said.
More local restaurant news
■ Olympia Dining, a Greek, Mediterranean and American restaurant, opened this month in the former location of Gemi’s Cafe in Davis Village, 2800 Davis Blvd., near Shadowlawn Drive, in East Naples. The new restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every day of the week. Info: (239) 732-5400.
■ Peace Love & Little Donuts opened this month in Naples Plaza near Coastland Center mall. The new drive-thru doughnut shop is on the south side of Wayne’s World BP, 2201 9th St. N., on the southwest corner of Mooring Line Drive and U.S. 41 in Naples. (239) 213-0188.
Have a question? Email it with your name and city of residence to email@example.com.
Find a complete archive of "In the Know" at naplesnews.com/intheknow..