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Granite Shoals Supermarket opening pushed to August; hiring to start in July

Construction ongoing on Granite Shoals Supermarket

Crews are working to transform a former bar and dance hall into Granite Shoals Supermarket with a possible August opening date. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Granite Shoals residents could have their own grocery story by August if all goes well with renovations at the former Ryder’s Bar and Dance Hall.

Crews are transforming the former watering hole, located at 7911 RR 1431 East, into the Granite Shoals Supermarket. The store will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Co-owner Tony Hijaz said the new projected opening is August. Initially, he and his partners had hoped to have the grocery store open by late summer 2019. That eventually changed to May of this year and now August. Hijaz cited construction material issues, the weather, and the COVID-19 pandemic for the delay.

“It slowed us down. It didn’t go our way,” he said. “I don’t want to blame it on COVID-19, and contractors have limited supplies.”

Hijaz said the market is hiring a mix of 30 full-time and part-time employees. 

“We’ll start with that, knowing the numbers can increase or double,” he said. “But 30 is what we’re going to start with. We’re going to hire people, local people, in July. We’re going to start accepting applications, especially from people who have retail experience and people who are also looking for part-time.”

He plans to put a sign on the building telling people how to apply.

In addition to selling gasoline, the store will offer a selection of fresh produce, meats, a full-service deli, beer and wine, and more.

Hijaz and his partners bought the property in 2019 with plans to open that summer. When that date came and went, the partners told the city in January 2020 that they were submitting revised plans. A year later, work was being done with a projected opening date of May, which has now been pushed to August.

“You’ll see a different look in the next few weeks,” Hijaz said. “We’re going to start building the tanks, the casing. We’ll start stirring things up, and we’ll open, hopefully, in two months.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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