Landmark grocery store in Las Vegas’ Historic Westside sets opening date for new location

Mario’s Westside Market will be twice as big as it is now.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 10:59 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Just under a month away from opening its new location, Mario’s Westside Market will be twice as big as it is now.

The market is in a food desert, meaning there’s not enough nutritious food available for residents of the Historic Westside area. By doubling its square footage by moving across the parking lot into an old CVS, though, Mario’s Westside Market will be set to make a dent in that deficiency.

“The window that they used to use for the pharmacy -- we’re going to turn that into a drive-thru for the food,” the market’s owner, Mario Berlanga, told FOX5 Tuesday.

Berlanga’s market has been a staple of the Historic Westside for 26 years, so he’s relieved to be able to put the million dollars in grants from Las Vegas and Clark County into moving just a few feet away from his longtime location on MLK and Lake Mead.

Berlanga tells FOX5 he just installed shelves in the store earlier this week, and is looking forward to taking advantage of doubling his square footage by stocking more produce, a bakery, and enough product overall to accommodate customers using the WIC program, which helps them get access to healthy foods.

“Going from 16 feet of produce to 60, bringing in WIC, having a bakery,” Berlanga listed happily. “It’s all stuff that the community benefits (from).”

During FOX5′s time with Berlanga, multiple people who live nearby came up and told him how happy they were about the new location.

“We have a very loyal customer base,” he explained. “And I get that all day: ‘When are we moving in?’ Not, ‘When are you moving in?’ It’s, ‘When are we moving in?’”

The move cost more than the $1 million in grants Berlanga received. He says he took out millions in loans and is now in debt, but says it’s well worth it for his community and for himself.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “You know, I worked at Vegas Village back in ‘77. Then, I was a box boy, and I said, ‘One day, I’m going to own my own store.’”

FOX5 asked Berlanga if he’s going to have to raise prices to make up for the money he took out in loans. He says he actually plans to lower prices by 6% instead.

The grand opening for the new Mario’s Westside Market is October 30. Governor Joe Lombardo will be in attendance while Metro hosts a trunk-or-treat event in the parking lot, which will extend to the current market location after it’s knocked down to allow for more people to come to the new location.