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Lincoln's long wait for a downtown grocery store is over.

Canopy Street Market opened its doors Thursday morning more than two years after plans were first announced.

"We're open, but we're still in a little bit of construction mode," said Jill Moline, who co-owns the store along with Mark Whitehead of Whitehead Oil.

Moline said the store, which is at 140 S. Canopy St., plans to be open this weekend for its full operating hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., although it will be closed on Labor Day.

"That hits at a good time that we can work out some kinks," she said.

Plans for the store were announced in the summer of 2016, with a goal to be open in time for the 2017 Husker football season. But due to a number of issues, construction of the store and the overall Lumberworks project it is a part of didn't start until last fall.

A spring opening had originally been projected and then amended to a goal to be open by the first football game. The store made that goal with a day to spare.

"The last three to four weeks have been very intense," Moline said. "It's just been a big, big undertaking."

To help get things set up and train new employees, Moline said she brought in some employees from a grocery store she owns in Imperial. Moline, who is the wife of Allo Communications President Brad Moline, also owns grocery stores in the Colorado towns of Wray and Holyoke.

She said the store has nine full-time employees and she hopes to eventually employ as many as 20 part-timers.

The 8,000-square-foot store bills itself as a full-service grocery store, with a meat counter, deli, fresh produce, a large frozen food section and beer, wine and liquor.

It plans to offer online ordering and delivery, although Moline said that likely won't be available for a few weeks.

She said she has had a number of "lookie-loos" over the past few days wondering if the store was open. For those who were lucky enough to show up Thursday after the doors opened?

"They were very excited that we were open," Moline said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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