Bigger and better! Mario's Westside Market is open for business in Las Vegas Historic Westside

Bigger and better! Mario's Westside Market is open for business in Las Vegas Historic Westside

October 30, 2023


KTNV Las Vegas
by Bryan Horwath

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Tina Gadley lives down the street from Mario's Westside Market and has been shopping at the business for about a decade.

She wanted to stop down to the new Mario's location — in a bigger building a short walk from the original store — on Monday.

"I couldn't wait to get in here," Gadley said. "It's beautiful. It's much bigger than the last spot. I love it."

Store owner Mario Berlanga took advantage of a pair of grants from the City of Las Vegas and Clark County — worth up to $2 million — to make the move happen.

The new store is in a building that once housed a CVS Pharmacy.

Berlanga says he was able to triple the store's aisle space.

The store opened last week, but a ribbon-cutting took place Monday. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and some other local politicians attended the ceremony.

Many have lauded Mario's expansion, partly because the area where it is — the store is at the corner of Lake Mead Boulevard and Martin Luther King Boulevard — has long been known as a food desert.

"To get a lot of this stuff — fresh fruits and vegetables — people used to have to get on a bus," Berlanga said. "Now they can get those things right here in their community, right in their neighborhood."

It's not just groceries that Mario's is known for, however. The store's hot-plate options are also quite popular.

Monday afternoon, Gadley was waiting in line for an order of fried catfish.

"They have some good soul food," said customer Herb Askew, another neighborhood customer. "It's hard to find good soul food in Vegas."

Berlanga has nearly two dozen employees, but he wants to double that figure nearly. He says he likes to hire people from the neighborhood.

He's also planning to open a drive-thru lane, though that isn't ready quite yet.

"I want to thank our loyal customers for their support and belief in us," Berlanga said. "When the CVS closed, we thought it would be a great location for us. It was a process that lasted a little over two years to get it done. With our political leaders, we were able to make this happen."