South Park Shopping Center on Whiskey Road, which has been shut down while undergoing a major facelift, is springing back to life. The complex’s upscale anchor, The Fresh Market, will open March 20 at 9 a.m.


Roma’s Restaurant & Pizza, South Park’s only remaining prior tenant, reopened March 1.


The Fresh Market’s new Aiken store will be the sixth specialty grocery established by the company in South Carolina. Its operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. John Goodyear, who has been with The Fresh Market for three years, is moving from the Columbia store to serve as Aiken’s grocery manager.


“We are excited to open our store in Aiken and to expand our reach in South Carolina,” said Craig Carlock, The Fresh Market’s president and chief executive officer, in a March 8 press release. “We look forward to introducing The Fresh Market’s concept of quality perishables, excellent customer service and a unique atmosphere to an expanded customer base, and we look forward to offering neighboring communities a rewarding new food shopping experience.”


Grand opening activities on March 20 will include chef demonstrations, food sampling throughout the store, outdoor grilling and drawings for gift cards from The Fresh Market. Sample-sized bags of the store’s gourmet coffee will be distributed free to the first 1,000 customers, and reusable shopping bags will be given free to the first 2,000 customers.


The Fresh Market in Aiken covers 19,700 square feet and shoppers who have visited the company’s other stores will be familiar with its Old World European marketplace atmosphere. Amenities will include a bakery that produces 20 freshly baked breads and 14 different pie varieties daily, a full-service meat counter with freshly ground beef and a produce department with more than 400 items.


The Aiken Fresh Market will offer fresh produce and other products from local and regional suppliers. Items will be clearly marked with “100” and “300” signs, indicating that their sources are within 100 or 300 miles of the store.


The Aiken store is bringing approximately 90 new jobs to the area. Some positions are still open and applications can be completed online at www.careers.thefreshmarket.com/.


The Fresh Market’s Aiken operation will partner with the Gold Harvest Food Bank, providing regular donations of food to the organization.


The address of the new store is 1400 Whiskey Road.