Downtown Grocery News
The persistent longing for a downtown Dallas grocery store is about to be satisfied again. A three-pronged concept is coming to the old Urban Market space in the Interurban Building on Jackson Street, with phase one set to open this month.
The complex comes from three friends and entrepreneurs who've known each other since middle school, says co-owner John McIntosh, who will oversee the cafe. His partners are Umair Humeed, who conceived the project, and Loc Tran, who will manage the liquor store.
"Our main goal is to provide everything that a resident would need downtown," McIntosh says.
The market will sell organic and natural foods and will incorporate a deli, bakery and frozen-yogurt stand. The restaurant will be eclectic, with tacos, sushi, sandwiches and hot foods.
"Our main goal is to provide everything that a resident would need downtown," says co-owner John McIntosh.
There's been a hue and cry for a supermarket within the Central Business District ever since they started rehabbing old buildings for residences. For those who live downtown, one of the first questions you always get asked is, "How do you SURVIVE without a grocery store?" As if every citizen has a grocery store a block from their home.
When Urban Market opened in 2005, it was greeted like a savior. But when it came time to shop, many downtown residents would still get in their cars and drive to the Albertsons on McKinney or the Kroger at Mockingbird (and more recently at Cityplace). It finally limped to a closure in 2012.
McIntosh says that he and his partners are not fazed by Urban Market's failure to make a go of it, even with the financial help it received from the city.
"We did a study of sales and revenue and analyzed the numbers," he says. "They were doing pretty good, and [when it first opened], the amount of people downtown was about 2,000 residents. Now there are 8,000-plus in the downtown loop. We think a couple decisions they made, as far as what level of products to sell, were misguided."
Unlike a Phil Romano who won't deign to dally in the central business district, the trio is committed to making a positive contribution towards improving urban life. They originally aspired to open a concept like this in Fort Worth, at the West Seventh Plaza. They went through the process with the city, and they were days away from breaking ground when the city pulled its support.
Though a painful lesson, it stoked their enthusiasm to make a go of the concept when the Urban Market space became available. They decided to open Urban Vineyard first because they knew they could complete it in the shortest amount of time, and the finish-out is nearly complete.
Bar None will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with coffee in the morning, wine and beer, a juice bar and plenty of vegetarian options on the menu.
"We like new adventures," McIntosh says. "These are three new things we get to try and tackle."