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GRDadof3

THE Downtown Market updates

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On 2/12/2016 at 10:22 AM, RegalTDP said:

Based on your past musings on dining, I'm not sure you are the target demographic. I wouldn't have thought any of this was your jam. :silly:

You've got a long memory, it seems.  2010, eh? When I was commenting about how it would be nice to have a chain restaurant on Wealthy to spur growth?  Guess what?  I still think it would be.  And I still think it would be fantastic to knock over houses for a parking lot to service it.  Put a Cheesecake Factory on Wealthy, flatten 6 houses to service 200 cars instead of 20 people, and I will jump for joy while the area goes BOOOOM even bigger.  Anyhow, the Market still seems somewhat like an idea that is still listlessly searching for a market.  I envisioned it as an indoor farmer's market type place with lots of cheap, fresh produce and and foodstuff.  And, well, it isn't that.  Had they just stuffed a reall cool, cheap indoor farmer's market type thing in the existing building, I would have been there all the time.  What they built is a frickin' hipster yuppie food court with overpriced olive oil and spices on the side.  Meh.

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24 minutes ago, x99 said:

You've got a long memory, it seems.  2010, eh? When I was commenting about how it would be nice to have a chain restaurant on Wealthy to spur growth?  Guess what?  I still think it would be.  And I still think it would be fantastic to knock over houses for a parking lot to service it.  Put a Cheesecake Factory on Wealthy, flatten 6 houses to service 200 cars instead of 20 people, and I will jump for joy while the area goes BOOOOM even bigger.  Anyhow, the Market still seems somewhat like an idea that is still listlessly searching for a market.  I envisioned it as an indoor farmer's market type place with lots of cheap, fresh produce and and foodstuff.  And, well, it isn't that.  Had they just stuffed a reall cool, cheap indoor farmer's market type thing in the existing building, I would have been there all the time.  What they built is a frickin' hipster yuppie food court with overpriced olive oil and spices on the side.  Meh.

You'd have to sell a lot of brussel sprouts to pay for a building in downtown GR. Even in a rehabilitated one. So unrealistic. :silly:

Go to Kingma's or Horrocks if you don't like it. But to continuously come on here and knock it is getting downright childish. 

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38 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

You'd have to sell a lot of brussel sprouts to pay for a building in downtown GR. Even in a rehabilitated one. So unrealistic. :silly:

Go to Kingma's or Horrocks if you don't like it. But to continuously come on here and knock it is getting downright childish. 

Horrock's is sort of what I pictured it being, but with extras.  I think a lot of us did.  That would have been dream fulfilled.  But--fine--I'll stop knocking the place. They do have nice high end catering services and wedding event venue services, after all.  So that's something.  

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Not that I think it's terrible, but I was kinda hoping for something more like this place...

St. Lawrence Market

The Downtown Market (the one in downtown Grand Rapids) is kinda close but they do seem to be trending towards becoming more of an "artisan" food court.  Perhaps they are just following the demand.  It's still a fun place to visit.

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On 2/18/2016 at 10:57 AM, x99 said:

You've got a long memory, it seems.  2010, eh? When I was commenting about how it would be nice to have a chain restaurant on Wealthy to spur growth?  Guess what?  I still think it would be.  And I still think it would be fantastic to knock over houses for a parking lot to service it.  Put a Cheesecake Factory on Wealthy, flatten 6 houses to service 200 cars instead of 20 people, and I will jump for joy while the area goes BOOOOM even bigger.  Anyhow, the Market still seems somewhat like an idea that is still listlessly searching for a market.  I envisioned it as an indoor farmer's market type place with lots of cheap, fresh produce and and foodstuff.  And, well, it isn't that.  Had they just stuffed a reall cool, cheap indoor farmer's market type thing in the existing building, I would have been there all the time.  What they built is a frickin' hipster yuppie food court with overpriced olive oil and spices on the side.  Meh.

The internet never forgets :P I like chain restaurants too, and I've long been supportive on this forum of more chains on Wealthy, Uptown, etc. But it's silly to assert that a lack of them have been holding back that corridor, which is what you seem to be saying.  It was silly in 2010 and even more so in 2016.  You could make a reasonable case for knocking down houses NOW for parking due to demand that's already there (zoning and historical districts notwithstanding).  You don't need a Cheesecake Factory to justify it.  The fact that our local restaurant scene is so robust is exactly the reason I want more chains** to come in - the market could bear it without affecting on the locals.

**But Cheesecake Factory would be a poor fit for Wealthy Street.  They tend to exclusively locate in malls or heavy tourist sites.  Now, if you were to say a lot of chains stay away because of parking, I'd agree with you there.

Edited by RegalTDP

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As noted above, Social Kitchen is open. Pretty cool transition area where the restaurant meets the market. These old door partitions are on rollers, presumably so it can be opened up more during busier times? 

26657047666_be03a9c491_b.jpg

 

And the actual kitchen is open to the market via big windows. I can't even really envision what the big open "cafeteria" looked like before. 

 

26410595470_5efa424fe0_b.jpg

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Glad to see it's open.  From these pictures, and others I've seen, I'm having a hard time getting my bearings.  Seems like a lot going on.  Maybe the design will make more sense in person.  And what's the story with the stairs going to a basement??  

Zach Sklar has also opened two new Chicago restaurants.  Bernie's Lunch and Supper  and a franchise location for Gus' Fried Chicken.  I have not tried either yet. 

 

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9 hours ago, mpchicago said:

Glad to see it's open.  From these pictures, and others I've seen, I'm having a hard time getting my bearings.  Seems like a lot going on.  Maybe the design will make more sense in person.  And what's the story with the stairs going to a basement??  

Zach Sklar has also opened two new Chicago restaurants.  Bernie's Lunch and Supper  and a franchise location for Gus' Fried Chicken.  I have not tried either yet. 

 

In that bottom picture, I'm standing sort of by the popcorn place looking back toward the entrance of the market. To the left is the cake and sweets place. 

The stairs are new. Maybe they needed additional storage for the restaurant? 

 

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The stairs lead down to new restrooms for the restaurant. The food at Social Kitchen was really good btw. 

 

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

The stairs lead down to new restrooms for the restaurant. The food at Social Kitchen was really good btw. 

 

I agree.  I was there with 5 other people and they all could not stop talking about how good the food was.

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12 hours ago, john_denver said:

I agree.  I was there with 5 other people and they all could not stop talking about how good the food was.

The only thing that was strange was at 7:00 they shut the market down (they slid the rustic doors closed in Social Kitchen as well that separated the spaces). Not sure how late Social Kithen stays open but it was open when we left.

I haven't been to the market in the evening in a while so I didn't realize it closed so early. I counted at least 20 people who walked up to the doors and were surprised that it was closed. I get that it's all small businesses in there and it's hard to staff for those long days, but seems like a missed opportunity. 

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22 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

The only thing that was strange was at 7:00 they shut the market down (they slid the rustic doors closed in Social Kitchen as well that separated the spaces). Not sure how late Social Kithen stays open but it was open when we left.

I haven't been to the market in the evening in a while so I didn't realize it closed so early. I counted at least 20 people who walked up to the doors and were surprised that it was closed. I get that it's all small businesses in there and it's hard to staff for those long days, but seems like a missed opportunity. 

I experienced the same thing. I was there two weekends ago for dinner around 6:30; 45 minute wait at Social so we decided to put our name in at Socail and enjoy a cocktail and wait at Apertivo and this is where it gets weird. The Apertivo staff put up a small plastic chain separating their space from the 'closed' market (there was a high school prom upstairs). One member of our group had to use the rest room, and tried to walk around said plastic gate to head to the upstairs bathrooms and the staff sort of lost their sh*t, "The market's closed! You can't go that way! Where are you going?" They made her leave/walk outside the market and re-enter through the main market doors, where a security guard incredulously asked her where she was going. When we receive the text from Social that our table was ready, we were instructed by Apertivo staff that we would also have to leave the market through their door and walk down to the main entrance and re-enter through the Social area. I decided to have a quick cigarette, stepped away from the door but was informed by the security guard that there's no smoking outside of the market; it was literally just him and I outside at this point, no one else coming/leaving, no one waiting to be picked up. Seemed a bit silly to me. The interplay between the restaurants, the market, the event space could be smoothed out/relaxed. 

Anywho ... Social was busy, the staff was more than a little frantic but the food was tasty and the service itself was good; warm cookies and milk on the house for the long wait on some of our dishes. 

 

Slight X99 rant over.

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5 hours ago, mpchicago said:

Now the place is only 98% leased!!!  What will they do?! :D  

BTW, how is the Rocket/Green Grocery/Love's combo coming along?

Pizza place is opening soon. 

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I was at the Downtown Market today, waiting for my El Cunado tacos.  The market was pretty busy and I over heard a disgusted lady walk by and I could tell it was her first time at the market and most likely from out of town.  She said:

"This is a market?  Where is all the regular damn food to buy?  I don't want 7000 restaurants."

I didn't ask what she was looking for but assumed she would have to get back in her car and drive at least 15-20 minutes in either direction to get what she needed.

 

Edited by john_denver

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1 hour ago, john_denver said:

I was at the Downtown Market today, waiting for my El Cunado tacos.  The market was busy but I over heard a disgusted lady walk by and I could tell it was her first time at the market and most likely from out of town.  She said:

"This is a market!  Where is all the regular damn food to buy?  I don't want 7000 restaurants."

I didn't ask what she was looking for but assumed she would have to get back in her car and drive at least 15-20 minutes in either direction to get what she needed.

 

I'm assuming (and that's dangerous I know) but I believe the original idea would be a mini St Lawrence market  I was there last year when my daughter did the Toronto Triathlon and she sent photos from there this year. 2 stories full of fresh fruit ,veggies, meat markets, seafood,,bakeries, ready cooked food items, cooked while you wait of many ethic groups , arts and crafts. you name it. We were there on a Saturday morning and the place was packed. We and her friends split up, bought what ever we thought looked good, found a picnic table outside and had brunch. I had back surgery this year so couldn't go. I missed being there when she sent the pics. Unfortunately I see the Fulton St market getting the local growers of the local produce (my dad never missed a Saturday morning shopping there in the 60's - 80's ). 

IMHO. the downtown market is too small, doesn't have the St Lawrence mix of vendors and our metro area doesn't have the population base that makes a St Lawrence market a part of their weekly shopping routine. Nor do we have the tourist numbers  that will make it destination.

If Downtown and Fulton could have been combined..........................

http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/

Edited by Raildude's dad

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3 hours ago, john_denver said:

I was at the Downtown Market today, waiting for my El Cunado tacos.  The market was pretty busy and I over heard a disgusted lady walk by and I could tell it was her first time at the market and most likely from out of town.  She said:

"This is a market?  Where is all the regular damn food to buy?  I don't want 7000 restaurants."

I didn't ask what she was looking for but assumed she would have to get back in her car and drive at least 15-20 minutes in either direction to get what she needed.

 

Unfortunately what she is looking for wont happen until The Downtown Market: Phase Two development....if there is ever one.

Or it wont happen until the North Monroe Market opens, which is my prediction.

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