[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Attention shoppers! The first grocery store to open in downtown Phoenix in nearly 30 years is taking shape. On a recent afternoon, a crew worked on plumbing and electrical systems for the 2,000-square-foot store, which is expected to open sometime in August. Soon they will bring in refrigerated cases, ovens and other kitchen equipment, said Alan McLaughlin, the store’s general manager. “We will source everything local,” he said, including meat, milk and cheese. “This will be a hangout place in the neighborhood.”
The $475,000 project is an offshoot of the popular, biweekly Phoenix Public Market, which is run by the non-profit Community Food Connections. Downtown Phoenix residents hungered for a grocery store for decades. The last supermarket in the neighborhood south of Interstate 10 closed in 1981. Community Food Connections, which raised $375,000 to open the store, is in the process of raising the remaining $100,000, spokeswoman Catrina Knoebl said.
The 4-year-old farmers market and the grocery store are part of the Phoenix Public Market. The shop will be known as the Phoenix Public Market Urban Grocery & Wine Bar, Knoebl added. The store will be open from Tuesday to Saturday and will carry prepared food and wine, and it will have a cafe. Royal Coffee Bar, the trendy coffeehouse near the Maricopa County court complex, will serve java there. Local food will be the focus, McLaughlin said.