O market, where art thou?
Where can downtown dwellers take their grocery list?
Let’s pretend for a moment. Say you live in the newly opened Mayo Hotel. It’s 8:30 in the evening. You have invited several of your closest friends to come over and celebrate your newly acquired pad. The music is playing. The conversation is flowing. And the chicken curry is almost ready. But wait — you suddenly realize that you didn’t pick up any naan. And everyone knows you can’t truly enjoy chicken curry without naan. You excuse yourself politely and leave to pick up said item.
Now is when things get tricky. Where do you go?
All of this is to say: There are no viable options for a market or grocery store in downtown Tulsa. There used to be a Homeland on Denver off of the Broken Arrow Expressway, but it’s been abandoned for quite some time. The building on Pine and Peoria that once housed an Albertsons has been vacant for two years. There is, of course, Blue Jackalope on South Phoenix Avenue, but they aren’t open past 7 p.m. So this wouldn’t help my hypothetical 8:30 p.m. dinner party.
If you live downtown (which is what most of us agree we want to see more of), the closest options are the Reasor’s on 15th and Lewis or Petty’s at Utica Square. For Whole Foods or Akin’s, you’d have to travel even farther.
Certain things are essential. Residential spaces are just the first step. We need gas stations, exercise facilities, more restaurants, retail and, yes, a supermarket of some sort. There is and has been lots of talk about this in recent months. The interest is there, but I am not seeing the kind of action I would like.
This needs to happen, and soon.
I love that we will soon have a ballpark downtown. But I would be even more thrilled to have a place to purchase a package of Ball Park Franks. And maybe some buns.
Is that too much to ask?