KFnet in T-Town

May. 23, 2008 at 3:59pm

Neighborhood Grubby Mart Makeover?

Have the days of frozen milk, expired toaster pastries, old yogurt, iffy meat gone from Neighborhood Market on Sixth Ave? Well, without knowing what's going on inside after never returning after our experience last October I couldn't say if anything is different in there. I can say that some work is going on outside which could be a plus. The old, rounded and mildewed awning is gone and looks like it'll be replaced with a high lip, sloped roof to help guard passers by from the rain.

It may not be much but hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Now if they'd just drop in some windows or sliding garage doors to open that place up a bit more maybe I'd venture back sometime when I'm in the area for hot dogs and such.

comments [10]  |  posted under 6th ave, neighborhood market, sixth ave, tacoma

Comments

by tacomachickadee on 5/23/2008 @ 4:05pm
Still sad you had such a bizarre experience last year ... this is where we've found fabulous and freshly butchered meat at good prices time after time. Though I admit that's mainly what we buy here, as it's further than other groceries, so I don't know much about the rest.

by Mandiferous on 5/23/2008 @ 4:19pm
Ha! I grew up 3 blocks from this store during the mid to late 1980s (back when it was Tomboys Market). As a child, I could have cared less about fresh produce or meat, but I remember that they had plastic fruit with a little screw top. Inside was colored, flavored SUGAR!!! sugarsugarsugarsugar.

I went inside a few years ago and was amazed at how the place had changed. Or maybe it just seemed different because I could reach the top shelves.

I wonder if they still carry the plastic fruit filled with sugar....

mmmm....sugar.

by thriceallamerican on 5/23/2008 @ 4:30pm
I think(?) it was still the Tomboy in 2001 when we moved into the 'hood. It is what it is, a small neighborhood market. Sometimes the quality suffers (bad produce), but they have a good meat counter, and it's an ok place to buy milk in a pinch (check the date), get a sixer of beer, or get some meat from John. Since we all know life is chaotic, as a neighbor I find myself there frequently to get this or that item which would otherwise require a car trip. One of the employees tells me they're modifying the exterior of the store to better match their fancy new-ish sign on the corner by the art bench. And I believe I've heard the store will actually get smaller, and they're subletting (or selling) some other business spaces in the rear of the building. John apparently is hoping to stock local produce after the Sixth Ave farmers market starts, so that could help in the produce area. I think with a bit of TLC the place could really get spruced up into something awesome, so I sincerely hope they're headed in that direction rather than just trying to put a bit of lipstick on a pig.

by Twisty on 5/23/2008 @ 4:54pm
It's sad to see these smallish neighborhood markets dieing off like this. They used to be sprinkled all around the city. I guess they aren't really gone as much as they just aren't what they used to be, just like this example.

Maybe their collective fortunes will improve as the cost of driving goes up.

by KevinFreitas on 5/23/2008 @ 5:03pm
Yea, I definitely wish them the best and hope they're open/have the resources to improve. I really think opening the place up would help a ton. Might also help vent out the what I swear was the smell of pot last time I was there.

by Twisty on 5/23/2008 @ 5:15pm
Here's a little Tacoma trivia for you non-natives: the little market at N. 25th and Alder (I think it's called Big Value or something similar now) was Tacoma's original Safeway store. I think it opened in the 20s.

by KevinFreitas on 5/23/2008 @ 5:24pm
That's a gorgeous building. Seems huge to be a convenience store. Be fun to get the bars off the windows and have it spill outside a bit like Stadium and Dave's do.

by tacomachickadee on 5/23/2008 @ 8:54pm
OK. Seriously, Kevin. That pic is starting to gross me out. Stomach queasy. Close-ups of KF's mouth and wet cocoa puffs: not helping. ;)

by morgan on 5/23/2008 @ 9:43pm
I second that, chickadee. At first I thought, WTF? But now I think GROSS!

I don't make it to this market as often as I wish I could. John, the owner, is a good guy and runs a good meat shop. Margins are extremely tight on grocery stores. That's why you see Safeway, Fred Meyer, Whole Foods, etc putting in soup bars, sandwich counters, fresh pizza counters, etc. It makes it tough for the little guy because to add all the accessory departments takes a lot of capital and a lot of square footage - which usually both are lacking.

A agree with Kevin though- the sidewalk side of the building needs to be opened up - roll-up doors would be perfect.

by fredo on 5/25/2008 @ 11:39am
If they finish the Tomboy they should go down the street and do the same thing to the market at 6th and Proctor. The appearance of that place gives me a migraine.

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