The space at 1327 Arch Street in the Mexican War Streets has been a corner grocery store since the building first went up in 1895. Most recently, it spent 18 years as Doug’s Market before owner Doug Nimmo closed up shop in December.
Now, another local grocer has emerged to revive the market and keep the tradition going.
Rob Collins, a Manchester resident who owns the Bryant Street Market
in Highland Park, is refinishing the space and will open as the Allegheny City Market later this month.
“We’ll have a whole mix of conventional, organic, natural and gluten-free products,” Collins says. “We’ll have fresh bread delivered every day, and anything local that we sell over at Bryant Street we’ll add here, like eggs, chocolate and dairy.”
The store will also offer a small variety of prepared food, including sandwiches made on site. According to Collins, the sandwiches are among his other market’s most popular items.
War Streets residents are eager for a new local grocery, especially if it’s able to cater to the whole of the community, which has seen the wealth gap amongst its residents grow over the last 10 years.
“There’s still an extreme wealth spectrum in this neighborhood,” says Brian McGuirk, who with his wife, Caitlin, bought a home in the War Streets last year. “I think it would be good if it could serve both ends of the community. It’s exciting to see something like that come in. If we could get by supporting a local place, we’d definitely do that.”
That’s exactly what Collins intends to do.
“Like I tell everybody over at Bryant Street, we’ll have everything you need to survive except booze,” he says.
Collins is aiming to open the Allegheny City Market on March 22.
Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Rob Collins, Brian McGuirk