Friday, July 09, 2010

The reality of downtown living just got a lot more real-er

As many of you have heard, Knoxville recently got a grocery store downtown. This is a huge step forward for Knoxville, and is indicative of the type of downtown life many people have envisioned and striven for for many years.

>In a city our size, its one thing to have bars downtown. Most do. Restaurants that stay open past lunch is another step. Even further, to have people living downtown owning and renting is another sign of progress - to reclaim downtown as a center for community.

The one catch with this downtown living reality is that we are still lacking the necessities, namely - a grocery store.

When I first moved back to Knoxville for grad school, people asked how I liked it and I told them that it was incredible being back (granted, when I was here for undergrad, I lived in Maplehurst, so I already saw the city through rose-colored glasses). But for Knoxville 2.0 I lived in downtown proper, and I walked or biked everywhere - except to the grocery. Yes, there is the Farmer's Market, but its seasonal ... and they don't sell toilet paper.

Being able to walk down the street and get a dozen eggs or a gallon of milk is highly underrated, and I think that's why having a downtown grocery is so significant - downtown is no longer an outpost of our westward-spreading city, it is a place to live.

Aisle 9, located on North Central across from The Night Owl opened for business in May, and is phasing in its inventory over the next couple months. As it stands, they have an enormous selection of beer as well as many other City Market items--from granola bars to cleaning supplies. Soon they will have produce, meats and cheeses, and come fall, the deli will be open for business (and delivery).

The next time you're in the area stop by and say hello. The friendly staff are more than happy to give you the rundown of what the place will look like in a month or even in a week--they're about to double the amount of shelf space, so things are changing quick.

We're living in a community, people, and those nostalgic scenes of walking down the street for a quart of milk are now reality.


Anonymous said...

What are the prices like? Moving back to Knoxville is something the husband and I are considering and I want to live downtown...but we don't have high paying jobs. We're ministers.

Kevin said...

It's a little pricey.

Anonymous said...

Aisle 9 is cool but more than a little pricey. Beer is the most reasonably priced item they have. The rest? I couldn't afford to shop there for essentials. Eggs are $4/doz. They'll be good for a sandwich or late night 6-pack to go. -GW