Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased to hear that a 28,000-square foot Fresh Thyme will open in the third phase of Mandel Group's The North End development on Pleasant and Water Streets, but it's yet another grocery store clustered together in the northeast edge of Downtown.
According to its website: "At Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets we believe you shouldn’t have to give away the farm to feed your body nutritious food. We’re on a mission to improve the way our communities eat by offering fresh and healthy food at amazing values – all in a vibrant and fun shopping environment, with smiling friendly faces. Our stores don’t follow traditional grocery store design, nor do they have tall aisles or glitzy fixtures. In fact, our stores are so simple and easy to navigate that we don’t number our aisles or hand out store maps. We believe shopping for fresh and healthy food should be easy and enjoyable."
Fresh Thyme is slated to open in 2015, according to the website. It is expected to be one of 23 stores opening in the Midwest, and one of two in Wisconsin. The other will be at Bluemound and Calhoun in Brookfield.
As someone who works Downtown, this doesn't do me much good. Sure, I can pop in there with my car on the way in or out of work – though I can already do that at three Pick 'N Saves and a Whole Foods that are along my daily commute. (And Glorioso's and Sendik's are just short detours.)
But what Downtown needs is a shot of adrenaline in the heart and I think a store like this in, say, the Grand Avenue – I'm pretty sure there's some space available in the Plankinton Arcade – or with some movie theaters above it on that long-empty lot on the corner of 3rd and Wells would be great.
Folks living Downtown could walk – sales of those wheeled shopping carts everyone had when I was growing up would skyrocket – and the thousands of folks who work in the City Center could pop over for lunch or to pick up snacks or a steak to toss on the grill for dinner.
I'm sure Fresh Thyme has done its research, but why am I skeptical that a location within a cantaloupe's toss of both Metro Market and the East Pointe Pick 'N Save is the best place for a new grocery store in the Downtown area?
And it's not all that far from another Pick 'N Save on Humboldt and North.
It's a great idea and is one that I've heard in almost every neighborhood in Milwaukee. If you want more retail of any kind, you need more residents. Grocery in the Grand Ave is also a great idea - one that would work better with even more residents living on Wisconsin Ave. Increase density ----> increase demand.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published April 17, 2015
I think of Milwaukee activist and former school board member Jennifer Morales as a strong advocate for the city's schools and children. Her new book, "Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories" collects nine short stories centered around Milwaukee and populated by Milwaukeeans. The richly drawn works open a window to the city and the struggles and joys experienced by its people.
Published April 17, 2015
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District has given Maryland Avenue Montessori its monthly Green Luminaries award for the rain garden that has greened a large chunk of the school's more than three-acre site.
Published April 15, 2015
As Record Store Day approaches (it's this Saturday), Foursquare and real estate brokerage Redfin combined forces to create some interesting data on the top 10 U.S. cities for fans of record stores. Milwaukee, whose vinyl shops I wrote about in February, clocks in at No. 5, below Portland and Chapel Hill, but above New York and Philly. Not bad.
Published April 15, 2015
After a week in Beijing, Bobby Tanzilo ruminates on Milwaukee's image problem in China.
Published April 13, 2015
Wanna go on a wings bender? No better place to do in these parts than West Allis. Here are four top-notch places for chicken wings.
Published April 10, 2015
Milwaukee Public Museum is, by far, the most-visited museum in the state. And, did you know, it's the sixth most-visited natural history museum in the country? Even the folks who stroll the Streets of Old Milwaukee and explore the rainforest on a regular basis can miss some of the many little details scattered around this Milwaukee institution. Here are a few to look for.
Published April 9, 2015
The way we see the world is all a matter of perspective, of point of view. Take, for example, the Milwaukee Theatre. Whenever I go inside, I rue the loss of the Auditorium's arcaded interior. On a recent tour of the both the Milwaukee Theatre and the adjacent Arena -- which I may always call the Auditorium and MECCA Arena (sorry, I can't stop myself) -- I was surprised to see how much of the auditorium remains in place.
Published April 3, 2015
Most of us have some modest food-based traditions - we like to have pizza on Tuedays, or we get ham and rolls on Sundays, etc.Over the years, some of my habits have turned a little ritualistic. They've become unspoken traditions. Here are a few of them...
Published April 2, 2015
There was a time when Milwaukee was awash in great bookshops. This is not that time. But don't fret because there is still a range of great booksellers purveying everything from fine literature to kids classics to cutting edge poetry to political works and more.
Published March 31, 2015
Katrina's one of those names in music that doesn't really require a surname. Just say it and people immediately begin singing "Walking on Sunshine." We talked to her as she gears up for her first U.S. solo tour in more than 25 years, which includes a stop at Shank Hall on Friday, April 3.