The Curb Market will open an expansive second location in Crosstown Concourse next year, returning to the neighborhood where it once stood at the corner of North Cleveland and Poplar.
"I can remember going with my mother to buy fresh produce there in the summertime," said Peter Schutt, owner of Winchester Farms in Dancyville and the Curb Market on Cooper. "It's ironic that it's come back into my life, and I think it's an important statement for the urban core of Memphis to have a return to the past like that."
The original Curb Market served as a one-stop shop for neighborhood residents during the 1950s. Many Sears Crosstown employees depended on the grocer for fresh produce, flowers, and garden supplies, its locally sourced meat market, and a hot meal from the deli.
Curb Market was, in many ways, a community gathering place. When it reopens on March 1, 2017, a revived and renamed Curb Crosstown will carry that spirit, Schutt says.
"The Crosstown team is interested in building a local community," Schutt says. "Local food is a keystone of having any kind of luck with a community. It's a unique opportunity to add an important component to their concept."
With a sprawling 8,500 feet, the Curb Crosstown will be four times the size of Schutt's lone location on Cooper. Customers will be able to choose from a larger selection of locally sourced produce, dairy products, and frozen items – with an emphasis on healthy, organic foods. The new market will also include an on-site butcher shop, stocked with fresh cuts of locally grown pork, beef, poultry, chickens, turkeys, and seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.
Crosstown Concourse will boast its own brewery, and other Memphis area craft beers will be on tap at The Curb Crosstown. Located next to the main entrance on the building's south side, the Market will also operate a full-size kitchen that serves breakfast, lunch, and early dinners.
"We'll have a hot food bar as well as a salad bar," Schutt says. "We'll have indoor and outdoor seating. There's a 15-foot wide concrete promenade that's covered on the south side of the building that extends the full length of the store."
Partnering with Church Health, Curb Crosstown will sell whole-grain breads baked across the hall in the Church Health kitchen.
"Their emphasis on food being medicine is important," Schutt says. "I fully believe that having a local food economy is really important to having a more closely knit community in general."