Last week, Brian O'Neill highlighted new plans to build a Market House in the Strip District. Given my recent Cleveland trip raving about their West Side Market, I am very excited to hear about this potential addition to Pittsburgh. Imagine being able to get Clara's Pierogies, Breadworks bread, Mike & Tony's Gyros, and some cannoli's from a bakery in Bloomfield all under the same roof. Not to mention all those small-potatotoes farmers that I've never heard of. Throw in an outpost from PennMac's cheese counter, and you might actually be able to buy cheese on Saturdays without a long wait.
Personally, I do 95% of my shopping at the Strip. I find that it's hell on Saturdays, but on a weekday afternoon it's a great way to shop. The Strip District is a Pittsburgh treasure. A market house would truly complement and complete the existing offerings - giving smaller shops that can't afford to man a storefront 6-7 days a week an outlet for their wares and giving a new year-round outlet for established eateries and grocers around the county. It would also be a nice escape from some of the cold winter days when it's harsh to be walking from store to store in the Strip.
For weekly shopping the Strip can be intimidating. It's annoying to figure out which store sells the best ricotta (Penn Mac), filo dough and feta (Stamooli's), or chuck roasts (Strip District Meats). But figuring it out is also part of the fun, and once you start, you'll be excited to see which fruits Stan's has on super-markdown this week or which fish Wholey's is practically giving away. With the addition of Right By Nature, most excuses have been thrown out the window in terms of shopping at the Strip. They offer all the basics, including about 20 different brands/styles of yogurt, and they offer 2 hours of free garaged parking if you shop in their store. No more excuses. Get yourself to the Strip, and show these great grocers that with a market house, their business can only increase.