Sunday, September 7, 2008
Eye M - Eating
At our house, a busy week of late work nights and evening meetings probably means at least one night of take out dinners. This week we discovered one of our options is temporarily unavailable -- Jerry's Pizza is closed on Washington Street as of August 31, but will re-open in their new location, 635 South Main Street, across from Jackson Chevrolet on October 1.
Rumor had it that the old Shop Rite store on Washington Street, in the Jerry's Pizza Plaza, would finally be sold or leased to a new grocery store and Jerry's would be part of the new renovation. With Jerry's move, I would guess that his deal for new digs in a new grocery store fell through. Are we doomed to have a flea market there forever? Does anyone know what is in store for that plaza?
Lot's of Middletown grocery store changes are coming anyway. After years of just having two major grocery stores , a small health food store and a couple of small neighborhood markets, the grocery store scene is getting much better and the competition is heating up. Its Only Natural is moving to a bigger space, offering a larger selection along with some amenities like a juice bar. The South Side Market has opened up on South Main Street with an actual butcher you can talk to on the premises and great fresh fish a couple of days a week. Stop and Shop is now undergoing major renovations and holds out the prospect of being a better store. You probably noticed the new S&S logo and their circulars promoting their new look and take out services. A new ALDI grocery store is scheduled to open on the Old Mill Furniture store site on Washington Street later this year. Today's NY Times (business section) has an article about how ALDI stores are focused on price, ignoring the trends in supermarkets to cater to convenience and upscale products.
I always felt the two major supermarkets in town had a license to steal, as hardly anyone crossed town to go to the other store out of their neighborhood. The smaller stores did not really offer enough product to give them much run for our money. In the last year, I have seen many, many of my fellow Middletown residents shopping in West Hartford at Trader Joes and Whole Foods and lately in Newington at Stew Leonards. I'm hopeful that we will soon have more reasons to shop locally.