With last week’s opening of Quality Grocery, residents of the nearby historic Oakwood neighborhood finally have a convenient place to shop for groceries - and grab a bite to eat while they’re at it.
Perhaps “reopening” is a more apt term for a store that has come and gone a number of times at this location since 1909. This time around, new owners Jason Howard and Jay Wellons aim to recapture the old-time spirit of a neighborhood grocery.
To that end, the partners (who also own The Rockford and Brooklyn Heights Bar) have stocked the shelves with local produce and artisanal foods. A quick survey of those shelves reveals the familiar names of Counter Culture Coffee, Maple View Farm milk and ice cream, and cheeses from Chapel Hill Creamery and Goat Lady Dairy, as well as a colorful assortment of locally made jams, pickles and honey.
In a back corner of the shop, blackboard menus hung above an open kitchen tempt patrons to order, say, a country ham or homemade sausage biscuit and enjoy it at one the small tables along the front window - or if the weather cooperates, on the sun-dappled patio. Homemade chicken salad and a boneless baby back rib sandwich have already established themselves as top draws among the lunch crowd.
In the evenings, the offering is supplemented by a single entree special that changes with the day of the week. On Tuesdays you can count on meatloaf, and Saturday means pork chops with seasonal sides.
“We want to make Quality Grocery a neighborhood gathering place, where people can shop, but they can also come and get a bite to eat,” says Howard.