Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Photos: Central Market opens smaller store in affluent North Dallas
New store goes into old Border's space at Preston & Royal and opens February 15.
DALLAS Only at the opening of a high-end grocery store like Central Market in one of Dallas' wealthiest neighborhoods would you see a valet stand.
Tuesday's media/sneak preview of the new CM at Preston-Royal in North Dallas not only offered free valet, it drew six-plus staffers from the DMN, a Mayor Rawlings speech, and an appearance by company senior VP Stephen Butt. Rawlings said that this will be his personal neighborhood store, and Butt reminded that he'd lived in this neighborhood in 1999, so it would be his store were he still living in Dallas.
With a Tom Thumb kitty corner, and four more Tom Thumbs within a 2-mile span, as well as two Whole Foods (Preston Forest and Park Lane) and a Natural Grocers one block away, this would seem to be a block with plenty of grocery access already. But no. Cooking instructor/cookbook author Tina Wasserman (Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora), a local resident, said that she had consulted on the opening, giving advice to the company on what it needed.
"I told them, I need a market that has three things: seafood, kosher meat, and Hellman's mayonnaise," she said. "Right now, I can't get all three things at any other local store."
At 30,000 square feet, this Central Market, which took over an old Border's space, is smaller than the other four CMs in the area. It's sortof the equivalent of a Walmart Neighborhood Market, though it still has a prepared-foods area and a bakery that makes bagels and bialys. It also has very tiny parking spaces around the exterior of the lot.
In addition to the heavy staffing presence from the DMN, the event drew about 200 VIP locals and Central Market employees. A band from Hillcrest High played, and there was a buffet of juices and hors d'ouevre. After the speeches and patriotic songs, they opened the doors and people filed in to collect freebie corkscrews, grilling planks, and other foodie tchotchkes. Stephen Butt stood by the caviar and smoked salmon aisle and local residents formed a small line to meet him, as if he were the Pope.
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