BELLAIRE - After a near two decade absence, Bardwil's Grocery Mart is back open on 2101 Belmont St.
Majority owner Dan Brown and partner Amanda Doyle had spent the last few months renovating the former neighborhood grocery store before Saturday morning's soft opening.
"We did very well," said Brown midway through the store's first day of business. "We have been selling all day and people keep coming in."
DAN?BROWN, the new owner of Bardwil’s Food Mart, stands with a large pictorial representation of the former Bardwil’s Food Mart back during its heyday.
In keeping with tradition, the new Bardwil's Food Mart will operate in similar fashion to the old one, functioning as a corner grocery store for the neighborhood.
Brown noted he won't be able to compete with the nearby Kroger or More for Less in terms of inventory. He's hoping to provide a convenient location for the residents of the First Ward section of town while attracting others to stop down to visit an old Bellaire mainstay.
"We're trying to carve our own little niche in the local market," Brown said. "This is a hometown place.
"To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what we will sell yet. It's a total hodgepodge for now and we'll morph what we offer from there, based on what the customers want.
"But we'll have the coldest pop in town," Brown added, playing off the former Bardwil's calling card of the "coldest beer in town."
Bardwil's will be open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Brown is trying make sure Bardwil's doesn't fall victim to the same fate as other smaller, mom-and-pop grocery stores.
The smaller shops usually have higher prices because they can't buy in volume like the bigger stores.
"We're going to try and keep our prices low ... not too low that we go out of business of course," Brown said.
Doyle said eventually, they hope to carry produce and other items grown and made by local farmers and producers.
For now, Bardwil's doesn't have the proper display cases to sell a full line of produce ... the cooled cased complete with misters that you'll see at bigger grocery stores.
Work is still ongoing on the larger cooler for dairy storage. But all in do time for Brown and Doyle.
Brown owns a Sub Xpress and, within the next year, hopes to have it operating inside Bardwil's.
The key was getting open and getting the name back out in the public, then expanding from there.
"We wanted to start small and keep growing as we go along," Brown said.
For more information, call (304) 810-7509 or visit Bardwil's page on Facebook.
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