Nov. 20, 2009
Central Hillside will get its market back
By Andy Greder
When his home-cooked dinner didn’t taste
just right, Central Hillside resident Scott Yeazle would hustle
to the nearby 4th Street Market and Deli to buy that missing spice.
Other times, he’d pop in to buy a hot taco for his wife.
But for about seven months, Yeazle and the rest
of the Central Hillside have been without their neighborhood full-service
grocery store. It closed in April, but come December, the doors
at 102 E. Fourth St. will reopen, showing a remodeled storefront
and new management.
“It was very missed in the hillside when
it closed,” said Yeazle, an active volunteer in the neighborhood.
“I’m excited. I can’t wait for it to open up.”
The Hurlbut-Zeppa Charitable Trust, which owns
the property, has signed a lease with father-son pair Tom and Matt
Potter, who also operate the Hillside ICO convenience store on Sixth
Avenue East and Sixth Street.
“When we were over there showing it or meeting
with contractors, people came up to the door and want to buy stuff,”
said Keir Johnson, managing agent of the trust. “It’s
a neighborhood tradition; it’s a gathering place. It’s
a place that anchors the community as well as serving a need for
basic groceries and foodstuffs.”
Brendan Hanschen, a community organizer in Central
Hillside, said the complexion of the neighborhood changed without
“People would meet up at the market and
it gave you the opportunity to talk to your neighbors and meet them,”
said Hanschen, neighborhood project coordinator for Neighborhood
Housing Services. “There was a nice sense of community there.”
Matt Potter wants the market to return to its
place as a destination.
“It’s going to be a really community-driven
store,” Potter said. “We think the community really
needs it, and that is what we’ve heard from everyone.”
When the market closed in April, Johnson said
he had a few serious leads into a new operator. The previous tenants,
Deyona and Jamar Kirk, ran the market as Ma and Pop’s 4th
Street Market for about three years before filing for bankruptcy
“A couple of folks realized it was not something
they wanted to take on, so you have to find the right people with
the right experience and backing,” Johnson said. “It
The Potters have a history in retail and in rehabilitating
abandoned stores. They operated the Milkhouse on Central Entrance
for more than 25 years, and the Hillside ICO was vacant before they
reopened the convenience store about nine years ago, Matt Potter
“We built a business out of it,” he
said. “It’s something that we are proud of and something
that gave us confidence going into this.”
The 4th Street Market is undergoing reconstruction
to install new flooring, lighting, equipment and countertops, Matt
“We want to give it back to the customer
and community,” he said.