With a strong scent of ground, fresh-brewed coffee and grilled bacon and French toast, the new Fresh Market grocery opened Wednesday morning in Sunset Harbour at 1800 West Avenue.
The store is huge — 24,000 square feet — with a large section of fresh fruit and vegetables, a meat and seafood market, aisles of wines, bulk candy and nuts, gourmet coffee and a massive prepared food area in the center of the store.
The opening was noted in a Miami Herald business story Wednesday that focused on the restaurant and retail boom in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood, including the transition of Mark’s Cleaners and the proposal to build a bridge over the Collins Canal on West Avenue to link the area south of 17th Street.
The impact of Fresh Market on our neighborhood should be interesting. The new building has a parking garage above (and parking is sadly lacking in the neighborhood), and the prepared foods and fresh produce could pose real competition to both Publix and Epicure.
The produce prices were competitive with Publix (Campari tomatos $3.99 a box, the same as where shopping is a pleasure and fresh red grapefruit were $1 a piece. Of course, it’s much cheaper than Epicure, and the prepared food looked excellent.
The store is providing samples of some specialties today from the bakery (it offers 14 daily pie varieties and 30 different baked breads) and other treats, as well as drawings for gift cards.
The area around the store is still a big of a mess — and some streets were closed to traffic Wednesday morning as workers cleaned up construction debris and patched the construction-blemished asphalt on 18th Str.
It will take a while to clean up that mess, but the chain-link fencing around the street corner should come down soon.