Royal Blue Grocery opened at 1800 Main St. on July 30 and the Austin-based urban market is a hit.
The first Dallas Royal Blue opened in Highland Park Village in 2015. That location is also a hit.
According to Downtown Dallas Inc., 11,000 people live in Downtown Dallas, 135,000 people work in Downtown Dallas, and 70,000 people live within a 2.5 mile radius of the city center. That’s a lot of people who need access to groceries.
Sure, there’s a CVS and 7-Eleven within walking distance of the city center. And while those places suffice for things like one lone banana or some chips, the ability to walk out your front door, and down a few city blocks, to pick up a loaf of gourmet bread (Royal Blue carries a selection from Empire Baking Company) and carton of eggs is a luxury. (Urban Orchard Market, which opened at 1500 Jackson St. in 2013, did not last long. We have higher hopes for Royal Blue.)
There’s a small produce display in the center of the store with assorted fruits and veggies; enough variety to make a salad. There’s a dairy section with milk and cheese. There’s grab-and-go salads and sandwiches and sushi. There’s wine. So much wine. It’s the market’s largest department and they offer 150 types, according to store manager Nathan Hartkopf. There’s also a sommelier on staff to help with any wine-based needs. There will soon be a refrigerated case offering pre-sliced Boar’s Head deli meats, says Hartkopf.
We walked over and picked up a few pantry staples, and while it was more expensive than your average grocery store, it wasn’t as pricy as we’d anticipated.
Kraft Singles: $2.99 (keep your judgements to yourselves, thanks)
8-ounces of tarragon chicken salad: $5.99
Half-gallon of whole milk: $3.49
Loaf of white bread: $3.99
2 zucchinis (checkout clerk rang them up as cucumbers): $1.98
1 head of romaine lettuce: $1.49
Total came to $26.36 after taxes.
“It’s been great,” says Hartkopf. “Everybody is excited that we’re here.” Oddly, the store’s most popular item to-date is bagged hydrogen-infused water called H-Factor. “We also try to cater to local items, Pudding on Smiles is flying off shelves, too. And so is Ain’t No Mo Butta Cakes.”
Royal Blue Grocery is opening a second Downtown location at Trammell Crow Center this fall. “That location will have a smaller grocery section and be more of a food court,” says Hartkopf.
In the meantime, you can hit up the goods at the Main St. location daily, from 7 a.m. until midnight.