Cornering the Market 

City Market opening on South Main.

A new upscale grocery and deli is set to open at the corner of Union and Main Street, on the ground floor of the Radio Center Flats, sometime next week.

City Market is loosely modeled on Miss Cordelia's in Harbor Town. Their motto is "e2 — eat and enjoy," and it plans on offering that experience to customers in the form of fresh groceries, high-quality deli foods, coffee, and free wireless Internet.

"It has to be an upscale deli and grocery, and that's what we're aiming for," says Hamida Pirani, managing partner with her husband Sunny Mandani. "We love downtown. A market like this wants to be in an urban environment where people are focusing on eating healthy, and they're single, and they want something prepared that they can take home."

Pirani and her husband are dedicated to striking a balance of good value and healthy food for downtown. "We've been traveling to different states looking at different concepts. We've been to Chicago to look at Olivia's Market, and we've been to Arkansas to look at the Argenta Market. We're always looking for new products that will taste good and at the same time be healthy."

The menu, which will offer a number of sandwiches with Boar's Head meats and cheeses, as well as vegetarian options, is an eclectic blend of cultural influences. Curry chicken salad, a Cuban hero sandwich, and a Mediterranean veggie sandwich mingle with a traditional club sandwich and other American deli classics.

There also will be soups, fresh vegetables, salads, rotisserie meats, and other items for take-away or purchase by the pound. Boar's Head meats and cheeses will be available for purchase as well. A bakery case will offer muffins, scones, biscuits, cookies, and cakes from area bakeries such as Ladybugg Bakery and Sugaree's. Umai will deliver fresh sushi every morning at 11 a.m. Tropical Foods will provide its signature trail mixes, wasabi cashews, gummi bears, and other snack foods, and St. Clair will supply some of the salads for the deli case. Pre-made wraps and sandwiches, fruit cups, and yogurt parfaits will be available for a quick lunch on the go.

As for the groceries, traditional items such as toilet paper, eggs, and milk will be stocked as well as gluten-free, dairy-free, and organic products. The store will have six-packs of beer but no single servings. As much produce as possible will come from farmers markets, though Pirani says the amount will depend on availability.

There will be bar seating lining the front window and patio seating outside on Main Street. Sandwich prices will range from $7 to $10. City Market will be open Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City Market, 66 S. Main,

Au Fond is getting in the holiday spirit with a new special offer: From now until January 31st, anyone who brings in a new or gently worn children's winter coat will receive one free meal. Part of a joint effort with the Shelby County school system, the offer is limited to one meal per person making the donation, but patrons are encouraged to bring as many coats as possible.

Au Fond, 938 S. Cooper (274-8513)

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