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November 19, 2019

Food market nears debut in downtown Hartford

The Hartford Food Market is debuting in downtown’s Stark Building days before Thanksgiving.

A new food market is opening next week in downtown Hartford’s Stark Building just in time for the holiday rush.

The so-called Hartford Food Market will debut Monday in a 6,650-square-foot space on the ground level of the 750 Main St. office tower, co-owner Abdulla Nasher said Tuesday.

New York office-space landlord Adam J. Stark earlier this year announced the food market would open in the street-level space that was once a CVS pharmacy store. The market will join The Greenway Market and New York Market & Deli, both on Asylum Street, purveying fresh and packaged goods to downtown residents and workers.

Nasher and his two business partners, which operate four food markets in Harlem, Brooklyn and Bronx, N.Y., noticed the vacant retail space during a trip last fall to downtown Hartford and began to envision a store there.

The partners months later leased the space and spent more than $500,000 in recent months to overhaul the storefront.

“We saw how Hartford is and thought it was a good city,” said Nasher, who recently moved to Hartford.

HBJ File Photo
The Stark Building at 750 Main St., Hartford.

The food market, open seven days a week, will initially employ up to 15 full- and part-time workers, he said. The store will sell fresh produce and includes a juice bar and prepared food stations for pizza and deli sandwiches. 

Stark acquired the 18-story, century-old former Hartford National Bank headquarters in 2017 for $4.3 million and spent more than $1 million refurbishing its interior spaces and mechanical and electrical systems. 

Current tenants include legal, financial and professional services firms, technology companies, along with several other noteworthy professional companies, including Crosskey Architects and The Connecticut Forum.

Stark said the market is a crucial piece to what he calls a key corner in the state of Connecticut.

“When we looked around, we wanted the right tenant in the space,” he said. “The food market seemed like the right type of tenant for that space.”

The food market is opening its doors as debate continues over whether the Capital City needs a new, large-scale grocery operator, especially in the city’s North End neighborhood.

Mayor Luke Bronin this summer said he is still hopeful the city’s Downtown North, or DoNo, development includes a grocery store. It remains to be seen whether DoNo, which remains held up in a legal battle with the fired developers, will sign a grocery operator to the project.

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November 20, 2019

The CVS across the street sells much of the same stuff.Competition is a good thing.

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