The Market 

The Market for opening its doors to hungry shoppers.

We join the Church Hill cliff dwellers, Shockoe Slip urbanites and Varina country folk in giving a tasty group smooch to the Market at Tobacco Row.

The Market is the new full-service grocery store at Main and 24th streets in the East End. A cheerful space, there's virtually no wait at the checkouts. The merchandising, while not spectacular, is comparable to what's offered at grocers in the 'burbs.

Equally important to the convenience is the resounding message this opening sends: Downtown living is no longer a concept, it's a reality.

In recent years, as former cigarette factories in Shockoe Bottom and environs have been converted to loft living, the big question has been: When would other amenities follow? The Exxon and McDonald's at Broad and 18th streets just wasn't cutting it. The Market at Tobacco Row is the first significant "third space" the Shockoe area has had -- a public place where people of all walks and stripes can congregate on a regular basis. While there's a lot of yammering about "community," the Market is actually bringing people together.

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