Past & Future: The East Side Market is Back

I’ll admit, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the Glenville neighborhood. It’s the place I started and later ended my career in education, both at Charles H Lake and Glenville High, and it’s the neighborhood that connects me to one of my favorite childhood memories, the family cookout.

My mom loved to barbecue, she’d cookout all year long, 4th of July, Christmas or New Years, it didn’t matter she’d be out there. Like most cookouts a trip to the grocery store was in order but for a special family cookout, it also called for a trip to the East Side Market for the meat.

Butcher shop at the East Side Market/Blackgirlincle

I’ll admit, it wasn’t until I was in my late 20s or maybe in my 30s, that I I learned that there was a West Side Market. What can I say, I’m an old school Clevelander, I grew up believing we don’t cross the bridge.

I was sad when the East Side Market closed and then heartbroken when I realized that there were no grocery stores around. Long before the term food desert was coined the residents of Glenville were living in one. But all that has changed.

Welcome Back East Side Market

Welcome Back East Side Market

The East Side Market is back in its original location on E. 105 and St. Clair. Remembering my mom, and thinking about my former students and the Tarblooder community I felt I had to be at the grand opening.

I arrived around 9, about an hour after the store opened and the check out lines were full. The store was so bright and welcoming.

As I walked in the door I was greeted by a man handing out the reusable tote shopping bags, media was there taking pictures and community leaders were doing interviews. You could tell, this was a big deal for many.

It took me a second to realize…this is a regular grocery store. Unlike the West Side Market, or what the East Side Market used to be this new East Side market mirrored a Dave’s or Heinen’s. When you first walk in there was produce, and a salad bar. No more food desert! There was a bakery and butcher section and then the customary aisles of dry and frozen food.

As shoppers continues to enter the store it became obvious that this store would be a community gathering place. People talked and greeted their neighbors, there were hugs and smiles and people calling friends and family telling them about the store. Cleveland Police were on hand taking pictures of the store and talking to residents, all in all it was a joyous event.

I can’t say it enough, I am so happy that the East Side Market is back for all Clevelanders but especially the residents of the Glenville.