Uptown Market in Deep Deuce not quite a done deal
Before you get excited about this photo illustration ....
I've been aware since November that the Native Roots Grocery in Deep Deuce was a crossroads, with original operators Matt and Sara Runkel's organic store no longer able to compete with the Sprouts, Whole Foods and Natural Grocers that weren't in the market when they got their start in Norman.
A deal was done with Uptown Market that at least kept the doors open. Uptown Market struck a transitional operational agreement that put the grocer in charge of the store. Their access to goods not cheaply available to operators of a single operator allowed for a wider, more mainstream product mix with prices comparable with Uptown, Buy For Less, Walmart Neighborhood Mart and Crest.
I was able to confirm this switch, to some degree, when they started printing the Uptown name on receipts a few weeks ago. A few days ago I started trying to find out more about this transition when an application appeared on the city's permit portal showing plans to replace the Native Roots sign outside with the Uptown Market name.
Unfortunately, Susan Binkowski with Uptown has not returned my calls and emails. But the building owner, Richard McKown, confirmed today the store turning into an Uptown Market is far from a done deal.
Currently, McKown said, Uptown is an operator acting in a transitional role that is not yet permanent.
"The reason there is a sign application in is Uptown and City Center are trying to figure out if there is a way to make changes needed to boost the store’s customer base," McKown explained. "There are not enough people living downtown to support a grocery store and we’re trying to figure out a way where this store can bring in more of the the 75,000 people who work downtown."
Folks, here is where I shoot straight: this is the grocery you've been asking for. Use it, or lose it.