Project Profile: Dave’s Market and Eatery

This article, written by Properties Magazine Staff, was originally published in the March 2020 publication of Properties Magazine. Photo by Peter Renerts Studio.

Design of Midtown Cleveland grocery incorporates local history, ‘blue collar’ feel

Many Cleveland residents in live in areas considered “food deserts,” meaning they don’t have convenient access to a full-service grocery providing fresh meat, produce and healthy food choices. Recognizing a need for a new supermarket in an urban food desert on Cleveland’s east side, Dave’s Market opened its newest grocery early last year in the Midtown neighborhood.

Designed by the team at MCG Architecture (design/interiors) and GLSD Architects (project architecture) and constructed by Geis Construction (shell) with Lawler Construction (interiors), the market is part of Hemingway Development’s Link59 business park and adjacent to University Hospitals’ Rainbow Center for Women & Children. Located on the corner of E. 61st and Chester Avenue, the new store replaces the original Dave’s Market, formerly located a mile and a half away at 3301 Payne Ave.

Dave’s Market and Eatery – Cleveland Midtown is different from the 90-year-old, family-owned grocery chain’s other locations, explains Kevin Mousty, executive vice president, Eastern Region, with MCG Architecture (Cleveland).

“This store is much more tied to the Cleveland heritage and the history of Cleveland,” Mousty says. “The Saltzman Family has been in the business since 1930 when Alex Saltzman opened up his first produce stand, and this store really brings that history/heritage into its design.”

In addition to its grocery offerings, the one-story, 55,ooo-square-foot features a food court area (the ‘Eatery’), a community gathering space, a teaching kitchen, a bank and a pharmacy.

The ‘Eatery’ component was added to create a ‘food hall’ approach to the prepared meals department. Here, patrons can get a meal to go or there is a seating area where one can grab lunch or dinner from a wide variety of food vendors, ranging from sushi, hibachi and Mediterranean to BBQ, sub sandwiches, fried chicken and fish, soups and salads. There is also an outdoor seating area that is open when the weather permits.

A new community room and teaching kitchen is designed to accommodate corporate meetings, private events and cooking classes. Here, University Hospitals regularly provides free instructional sessions where nutritionists offer tips on preparing healthy meals.

The new Dave’s Market and Eatery introduces other unique features not used in Dave’s Markets before. This includes a drive-through pharmacy, as well as a new interior décor package dedicated to Cleveland.

“The intention of the interior décor, created by King Retail Solutions, was to tie in Cleveland and the neighborhood by using industrial materials such as metal, wood and brick,” Mousty says. “We exposed the masonry and steel of the building on the interior as much as possible to have an industrial feel to the building – not a ‘finished product.’ Cleveland is a blue collar, hard-working town and we wanted to convey that in the design.”

“The décor package ties into Cleveland neighborhoods into the aisles not only numbered, but also named after Cleveland streets. Also, the entry wall in the vestibule and the wall into the Liquor Agency have the words ‘Welcome’ and ‘Cheers’ written in many different languages spoken by the residents of Cleveland, because the city is a melting pot and proud of its many different ethnicities.”

With the opening of the Midtown Market and Eatery, Dave’s Supermarkets now operates 13 locations in Northeast Ohio.