No train station is really complete without a convenience store — someplace to grab a snack and some earbuds because you forgot yours.
Union Station was missing that until about a month ago, when the Local(ish) Market opened at the end of the train platform. And because this is Denver, it’s not your average bodega.
“We don’t make anything here, it’s all made by local food vendors like Biju’s Curry Shop, Noshery,” co-founder Jill Alfond said.
Soon they’ll also have food from The Mercantile and neighbor Tupelo Honey. When Tavernetta opens around the corner, Local(ish) Market will have their charcuterie and cheese along with a keg of their rosé and another wine not served at the restaurant. The idea is that anyone waiting on a table at the restaurant can wait there with a drink and an appetizer.
“We’re kind of just getting a handle on what people really want,” Alfond said. “Everyone wants sandwiches. We’ve definitely added more to our food since we’ve opened. The pastries are from Babette’s in The Source. It’s sort of a constant work in process.”
Local(ish) Market also serves tea and has beer, wine, cold brew coffee and kombucha on tap. You can also grab canned wine from Infinite Monkey Theorem or just a regular old soda.
“This is where the name came from,” Alfond said. “People want Diet Coke and you don’t want to be like, ‘Well, sorry, we only have organic Diet Coke.'”
Up until recently, Alfond’s focus was her Cherry Creek candy store, Sugarlicious.
“Two years ago my landlord came to the candy store and said, ‘We just sold the building, we’re tearing it down.’ So I called a commercial broker … and this was the first thing we showed me,” she said. “I knew that this was the spot, but I also knew it wasn’t going to be a candy store.”
Her business partners at the market, Chris Zettle and James
Stefankiewicz, are the owners of City Pop. John Gengel, director of operations, came from Whole Foods.
“This is ‘fast’ food and craft beer in that it’s convenient,” Gengel said in a statement. “But it has been prepared very much in the slow lane by local chefs, restauranteurs and craft beverage artisans.”
Local(ish) Market also has travel necessities for sale, and Alfond expects they’ll increase their supplies to accommodate hotel guests. The product mix will always be somewhat flexible.
“Because we’re small, we have the ability to sort of add new products, try them out and make adjustments,” Alfond said. “Now we have people who come in four or five times a week and we can ask, ‘Is there anything you wish we carried?'”
Local(ish) Market is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.