When the new Thomas Street Market opens — the current plan is Monday, October 24th — it’s not likely to be world changing though it will certainly be convenient for the thousands of people living around Summit Ave. Instead, it will be that rare moment when you are able to make note of the kind of thing that is just there — as it becomes… there. But the ubiquity of the city corner market doesn’t quite do the new place justice and owner Won Williamson hopes the surprising depth of offerings at his new market and deli will help his business rise above what people would expect looking in from the outside.
“I’ve put every inch of this place to use,” Williamson said. “It just keeps going in the back.”
The deli counter at the door and the tightly packed aisles of the market’s front lead to a small series of grocery catacombs extending well into the building at 233 Summit Ave E. In the back, shelves are full with the necessities of life: dog and cat food, dish soap, Lunchables.
We visited this stretch of Summit Ave E back in July as Analog Coffee settled in around the corner from the Thomas St. Bistro. Building owner and architect Bob Weisenbach told us he was trying to gather a collection of businesses that would form a community gathering place at Summit and Thomas.
Williamson was busy loading shelves and talking with various delivery people as we returned this week to check in on the market as it prepares for its opening. Unlike the Trinity Market in the U-District that he still maintains a stake in, Williamson doesn’t expect Thomas Market customers to be as focused on the deli and convenience items. He’s making plans to maintain a produce and dairy section. There are no e-cigarettes or stars and bars trucker hats at the counter.
Hours will be 7a-11p weekdays and 7a-midnight on the weekend. Williamson says he’s hoping to be a little bit like the City Market — only on Summit. No plans for provocative signs, yet, or fried chicken. Deli sandwiches and enough staples to avoid yet another walk to QFC or augment your Amazon Fresh order? That, Thomas Market can do.