21 December 2004
There is, or was, a Braum's Ice Cream store off I-40 at Villa/Agnew; it's now shut down, acquired by the state as part of the process of laying down the new hyperexpensive alternate alignment to Interstate 40.
But when a door closes, they say, another opens, and The Downtown Guy sees an opening:
For anyone wanting a grocery store downtown, this might be the shot to get a good start. Braum's has had success with limited grocery / ice cream / restaurants across town. In addition to selling the typical assortment of burgers, sandwiches, etc., they also sell fresh meat, produce, eggs, milk, bread, cheese and other basic grocery items.
The only supermarket close to downtown, you'll remember, is a Homeland on 18th between Classen and Western adjacent to Mesta Park.
The Braum's nearest to me, at 39th and Pennsylvania, has made this conversion, and it's very handy; the selection is somewhat limited, but one could argue that the selection at one of the monster markets in the 'burbs might be too large, and what Braum's does carry in the way of actual groceries is well beyond what you'll find in most convenience stores.
(Aside: This store is careful to identify itself on the phone as "39th and North Penn," because, as they explained, there is also a store at 39th and South Penn.)
And this may be an answer, if not necessarily the answer, for the New Downtowners:
Braum's has got to be looking for a new I-40 store. Could they build a new full store and restaurant closer to downtown. They would get the same traffic that hit the old store, plus downtowners who want a Braum's breakfast or lunch, plus grocery access craved so badly by downtowners.
Which leads to a question: do you park the store along the new I-40 alignment, which is half a mile south of downtown at its closest approach, or do you locate it along the "parkway" they're supposed to make out of the old I-40?
I'd be really surprised if Bill Braum's kids weren't thinking this over already.