Jeffrey Merlot
Mr. and Mrs. M.

Metro Market – 5 years later

By - Mar 5th, 2010 04:00 am
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metromartIn the summer of 2004, Milwaukee east siders were relieved to see that the dull, old Sentry supermarket that once anchored the small shopping plaza on the corner of Van Buren and Juneau  had finally been replaced. The Metro Market was launched as a social experiment of sorts by Roundy’s Supermarkets as a new, upscale type of Pick ‘n Save store. Back then, Roundy’s touted the Metro Market as a “new-concept” grocery store, anticipated to rival  well-known staples in the community like Sendik’s and Grasch Foods.

cafedumondeMaking its debut with a wide assortment of imported and hard-to-find items as well as everyday American brands, Metro Market joined the ranks of the select few Milwaukee area markets that carry certain niche foods. On the shelves you could find  things like Café du Monde brand coffee and chicory from New Orleans, Twinings tea in cans, fresh okra, Bachelor’s brand mushy peas from Ireland, Knorr boxed spätzle noodles imported from Germany and plenty of other products that set top-of-the-line grocers apart from others in the metro area.

Fast-forward about five-and-a-half years to February 2010, and Metro Market finds its shelves almost completely reorganized as many brands have been discontinued, leaving regular shoppers slightly confused. One has to wonder if this was perhaps a strategic maneuver to hide what had become obvious to customers only a year out of the gate:  slowly but surely, Metro Market’s management has been thinning out those specialty items from its shelves and replacing them with goods that can be found at any other Pick ‘n Save store.

In fact, none of the aforementioned items are sold there anymore. Once again, shoppers must go to Sendiks or Groppi’s (a short trek over the Hoan bridge) to seek out  imported specialty products.

Surviving are the unique services Metro Market has become known for, like its cozy café with fireplace and big plasma TV, a juice bar, a catering service, the superlative dessert and meat departments and a pretty comprehensive cheese selection (though not quite as extensive as Whole Foods). Fresh produce can be hit or miss these days, depending on what you’re looking for. But what is in its large produce section is always fresh and of the highest quality.

Though not quite what it was when it first opened, Metro Market is still a favorite for east siders with a wide variety of products and services that sure beat what was in that location before.

Metro Market
1123 North Van Buren St., Milwaukee

Categories: Dining, Mr. and Mrs. M.

0 thoughts on “Mr. and Mrs. M.: Metro Market – 5 years later”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It was a Kohl’s, not a Sentry.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It was originally a Kohl’s food store, but it went out of business with all the rest of them. Quite a while after the Kohl’s store closed, that old structure was remodeled and a Sentry supermarket was its final occupant before it, too, eventually closed. Again, the old structure sat vacant for quite some time before it was demolished and the entire plaza was rebuilt for the Metro Market.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It may have been a Sentry at one point, but your sequencing is wrong. The site was Kohl’s immediately prior to Pick’n Save. It was rebuilt and opened as Kohl’s in Spring 2000. It remained a Kohl’s until the entire chain went out of business in Summer 2003. It then reopened as the Metro Market in 2004.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes – I think I do have the sequencing backwards. I remember that location more for the Sentry store that was there. But, any way you slice it, both the Sentry and the Kohl’s were quite dull stores compared to the Metro Market. I just hope Metro Market doesn’t go the way of those two dinosaurs and end up just as dull as they were, after its management is finished stripping away the imports and other high-end items from off their shelves that they once stocked which set them apart from Kohl’s and Sentry!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Give Roundys a chance and they will mess up any good thing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Funny, but about 6 months after posting this article to our column, their produce department turned WORLD CLASS!

  7. Anonymous says:

    […] Mr. and Mrs. M.: Metro Market – 5 years later […]

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