Fans of the old location at Scottsdale Quarter will be pleased to see that not much has changed. The expansive, loft feel remains, along with the upscale brands of pasta, condiments, canned goods and sundries carried by the metro area's first Oakville. Even the front register with its racks bearing containers of bulk candies and organic chocolate bars looks nearly identical to its Scottsdale counterpart, though at 10,000 square feet the new CityScape digs allow for more breathing room between aisles.
The full-service deli counter offers free samples of pasta and cold salads, which can be purchased in larger tubs for about $6.99-$9.99 per pound. That's pretty reasonable for an AJ's-quality grocery store, as are the $1.29 mini danishes and $2 muffins you'll find over at the already popular bakery and coffee counter. Another rare find is the Kosher-certified H&H bagels imported from New York.
In addition to fresh-baked muffins and cookies, you'll also find a selection of yogurt parfaits and confections (including -- eek! -- cake pops) by the likes of Julia Baker. Considering the deluge of e-mails soliciting locally made items that were sent community-wide by
Oakville in recent months, we expected a featured section of Phoenix-made goods.
Unfortunately there's no way to tell most local items from their national counterparts without reading the fine print on labels. But apparently, they're here by the hundreds.
According to PR representative Melissa Rein, the CityScape Oakville stocks more than 300 Arizona-grown or locally produced products, including Arizona Stronghold and Pillsbury wines, Superstition Farms ice cream, Sun Orchard juices and desserts from Jonathan Robbins Bakery.
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We were also impressed that Oakville's beer steward had Sleepy Dog and another local brewer's beer on tap as part of a small rotating beer selection.
With the exception of the more specialized Downtown Phoenix Public Market, Oakville is downtown Phoenix's first modern grocery store. Critics wonder if the local population will be enough to carry it, and yes, we've had our doubts too. But talking to customers and seeing just how many of them work nearby, it's clear that much of Oakville's business may come Monday through Friday when downtown office workers can grab a bite on their lunch hour or pop in for some quick groceries before heading home.
Oakville Grocery is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Lunch is offered after 11 a.m. and catering delivery will also be available for surrounding businesses.
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