The former Fresh Market grocery store off South University Drive in Fort Worth will be converted into a Tom Thumb supermarket, the grocer’s parent company announced.
Albertsons, which owns Tom Thumb, said it has purchased three former Fresh Market stores, which were closed by the North Carolina grocery chain earlier this year. The two others are in Dallas on Oak Lawn Avenue and Gaston Avenue. All three are expected to reopen as Tom Thumbs by the end of the year.
“Tom Thumb has had great success with smaller-format stores,” said Dennis Bassler, president of the Southern Division of Albertsons, in a statement. “We look forward to serving our customers in these new neighborhoods.”
The new Tom Thumb in the WestBend shopping center will be about three miles from an “urban” Tom Thumb expected to open early next year in the Left Bank shopping center on Harrold Street at the base of the West Seventh Street bridge.
The converted Fresh Market in Fort Worth will include Tom Thumb amenities including sushi, a pizza bar, gourmet bakeries and Starbucks coffee bar.
Tom Thumb currently serves west and south Fort Worth from stores in Trinity Commons on South Hulen Street and on Camp Bowie Boulevard near the Village at Camp Bowie shopping center.
By grabbing up the second location, the expanding Albertsons Cos., which acquired Tom Thumb when it merged with Safeway, blocks any potential competitor from coming into the WestBend center, which also serves the Texas Christian University and Colonial Country Club neighborhoods.
The H-E-B grocery chain has been scouting suburban locations and has bought some sites for potential stores. An H-E-B Plus is open in Burleson, and locations are planned in Hudson Oaks and Mansfield. But H-E-B has not shown interest in locations closer to its Central Market stores.
The Left Bank store is designed to be a 53,000-square-foot, two-story “urban concept” grocery similar to one in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
WestBend received a recent boost from the opening of HG Sply Co., a Dallas-based bar-and-grill with a dining room and patio along the Clear Fork of the Trinity River in what used to be called River Plaza.
Other tenants include the Silver Fox Steakhouse, East Hampton Sandwich Co., Zoe’s Kitchen, Tyler’s sporting goods, the Pax & Parker style shop, a Drybar hair-drying salon, Core Power Yoga and the Woodhouse Day Spa.
Fresh Market had entered the Dallas-Fort Worth market just last year before closing in May. It also had a store in Southlake.