We might not have been head over heels into Main Market a year ago, but thankfully things have improved quite drastically since then. No longer does the store seem like a wannabe-Huckleberry's with a sub-standard selection; Main Market has taken on its own unique identity, one that we quite approve of.
Pretty much everything has improved over the last year. The selection of meat is wide, and you can pick up local oddities like yak sausage. Hey, trust us, it's good. This is also the only store in town where we've found coconut wraps. They're not cheap, but pick a pack up and you can make both sweet and savory wraps from them.
The notched-up beer selection is something we also approve of, not shockingly. It's good enough to have put Main Market in the rotation for our rare-ale-hunts, even though the PBR is still displayed on the shelves, though not quite as visible as it once was, thankfully.
And the tomato soup from the deli might just be the best in town. Let us know if you want to challenge that notion, and we'll take you up on it!
Some might say the improvements have been incremental, and that is probably true. It also doesn't matter, seeing the improvements are visible across the board.
Hopefully Main Market will keep doing its thing. Stay on this course, and it might just turn into a clear-cut favorite.
Original review from 2/11/2011
It's been open for more than a year now, and finally Main Market feels like an actual grocery store. Thankfully. For a while it was touch and go, with empty shelves and few shoppers, and things were looking grim. Now the shelves are more or less stocked and there seems to be people in there at most times. Not a lot of people, but people none the less.
There are definitely things to like about the co-op, and particularly a focus on local goods is, for the most part, very good. This is -- depending on your perspective -- one of its advantages over Huckleberry's, a market that has more of an "organic" bend than "local." There's probably a whole debate in there about organic VS local VS quality VS whatever, but we'll leave that for another day.
Yet, with that said, I find it baffling how Main Market proudly displays PBR in the beer aisle. I mean, really? PBR? Pabst Blue Ribbon? That's just sad.
The aisles, meanwhile, are set up pretty nicely, and navigating the store is easy. None of the chainstore layouts in other words. The colors, though, I find kind of... Clinical? They just aren't that inviting, and feel kind of early-2000s-trying-to-be-hip.
Anyway, other than that, there's not much to say about Main Market. It's a grocery store and its deli is decent and the beer selection is good. As is the produce, and there's even a decent selection of local-ish meats.
Hell, if you're reading this, you've likely already made your mind up about the spot. I just don't love it. I want to, but for now, I would put Rocket Market and Huckleberry's and even some Yoke's locations (Argonne, in particular) in a higher class than Main Market.
At least the co-op has started putting up a fight. Regular membership is $180.
Vote for Main Market Co-op: It’s your civic duty!