Over the last decade, the Arts District on the eastern edge of Downtown LA has become increasingly more residential as opposed to being a strictly industrial district. As more residents moved in over the years into industrial buildings turned into lofts, the demand for basic amenities became ever more apparent. Even though numerous high profile restaurants and eateries have opened here in the last several years (i.e., Urth Caffe, Wurstkuche, Church & State, Bestia, Handsome Coffee to name a few), sorely missing was a neighborhood grocery store. And now with the opening of Urban Radish at 660 Mateo St near the Biscuit and Toy Factory Lofts, the Arts District finally gets its own specialty market helping to fulfill that basic residential need.
Urban Radish soft opened on July 4th last week and was immediately the newest hit on the block. According to sales associates in the store I spoke to, the line of customers was so long, “it wrapped all the way into the back of the store.” Shoppers, mostly residents of downtown, were so excited about the opening that even though Urban Radish employees were still not finished pricing all their items, people were still grabbing things off the shelves. A grand opening is set for next month on August 13.
At just over 8,000 square feet large — about half the size of a typical Trader Joe’s — the market still manages to feel spacious due to the soaring high ceilings allowing for a bright and airy feel. Urban Radish took over a large industrial warehouse and maintains many of the rustic aesthetic qualities, like polished concrete floors and exposed ducts, that remind shoppers they’re still in the Arts District.
The specialty market is stocked with organic and seasonal produce, a deli serving up cheeses and cured meats sourced from various parts of the world like Spain and England, a butcher section offering high quality meats, and various other cooking essentials like olive oil and organic spices.
Urban Radish isn’t just another specialty market in Los Angeles. Instead of just waiting on large chains like Trader Joe’s (who still don’t get it!), this market, which was started by Arts District resident Carolyn Paxton, is clear evidence that downtown residents — passionate about urban living and creating a livable neighborhood — are taking matters into their own hands.
For more info, please visit Urban Radish online.