Since the Shop ‘n Save closed in 2019, five years after it opened, the Hill District has been without a full-service grocery store. Now, the neighborhood is getting a new one — and it’s about as local as it gets.

Less than one mile away in the Strip District, Salem’s Market and Grill has built a successful business model incorporating a grocery, a halal butcher shop, and a no-frills but outstanding restaurant serving Middle Eastern cuisine.

Now, Salem’s will be the the new tenant at Centre Heldman Plaza where the old Shop ‘n Save used to be. Salem’s has been in business in Pittsburgh since 1983 and moved to the Strip District in 2010.

“Salem’s has a proven record for providing high-quality food and products and supporting our minority communities,” says said Mayor Bill Peduto. “We look forward to working with them on this expansion project.”

Photo courtesy of Salem’s Instagram page.
Photo courtesy of Salem’s Instagram page.

There were four finalist applicants for the grocery store, but Hill District residents chose Salem’s. The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh will begin lease negotiations with Salem’s, which is expected to be a hub tenant for the Centre Avenue business district.

“Given Salem’s well-established customer base, the new grocery store and restaurant will bring considerable foot traffic to Centre Avenue, which will help support efforts underway to build back Centre Avenue as a business corridor,” says City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle.

Photo courtesy of Salem’s Instagram page.
Photo courtesy of Salem’s Instagram page.

The other candidates were the Denver-based Family Tree Food Market, an unnamed Hill District food co-op proposed by Pierre Development Co. and the Michigan-based Fresh International Market.

The selection at Salem’s is expected to include:

• Fresh produce, meat and seafood; a deli with prepared foods; snacks; drinks; international foods; household items; wholesale items; baby and infant care products; pet food and pet supplies; and pharmacy and beauty products

• Dedicated retail space for products from local vendors

There will be a career fair to hire 50 to 75 people in the neighborhood, including a butcher and chef training program. Local trade contractors and minority-owned business enterprises will be hired for the construction of the store.

Michael Machosky

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife, Shaunna, and 10-year old son.