Considering the population density of Uptown and downtown Dallas, it's surprising that it's taken so long to get a full-sized grocery store in the area. Sure, there's a small Whole Foods on McKinney and a Kroger Fresh Fare on Cedar Springs, but otherwise, grocery offerings are limited — and, in the case of Whole Foods and Royal Blue Grocery downtown, are more expensive than the everyday shopper can afford.
As of Friday, Uptown finally has a full-sized grocery store: Tom Thumb, open now at The Union, a mixed-use development that exists on the border between Uptown and Victory Park. Make no mistake: This is not just another of those tiny apartment-amenity grocery stores. This is the real deal.
With wide aisles named after Dallas streets, a full pharmacy and the requisite Starbucks, this new Tom Thumb is poised to be a popular spot in the neighborhood. The produce selection is large, offering everything from jicama to organic avocados to varieties of small melons that we'd never even heard of. There's a florist, a massive cheese section, a butcher and fishmonger and, perhaps of most interest to Dallas shoppers, a beer and wine bar called The Union Tap.
The small, window-filled bar serves beer and wine by the glass, and the bartender will be happy to supply you with the plastic cup necessary to sip while you shop. Expect typical mass-produced beers (Bud Light will set you back $3, while a Shiner is $2) along with a menu of local beers like Deep Ellum IPA ($5), Peticolas Velvet Hammer ($6), Oak Cliff Brewing Co.'s Hefeweizen ($6) and Lakewood's The Temptress ($6). There are also wines by the glass, ranging from $4 to $6.
Groceries aside, there's the Grill Bar, serving sandwiches to the Uptown lunch crowd on our visit, along with "Asian Bar," which serves sushi and poke bowls. But in a neighborhood as dense with restaurants as Uptown — and short on grocery stores — it's the groceries that are going to have locals excited. As for parking, find a spot in any of The Union's parking garages, then bring your parking ticket into the store for validation.
This won't be the only Tom Thumb, which started in Dallas in 1948, bringing groceries to this part of town — another location is currently under construction on Live Oak, right at the edge of Deep Ellum.
Tom Thumb at The Union, 2380 N. Field St. (Uptown)
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.