A market offering the widest selection yet of groceries to those living and working in downtown Hartford is open, although the city's quest for a full-fledged grocery store in its business district continues.
Al's Market & Deli at 241 Asylum St. opened with little fanfare late last week across the street from the Hartford 21 complex.
At 1,700 square feet, the market isn't the size city officials are ultimately aiming for, but they say it is a vital first step that will show larger operators the demand for a grocer downtown exists.
The market, which opened Thursday and features built-in wooden shelves and stone counters, offers staples such as milk, eggs, laundry detergent, household cleaners, canned vegetables and condiments.
A sign in the front window proclaims, "Grand Opening."
Owner Al Jahmee, who sold a small grocery store he owned in Hartford's Frog Hollow neighborhood nearly two years ago, has said he chose the location on Asylum because it is central. It also would fill a longstanding need in the downtown area.