In an old school house where children once learned arithmetic, cheese, wine and beer will be hawked to thankful suburbanites; as fresh veggies, meat and fish overflow from bins and well-stocked cases.
Rejoice York/Cumberland County foodies, a Pike Place-style market opens in the former Dunstan School this spring. The Route 1 brick expanse, which has been a restaurant for 29 years, is prepping for its third act. On the Vine Marketplace, an independent grocer based in Exeter, N.H. is refashioning the space into a food bazaar.
“We have a full butcher. We do everything. Marinated meats, we make everything ourselves,” said Abel Schultze, an Eliot native who scoured York County for five years for the right spot for a second On the Vine Marketplace. He struck it right at 591 US Route One.
Schultze and partner Scott Edwards bought the 5,000-square-foot building and are rehabbing the space. The result will be an open-concept market with a wine, beer and cheese balcony. A chef, two pastry chefs, a butcher and fish monger toiling below.
“Picture it … if you could go back a hundred years, you’d find a butcher shop, a fish guy, bakery, deli … we took what grocery stores are terrible at, fresh food, and said ‘we are going to do this,'” said Schultze.
A panoply of food options from hot pastrami sandwiches, to cupcakes, to the finest meats and cheese from the deli, On the Vine is ready to impress.
Their flagship store opened in Exeter, N.H. nine years ago. Southern Maine, specifically Scarborough, a town Schultze truly loves, is ready. “Under one roof and through one register you are going to find the people that really care,” said Schultze. “In the height of summer 80 percent of what we carry is local.”
That’s good news for this stretch of Route 1, the gateway to Pine Point, that is not exactly a fresh food thoroughfare. But with the area going through a growth spurt, On the Vine could be a harbinger of things to come.
“We are a couple of small town guys with big dreams,” said Schultze.
Welcome to the hood. On the Vine Marketplace is shooting for April 1 opening. (We hope that is not a Fool’s Day joke.)