MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There will be more grocery store options for people who work and live in downtown Memphis.

Next month, Big River Market will open its doors at the corner of Tennessee and G.E. Patterson inside the historic Emerge Memphis building.

It comes just months after South Point Grocery opened a few blocks away on Webster Avenue in the South Main Arts District.

“Just a year ago, there were no grocery stores, and now we have two, and I”m sure there will be more in the future,” said Nick Barbian, owner of Big River Market.

Nick Barbian, owner of Big River Market

Nick Barbian has only been in Memphis since 2019 and calls the boutique market his pandemic project.

“I’ve done a lot of music throughout my career, and there wasn’t a lot of music happening in 2020,” he said.

Barbian, who worked as a music promoter and Memphis and Austin, Texas, said Big River Market is modeled after the Royal Blue Grocery in Austin.

“It was synonymous with quality, healthy food and options in Austin you couldn’t get late-night downtown, said Barbian. “It seemed like it would fit the neighborhood really well,”

Barbian said the 2,200-square-foot market would offer quality grab-and-go food, like panini sandwiches, Bain Barbecue, and coffee. He said a section of the store would also be devoted to cheese and wine, and they would carry many grocery store staples.

“We’ll have some fresh, canned goods. The basics of what you would see at a supermarket but maybe not the full twenty item-line of peanut butter,” said Barbian. “We are definitely on the convenience side of things.”

Barbian said he also planned to focus on locally and regionally made products.

“Especially food entrepreneurs, independents, any kind of crafty or local product. Something that’s really interesting and maybe outside of the norm,” said Barbian.

Barbian received a $60,000 grant from the Downtown Memphis Commission for the redesign of the front of the store. UrbanArch helped with the project.

Barbian lives nearby in the South Bluffs neighborhood and believes his little corner store will complement what is already happening in the South end of Main.

“This was really built for me, but it turned out my neighbors and friends were looking for the same thing,” he said.

Big River will be open from 7 a.m.- 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. on weekdays and will stay open until midnight on the weekend.