222 Market, the downtown Olympia destination on Capitol Way for food, spirits and flowers has experienced some ups and downs of late.
After it opened, the artisanal marketplace was recognized with some community awards. But many small business don't succeed, and that was felt at 222 Market when The Pantry, Broth Bar and Peddler Creperie all closed.
"Some owners didn't make it, but we are excited about the future," said Gray Graham, who owns the space with his wife, Joy. The Grahams bought the space in 2005 and set out to turn it into a home for local food. The Bread Peddler opened there in 2006.
Filling those empty spaces has begun.
The Pantry space has been filled by a restaurant called Dos Hermanos, and the former Broth Bar location is going to become The Pearl, which will be run by the same people behind Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar, which is already at 222 Market. Graham said The Pearl plans to serve tapas and other light fare. He expects it will open in October.
After that, there's one more space to fill: The former Peddler Creperie location on the corner. Graham said he has received inquiries from a Mediterranean restaurant, a craft pizza business, and a sushi bar. He is going to ask that the future business in that spot stays open late and operates six days a week so that it can attract customer traffic throughout the day.
And here's another requirement of serving food at 222: Graham believes strongly in the local, sustainable food movement -- he's the founder of Nutritional Therapy Association in Tumwater -- so some expectations are included in lease terms. For example, Dos Hermanos is required to use organic corn, flour and non-hydrogenated oils, he said.
Graham believes there is a market for good, affordable food, especially at night. Dos Hermanos is the right fit, he said.
In addition to the new business tenants, the Grahams have added some non-human tenants: There are two beehives on the roof of 222, ready to produce honey for use at Sofie's Scoops or other businesses.
As if that's not enough: The Grahams are going to partner with downtown developer Walker John to help them manage 222 Market.
Gray said he and his wife are looking for more expertise. They are foodies and entrepreneurs, but they are not developers and managers, he said.
And yet the Grahams aren't done yet. They also, along with John and local architect Ron Thomas, are going to partner on Market Flats, a six-story apartment building proposed on a parking lot the Grahams own across from 222 Market. The lot is at the corner of Olympia Avenue and Capitol Way North. The project could begin this year or in early 2019 and will feature mostly studio apartments in the $600-$700 price range, he said.
Before the Grahams bought the 222 Market building in 2005, it was home to financial services businesses. The building, which was built in 1947, began life as a Packard Dealership.