Greenmont store offers hot foods
Green Arch Market also has catering
Matt Smailes was walking down the street in his neighborhood of Greenmont, when he noticed a “For Rent” sign posted in the window of a corner property building.
Smailes, being in the catering and restaurant businesses for as long as he can remember, immediately pictured in his mind what he could do with such a property.
So he jumped on it, picked up the phone, got in touch with the landlord and asked him, “How much are you charging for rent?”
To his surprise, the landlord didn’t respond with a price. Instead he said, “You shouldn’t rent this building. You should buy it.”
Smailes, thrown off for just a second, said he would try his best to do so.
First, he wanted to determine that what he had in mind for the property would pass zoning, and sure enough it did on Aug. 8.
So Smailes got to work, and a buddy, Kevin Kiszka, got into the mix.
Construction began Aug. 12, and about six months later, the Green Arch Market opened its doors to the public for the first time on the corner of, you guessed it, Green and Arch streets.
The soft Valentine’s Day opening was for the convenience section of the store, which is how the idea began according to Smailes, but on March 4 — Fat Tuesday — the kitchen opened up shop.
The Green Arch Market will hold it’s grand opening on April 12, when they will block off Arch street to host performances by the WVU Swing Dance Club and the High Street Jazz Band.
Kiszka, who worked as sous-chef at Sargasso Ristorante, where Smailes was head waiter, knows his way around a kitchen.
He said he has concentrated on several different cuisines, during his years in the kitchen, including Cajun and Creole. But he won’t be making any particular style of food “the style” at the Green Arch Market.
He intends to bring a bit of everything, including American classics and “upscale neighborhood fair,” to the table and learn and adapt as he goes.
Some familiar dishes he mentioned were on the menu were cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, risotto, adding that each dish had his personal spin on it.
He said one menu item that has really hit it off so far is his home-made pulled pork, which customers can have on a platter or a sandwhich.
Kiszka said the plan is to switch it up every few weeks. He said he will keep some best sellers around, but will rotate the menu and include some limited-time feature dishes.
Smailes said right now, they are concentrating on take-out cuisine, but they have big plans for the future at the Green Arch Market.
Smailes, having such a dominant catering background, said the ultimate goal for the market is to become a large event catering service.
“We want to cater large events,” he said. “We also hope to provide the neighborhood with freshest produce and the freshest food possible.”
Other plans for the store include an addition, using the property that Smailes owns next door, that will house a seated section for people who would like to sit and eat at the restaurant.
Its only been a few weeks since the kitchen started cooking up food, but things are looking up.
“Everyone is uttlerly excited,” Smailes said. “We ’ve had 400 likes on Facebook in four weeks. The neighborhood is excited and the whole community seems to be excited.”