the issue > Press | Press Coverage > March 12, 2015

Highland Park Village coaxes Austin boutique grocer into old Tom Thumb

Austin Photo Set: place_royal blue grocery
The five Royal Blue Grocery stores in Austin are all in the central downtown area. Courtesy of Royal Blue Grocery

Highland Park Village is getting a new grocery store to replace the space previously occupied by Tom Thumb, and it’s definitely not one of the usual suspects. Called Royal Blue Grocery, it’s an “urban market” with lots of prepared foods to go in addition to supermarket basics.

Royal Blue spokesman David Staley did not return emails, but HPV owner Ray Washburne said the deal was signed, with an opening targeted for July 1.

Tom Thumb announced its intent to leave the center Highland Park Village a year ago and finally closed in November 2014; rumors of its replacement were tossed around, such as Dean & DeLuca.

There are five Royal Blue Grocery stores in Austin, all in the downtown area and each custom-fitted to its neighborhood. For example, one in a residential building offers lots of to-go meals. Insert joke here about what might best suit Park Cities locals. All Royal Blue Grocery stores feature Stumptown Coffee, and some have nitro cold brew on tap.

At 5,500 square feet, the new market will not take up all of the old Tom Thumb space, which was small even by supermarket standards at 18,500 square feet.