Acorn Market move a signal of Downtown Salisbury progress

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The popular Acorn Market is moving to a larger space and adding crowd-pleasing items to the menu, like refined grains to sprinkle on oatmeal, yogurt and salads.

Buckwheat and barley will be among them, when the 8-year-old restaurant relocates into the old Feldman Building, renamed  River View Commons.

Now nestled in an 800-square-foot space behind The Country House on Main Street, the establishment will expand to 3,500 square feet and offer seating for up to 84. The new location should be open by early May, said owner Chris Braughler.

“We needed to meet the demand of our clients. We’re outgrowing where we are now. We have limited seating. We do have a screened-in porch and everyone loves the porch, but we can’t use it when the weather is cold,” she said.

Named for the big oak tree outside that attracts squirrels and dropped acorns, the restaurant will keep its best-loved  items, like chicken salad, often sold by pints and quarts for take-out.

Because it will be larger, catering will be added to the services, and there will be a place for pre-made, refrigerated items like summer salad with cucumbers and onions, so customers can take them home.

Oatmeal will be on the breakfast menu, as will salmon salad and, by request, creamed chipped beef.

As for coffee, a team is now working on a signature blend for Acorn Market.

“We hired people to make our coffee and we will have a taste testing,” the owner said.

Nothing on the menu is prepackaged, Braughler said. Everything is made fresh to order. Bread is baked daily and vegetables used aren’t sprayed with chemicals while they’re growing.

Because many customers want gluten-free options, Acorn Market will have them, including brownies.

Popular walnut brownies will remain on the dessert menu, as will sweet potato biscuits.

The move will mean better visibility, said Braughler, who appreciates the support she’s getting from Mayor Jake Day and downtown Salisbury businesses.

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“Acorn Market is a high-quality restaurant with a really interesting menu, local flavors and local foods. I’m glad it’s moving into River View Commons,” Day said.

“Jake rocks,” Braughler said.

Brad Gillis, broker for Sperry Van Ness-Miller Commercial Real Estate, who handled leases for the building, is as pleased to see the restaurant move in.

“It’s a powerful addition downtown. We’re on the path of creating enough destination density, retail density, to where a person can just come downtown and shop, eat and drink without having to think about where they’ll go,” Gillis said.

The 15,000-square-foot, three-story, historic structure, built in 1890, is now fully occupied.

Angello’s Unique Gifts and Acorn Market will be on the first floor. Gillis Gilkerson will have the second floor and Morgan Stanley will take the top level.

“The building is a cornerstone, a keystone for our downtown. It has great visibility, great access.  We were excited about the prospect of saving one more old building downtown. It’s great being able  to repurpose an old building. It’s good for downtown. It’s good for Salisbury. It’s good all around. We’re just fortunate to be part of it,” he said.

Acorn Market is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

There are 25 parking spaces on site, and adjacent lots. Two parking spots will be near the building for take-out.

“I think we are really blessed.  It’s keeping us excited and pulling for the future with an excitement that comes from our clients every day. They start out the day and they are thinking about our chicken salad. We’re really thankful,” she said.

Is there a secret ingredient in that chicken salad?

“Of course,” Braughler said, laughing. But she shared this – the recipe is simple and contains very light mayonnaise, honey and a little salt and pepper.

Tina Lee is the main cook, with 19 years of experience at Taylor’s Barbecue before joining the Acorn Market staff. Braughler said her right hand man is her supportive fiancé, Nic Colletti, who has a passion for food.

Braughler said she was thrilled when she posted plans for the new location on Facebook and it was seen by more than 1,500 people. Many shared it, including some city officials.

“To have that outpouring and support, we know we made the right choice,” Braughler said.

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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