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January 18, 2017

Butcher, grocery store will open on Culpeper Street

Photo/Cassandra Brown
Black Bear Mercantile/Butchery, planned for a March opening, will occupy the first floor at 19 Culpeper St. in Warrenton. Walter Story purchased the building and rear parking lot for $525,000 in August.
We feel it is going to be a successful operation, and we certainly want to see Old Town expanded. I’m jumping off the bridge first.
— Walter Story, real estate investor
Black Bear Mercantile/Butchery
• What: Grocery and butcher shop.

• Where: 19 Culpeper St., Warrenton.

• Opening: Planned in March.

• Employees: 6 to 10.

• Operating: Six days a week.

• Size: 1,488 square feet.

• Shop owner: Todd Eisenhauer.

• Property owner: Walter Story.

• Investment: About $100,000 for equipment and startup costs; about $25,000 for renovation and construction; Mr. Story purchased building for $525,000.

• Black Bear Bistro:
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
A new retail shop, Black Bear Mercantile/Butchery, will open in downtown Warrenton this spring.

An extension of Black Bear Bistro and Brick Oven just around the corner on Main Street, the grocery store and butcher shop will occupy the first floor at 19 Culpeper St.

The 1,488-square-foot space will provide customers with “all your convenience needs: aspirin, toothpaste, bread, food products, whatever you need,” owner Todd Eisenhauer said. “When the farmer’s market happens, we will offer fresh Virginia produce.”

Black Bear Mercantile/Butchery also will sell fresh, local meat and Virginia wine and beer.

Warrenton real estate investor Walter Story purchased the two-story brick building and rear parking lot in August for $525,000.

“What we see is this business helping our local farmers,” Mr. Story said.

The store will have two purposes: Serving retail customers and supplying meat and other products for Black Bear Bistro.

Mr. Eisenhauer, the bistro’s chef/owner, long had wanted to open a butcher shop but sought to fill the space with something more.

“I saw the need for an old-time grocery store,” he said. “If you live on Main Street, you need napkins, aspirin, you want to get some beer or wine, but you have to get in your car.

“Our whole concept is now you will be able to walk around the corner for all of your convenience needs.”

Mr. Eisenhauer, who will lease the space, hopes to open the shop in March.

“We’ll have a giant wine room devoted just to Virginia wines and a big beer cave for Virginia craft beer,” he said.

The second floor will remain office space.

Mr. Eisenhauer said he has invested about $100,000 in equipment and startup costs for the new store.

“It’s something we do not have in Warrenton,” Mr. Story said. “It’s a new approach to a retail shop. We are hoping that the people who want quality merchandise will come and see us and participate in what we’re doing.”

Mr. Eisenhauer eventually hopes to add deli items and take-home meals.

“We’re going to take our time,” he said. “We’ll offer fresh cut steaks, seafood . . . then we’ll get into the deli meats.”

The owner of Black Bear Bistro since 2009, Mr. Eisenhauer recently expanded his restaurant as the sole provider of food for Wort Hog Brewing Co., which will open Saturday.

“I’m not trying to compete” with The Whole Ox in Marshall and other gourmet stores, Mr. Eisenhauer said. “To me, this is about convenience for our local community. It’s about having a store really centered on Virginia products . . . . It’s always been if we can help the local community, then the local community will support us.”

Mr. Eisenhauer will mange the butcher shop while his wife, Liz, will manage the groceries.

Manager Tim Smith will oversee the nearby bistro and the brewery food.

“It will be a challenge for sure,” Mr. Eisenhauer said.

Mr. Story, who also owns the building that houses Black Bear Bistro, hopes his investment in a retail shop on a downtown side street will encourage other property owners to do the same.

“We feel it is going to be a successful operation, and we certainly want to see Old Town expanded,” Mr. Story said. “I’m jumping off the bridge first.”

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rally39 · January 20, 2017 at 8:22 pm
Great news...saves me the drive up to Marshall when I go to the Whole Ox....
BJ · January 18, 2017 at 5:08 pm
Best of luck! We do some grocery shopping in Old Town Warrenton already at The Natural Marketplace, which offers organic and specialized items. Now to the elephant in the room, what about parking for those of us that do not live in the Old Town area and would like to visit your shop? Spoke with a young lady who works at DejaBrew, and she said finding parking during her shift is extremely difficult, causing her to either park far away, or move her car every couple of hours to avoid a ticket. Sooner not later, there is a need for parking, if Old Town continues to bring in new businesses.
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