Royal Blue Grocery: Mo' Better Blues

Charm, function and convenience are a winning trifecta for small business ventures in Austin, and the Royal Blue Grocery has brought home a first-place ribbon in less than two years of operation. Owners George Scariano and Craig Staley (see Edible Austin Fall 2007) have not only filled a cavernous grocery niche for those who live and work downtown, but they’ve done it with flair and congeniality.

However, the size of the modest store tucked at the corner of Lavaca and Third has left the enthusiastic proprietors hungry for more.

“We want to bring it all to our downtown patrons,” says Scariano. “More services, more local products and more convenience…plus our customers are literally begging us to expand.”

Introducing Royal Blue II, the soon-to-be sister store located just a few blocks away. And though donning the same spirit as the original Blue, this new sibling offers a few more tempting amenities.

Patrons will now be able to dine, drink and people-watch on the bustling corner promenade, courtesy of ample outdoor seating and a shiny new beer and wine license, and Royal Blue II’s generous 2,600-square-foot interior will feature a full-service deli and kitchen.

“Our kitchen will offer breakfast, soups, salads, sandwiches, tacos and Thai and Italian entrées, as well as serve as a commissary to the original store,” says Scariano.

More space means more opportunity to showcase local vendors and products—from fresh produce, cheese and meat, to seafood, baked goods and prepared items.

“Brazos Valley Cheeses—especially their dill havarti,” Scariano says, naming a few of his favorite vendors. “Luxe Sweets makes a pumpkin cheesecake and cookies that our customers crave. Mediterranean Chef has incredible hummus and other gorgeous prepared foods, and we already sell a hundred tacos a day from TacoDeli.”

Not venturing out of the loft? No worries. Contemplate the luxury of epicurean delights merely a quick phone call away.

“We’re incredibly excited to be adding downtown delivery for residents, businesses and restaurants,” Scariano says. “Organic, local, fresh, hot, everything…you name it, we’ll have it.”

And he means business.

Royal Blue II (opening mid-December)
360 Nueces at the corner of 3rd St.