The Central Market on Preston and Royal celebrated its reopening on Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony 20 months after closing because of extensive tornado damage.
In attendance were Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Central Market president Stephen Butt, city council members Gay Donnell Willis and Jaynie Schultz, former city council member Jennifer Staubach Gates, Central Market director of public affairs Mabrie Jackson, general manager Lily Lin, principal Dr. Vincent Garcia of Preston Hollow Elementary School, and headmaster David Dini of St. Mark’s School of Texas.
Among the eager foodies and families excited for their neighborhood grocery store to reopen were some Central Market customers who were inside the store during the tornado and helped cut the ribbon for the newly-renovated store.
The reopening of the grocery store marks a significant milestone in the recovery of the Preston Oaks shopping center. Located at the intersection of Preston Road and Royal Lane, it suffered extensive damage as a result of the October 20, 2019 tornado.
However, Central Market turned this negative into a positive by modifying the store: adding curbside pick-up, self-checkout registers, and expanded their departments and food selections. One of the new additions is a section where mushrooms are grown, making it the only grocery store in the state to offer this.
To celebrate, Central Market offered location-exclusive items including Royal Plumcots, which were grown in a personal orchard in California, and specially produced Veuve Clicquot champagne bottles in arrow-shaped containers marked “Preston Royal,” among other items.
Central Market also celebrated the reopening by giving back to the neighborhood through donations of $20,000 to Preston Hollow Elementary School and St. Mark’s School of Texas. Previously, Central Market had gifted $1 million to the Dallas Education Foundation to help rebuild Dallas ISD schools, gave an additional $50,000 to the Dallas Education Foundation to rebuild libraries in schools damaged by the tornado, and donated 50 trees to the neighborhood through RETREET.
“Our Central Market Partners and the entire Preston Royal community stepped up during this time of rebuilding and recovery,” said Stephen Butt, the president of Central Market. “While this was a total community effort, I am especially proud of our Preston Royal Partners who have gone above and beyond to continue to serve this neighborhood. The silver lining here is that our Preston Royal store is stronger and better, and we are ready to welcome back our loyal customers to provide them the service and shopping experience they deserve.”
Central Market opens to the public June 30 at 8 a.m.