Dave’s is dead. Long live Dave’s.


Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer

The new location of Dave’s Market on the corner of Lee and East Overlook, a spot previously occupied by Zagara’s Marketplace

Shreyas Banerjee, Executive Editor

I remember exactly where I was when I heard that Dave’s Market on Cedar Hill was closing. It was Friday, Oct. 7 and I was on a shuttle to the University Farm for my entomology class. It was a peaceful fall day and the leaves had just begun to turn, hitting peak foliage. I was looking forward to a peaceful and uneventful weekend, one free from the worries of the world. That all changed when somebody on the shuttle yelled “Oh my god!” They looked up from their phone and with a sad look in their eyes said, “Dave’s is closing.”

No one could believe it, least of all me. Losing Dave’s, the local grocery for Case Western Reserve University students, was tantamount to losing a good friend, one who was always there for us. Where else could we go when we needed a jug of milk, a loaf of bread, a bottle of shampoo or cold medicine? What other store is within Safe Ride distance that we could get our essentials from? Hadn’t CWRU students faced enough hardship losing Constantino’s Market in Uptown only to see Plum Market, with its overpriced produce and limited toiletries, take its place? Could we even say that our campus had a real grocery store anymore if we didn’t even have one that sold Cheerios? I thought about all these questions, along with all the good memories I had in that grocery store. Within a 10-minute walk from my apartment and a five-minute drive from most of campus, it was the most accessible grocery store for CWRU students that didn’t cost them an arm and leg to shop at, nor did it require them to buy flavorless organic substitutes of all their favorite brands. 

In the days before the closure, which occurred on Oct. 25, I walked through the Cedar Hill Dave’s one last time. As I saw all the bare shelves and the empty refrigerators, I realized that this was actually happening and that I’d have to accept it. I walked out of the store and I stared at the cloudy sky, silently wishing for smooth grocery trips in the future. And lo, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a piece of paper haphazardly taped to the door. Hope returned as I read it. It announced that Dave’s wasn’t simply closing, but rather relocating to the corner of Lee and East Overlook at the current location of the grocery store Zagara’s. The reopening was set to occur on Oct. 29. Somehow, in my despair, I neglected to read the actual article announcing the closure of Dave’s and completely missed the detail of its imminent relocation. Doing the mental math in my head, I realized the new store was further away from CWRU—definitely not walkable—but if one were to drive, it was only five extra minutes away.

While the new distance is certainly still tragic in its own right and raises serious questions about CWRU students’ access to quality shopping options, I figured I would give the new location a chance. While students without cars are now being denied the bliss of Dave’s, I do have a car and might as well use it. It wasn’t like I had much of a choice if I wanted actual groceries. Making the drive, I saw the Rising Star Coffee Roasters that I often go to on Lee Road, which also used to be a CWRU Southside staple before its own relocation to this corner. I suppose all the CWRU exiles have to go somewhere; they might as well be together.

The new Dave’s Market and Eatery features expanded aisles and an overall roomier interior, as well as a place for customers to purchase fresh-cooked meals in store. (Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer)

Walking in, I was taken aback by how much bigger the new location was. Gone were the cramped, one-way aisles. Instead, everything was properly spaced, with no chance of cart collisions. Additionally, the expanded aisles allowed for larger shelves. I gasped upon seeing “Giant Size” boxes of Cheerios in the new store; annoyingly, the old Dave’s only had shelves tall enough to fit the 40% smaller “Large Size.” The increased size of the store in general allows for a greater variety of products, with more options available for all your daily essentials: more yogurts, more fruit and more chips. Endearingly, all the aisles were named after streets in Cleveland Heights, with signs displaying “Coventry,” “Overlook” and “Fairmount” and containing mini-maps of the area all overhead.

Aside from groceries, the selling point of the new Dave’s is a revamped eatery for customers to buy fresh meals from. The store is actually the only Dave’s Markets to have the name “Dave’s Market and Eatery,” making it a special service of this location. From afar, the stand serving food looked rather typical, with a selection of sandwiches and subs to try, but all of them are made-to-order. I had the “Murray Hill Meatball Sub” and it wasn’t half bad—it could give Dave’s Cosmic Subs a run for their money for the title of “best subs from a place named ‘Dave’s.’” In addition, the eatery sells fried chicken, freshly squeezed juices and a variety of deli options. For a quick lunch, the eatery does not make for a bad option; I just wish they had a seating area inside the grocery store itself—but perhaps I missed it.

All in all, walking out of the new Dave’s, I had bigger and better groceries than I expected, a full stomach and a lot of fun gawking at cute aisle signs. The Dave’s I loved may be gone, but this is a worthy contender. If only it was closer so that all CWRU students could enjoy its amenities. While there are rumblings that a new grocery store will replace the old Dave’s location, that day has not yet come. The CWRU student body is, for the time being, extremely inconvenienced and deprived of proper grocery options until a new store opens. Until then, we must make do with what we have and make the extra five-minute drive—the larger Cheerios boxes really make it all go down easier.

The new Dave’s also features aisles named after streets in Cleveland Heights. (Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer)