You’re relaxing at home on a weeknight and suddenly want some Pringles, but don’t feel like driving to the grocery store. Or maybe you need to do laundry and there is no detergent. Or it’s morning and you realize there is no coffee. The Standard Social Market wants to help the residents of downtown Huntsville with such scenarios.
The owners of The Standard, married couple Erick and Stephanie Luther, aim to bring convenience and variety of New York bodega style to zip code 35801. Tentatively slated to open the weekend of October 8, The Standard will be located at 127 Holmes Avenue, in the same block of Moe’s Original BBQ, Stella’s Elixir Lounge, and La Esquina Cocina.
âThere’s never been anything like it here,â Stephanie said during my recent visit to The Standard’s 3,500 square foot space. âI’ve wanted to do this forever, but downtown Huntsville wasn’t ready until now. There is so much foot traffic, so many more restaurants and there is always something going on at VBC (Von Braun Center). Plus you have all these apartments and hotels. I think we are reaching that sweet spot.
In addition to basics like snacks, soda, paper towels, toilet paper, sugar and milk, The Standard will feature gourmet cheeses, chocolates, craft beer and wine. They also hope to stock local produce, like baked goods and vegan desserts. âWe don’t want,â says Stephanie, âwe don’t necessarily want to see ourselves as a competition for anyone, but as a collaboration. “
The Standard will also have a butcher’s section, selling steaks, meatballs, fresh fish, scallops, oysters, and more. Connections.
âIn restaurants, you expect your seafood to be fresh, don’t you? said StÃ©phanie. âWell when you shop to take it home you always wonder if you are getting the same quality product. This is where we come in.
Beyond grab and go, The Standard wants to be a destination. There will be a full bar with local beers on tap and a cafe serving hot dishes. Expect classic breakfast fare like cookies and gravy, bacon, eggs, and pancakes. âI bring New York bagels, fresh every week,â says Stephanie.
The lunch menu will be oriented around sandwiches (with ingredients like pastrami and homemade breads), fresh soups and burgers. The entrees too, like the shrimp and oatmeal. At dinner, the emphasis is on bar dishes like charcuterie boards and oysters. On weekends, they will prepare a late night menu, served by the front window of the space. Tacos, hot dogs, that sort of thing. They’ve served catering before, including a concert for a Porsche event, and plan to do more in their private upstairs dining room across from Stella.
The Standard will accommodate around 40 people inside. The decor features exposed bricks, columns, blue walls and wooden floors. A front patio will accommodate about fifteen additional guests.
StÃ©phanie foresees a staff of about six people for the kitchen and about eight for the reception. For hours, they think 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
The Luther family are from El Paso, Texas, and have known each other since high school. They reunited a bit later and then lived in Austin, Texas, while Erick attended cooking school. The couple moved to Huntsville about 15 years ago. Before working with restaurants, StÃ©phanie worked in the defense industry, where she did marketing, business development, contracts with NASA, etc.
During his youth, Erick worked for his family’s construction company. He started cooking at an early age thanks to his mother, Rachel Avila. âI was brought up in his kitchen,â says Erick. âShe had a full time job, then she would come home and we would make tamales and tortillas. We were selling them on the street. It was long before Facebook, just word of mouth from the neighborhood. As he got older, Erick got jobs in a restaurant doing the dishes and preparing. In Austin, he worked at a place called Crave.
Stephanie recalls a business near Erick’s old Austin apartment that looked like what she wanted The Standard to be. She cites Parker’s Market in Savannah, Georgia, as another source of inspiration.
After his run with luxury restaurants in Huntsville, Erick is ready to switch to a simpler fare for The Standard. âStuff that everyone can relate to,â he says. âYou’ll have your staples, but I’m not going to paint us in a corner. If we want to make lasagna, I just want to leave it open. I think people are stepping away from crazy menus. They want more small and good, rather than a lot of choice and decent.
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