Thursday is last day for ‘The Fridge’

After ten years at the corner of 28th and Market, the Locks Deli & Grocery, commonly called “The Fridge” by neighbors, is closing.

We spoke with the owner who said that he can’t afford the new rent so he’s forced to close. He thinks another corner store could be moving in there but he didn’t have any details. He’s currently looking for a new space to open another little market. Luke emailed us and said he and his neighbors called it the fridge “because we don’t have to stock beer in our own fridges…we can just go there, and avoid the big chain grocery stores.” (Thank you Luke, Chris & Lea for emailing us!)

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

45 thoughts to “Thursday is last day for ‘The Fridge’”

  1. Looks like Ballard's racist @sshole element representing loud & clear.

    For the ignorant, 7-11 also sells fortified liquor and didn't have anywhere near the beer selection Lock's did.

    Best of luck with your new store, guys.

  2. Oh no! I was just there the other day and noticed a lot of the shelves were taken down. I asked what was happening and he said they were just remodeling.

  3. The Fridge? I've always called it the Fartmart.

    I've lived a block and a half away for 16 years and never bought more than the ocassional sixer and a pack of cigs for my 2 a weekend habit. I hope whatever moves in there has a broader selection of staples like fresh milk, coffee beans and kid lunch food so we don't always have to schlep to Ballard Market (which we love, but anyway…).

    One issue I hope is resolved if someone new moves in: the market has had a problem with minors getting the folks that camp on the City Light property next to the Sloop to buy beer for them. That kind of thing was only okay when *I* was underage.

  4. Owner much less gruff in recent months, perhaps he's relieved to move on. I always go see Steven at Saleh's over this place despite the convenience factor, but still sad to see it go – was nice to be able to grab a Dungeness and accoutrements back when Fresh Fish was also in the space.

  5. Rats! Another independent Ballard spot going down the tubes. It will probably be replaced by some moronic chain store, or worse, another bar/pizza place/boutique/pet store/sushi place/coffe shop/(Enter your pet peeve here).

  6. I could have sworn they've been there longer than ten years.

    I only shopped there when I went to the fish market, and only then did I occasionally buy some wine to go with dinner. The last time I was near the place, I only used their parking lot, when I stopped to take photos of the Windermere Pit Sea Monster.

  7. what about the Green Market up 32nd? independent with great beer, food for your kids,Columbia City Bread, fresh milk from Smith Brothers? a little more pricey than The Ballard Market but Way closer:)

  8. Yes, it was close, so it was great in a pinch.

    I wonder if they ever sold any of those crazy knives they had there? Or how about their brick a brac of eagles and stuff like that! As joke I once bought my wife a pink tee shirt from them with Betty Boop on it. She said it was uncomforable to wear, tore the sleves off and exercises in it.

    I also wonder whats up with these increasing rents. The commercial market is not supposed to be good, yet all these folks along market are up and moving to get away from high rents. One might conclude there is an effort to move tennants and rebuild this section of market, but the vacant pit just across the street kind of shows the limits of that plan.

  9. Aw man..I would always stop in there after the liquor store for mixers, it was the nearest spot. Can anyone tell me why the liquor store doesnt sell soda? and ice?

  10. The liquor store isn't allowed to sell anything without alcohol in it. That's why even the margarita mix contains 1% alcohol.

    This store really hearkened back to Old Ballard, especially when the Fish Market was in there. It seemed designed to cater to fishermen, mostly. You could buy socks, porn, sandwiches, cases of water, etc. We always called it the Porn Store.

    It will be sad to see them go. The owners are hardworking and nice people, but their clientèle has changed. People want a clean place with fresh food and an interesting selection — like the Green Market. They're willing to pay for it, too.

    Retail on this level is a tough business. Open early, close late, always worry about getting robbed. You gotta give them credit for doing it so long.

  11. Steve (the owner of Salehs Deli) told me last night that he has now taken over this market as well as the one that i LOVE on the corner of 80th & 24th!

    It will be great to have Steve and his great staff at a second location! Congrats and the Best of luck!!!


  12. How sad. Seems their rent was doubled to make way for another tenent meaning this nice couple lost their life savings which they invested in the store three years ago. They were doing fine before the increase.

  13. A new owner bought the property, and is upping the rent. Typical developer will force out the tenant, and will tear that place down and replace it with a modern commercial building that will make more efficient use of the space.

  14. If that's true, I hope Saleh's fails and he loses his money. What kind of practice is that? Forcing people out with increased rents? I realize it's the way of the world these days, but it's sad to see it happen to nice people who have served the neighborhood for so long.

    If Saleh's goes in there, I won't ever step foot in the damn place.

  15. Why would that be Saleh's fault? The property owner forced this guy out with higher rent. Not the owner of Saleh's. I just don't get your thinking there.
    Saleh's is a long time Ballard business too. If they can afford the higher rent then good for them!

  16. I am constantly amazed at the number of people who don;t understand basic commerce: The current tenant makes a business decision to move/close his business.

    Another tenant (Steve from Saleh's) feels he can make a profit at that location and is taking over the space.

    How is Steven at fault and worthy of a boycott?

  17. look I know most of you make a living through a self-sustaining barter system, not from or through the fruits of (gasp) capitalism, but these folks chose to enter the world of small business and didn't do it well enough to pay the market value of their location.

    My impressions of “the fridge”:

    it was dirty and smelled bad, and progressively got dirtier as time passed.

    there were always hobos in there buying malt liquor, and 1 in 5 visits a hobo seemed aggressive or sketchy enough to tingle the spidey senses

    the fresh foods looked like food poisoning waiting to happen

    oh looks, weapons for the hobos, and at prices they can afford!

    hey! it's porn in my 10 year-old's face! yippee!

    The current owners were nice enough but the local market demands more than a baseline plan of selling smokes, blades and malt liquor to outdoor-living alcoholics. Ballard is what it is, and that's not White Center.

    If Saleh's (also a minority/immigrant owned business) can come in and make the same type of business work then more power to them.

  18. “but the local market demands more than a baseline plan of selling smokes, blades and malt liquor to outdoor-living alcoholics.”

    BUT they were doing very well untill they were forced out so someone must have been happy with what they offered.

  19. Has anybody visited the new business housed in the little blue building next to the Sloop? You can not only buy your new bong there, you can pick up a package of stale Hostess cupcakes to satisfy the onset of munchies. One-stop shopping indeed.

    This end of Market is getting gross, guys, and maybe the good folks at Saleh's can help make it a bit cleaner, friendlier and safer. Let us hope.

  20. It was not the same once the fishmarket left. The landlord screwed them too. Always thought there prices were high so rarely bought beer there myself.

  21. why is it Steve from Saleh's fault? He is simply trying to make it a better place for the neighborhood. He had nothing to do with the other people, or the rents. Please do not talk crap on Steve at Salehs, he is a good man with an amazing work ethic! Best of luck, Steve, you have all of my support!

    Thank you for trying to clean it up around there!!! :)

    And, yes, it is true. I am a reliable source as I heard it from the horse's mouth.

  22. You know, you're right. My sincere apologies. As I get harassed by the “Old Ballardites” enjoying their fortified liquor in the park next to the Sloop, I shall cheerfully suck it up in the name of nostalgia.

  23. Basic math.
    Buy a building in 1960 for $100,000 rent it for $1,000 and you're covered.
    Buy that same building in 2000 for 1,000,000 and you have to rent it for $10,000.
    The “Old Ballard” previous owner retires to Hawaii with a pile of money and the “New Ballard” owner tries to figure out how to make it work so he can retire to Hawaii in 2030.

  24. rounder pondered: “Can anyone tell me why the liquor store doesnt sell soda? and ice?”

    So that you don't have drunks mixing cocktails outside your front door.
    It's what separates a liquor store form a bar.

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