By Audrey Esther, News9.com INsite Team
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Bricktown's only grocery and convenience store is open for business. Simply called The Store, the shopette is a big step for the area.
Currently, there are no other grocery or convenience stores in Bricktown; leaving the hundreds of residents without a place to buy food or bare essentials within walking distance of their homes.
"Someone was going to pick up on the idea," said The Store's owner Mike Clark. "What I'm attempting to do is put in a small grocery that carries fresh vegetables, fruits, milk products, things of that nature."
The Store, located at 222 E. Sheridan, opened in early June. Sales of milk, candy and canned goods has averaged about $250 dollars per day. However, in a few months when a 200-room Hampton Inn and Suites opens next door Clark said he's likely to do four times that amount.
"The area that many people knew as a restaurant and night club area is changing," said Jim Cowan, executive director of Bricktown Association."We're continuing to see things that are welcoming to residents."
Cowan estimated about 3,000 people currently live within a six to eight-block radius of Clark's business. He said that by 2015 the number of residents could reach 10,000.
Most nights, The Store is open until 2 a.m. to accommodate the late-night crowd. Clark said he's not concerned about safety due to the number of police who patrol right at The Store's doorstep.
"The police department will not put up with any problems down here," Clark said.
Clark has also recevied a good amount of enforcement training. The retired 64-year-old Vietnam veteran served in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. He holds a Silver Star medal of valor and a Purple Heart.
"I saved two men's lives of my platoon," he said. "I am in possession of a Silver Star, which I'm very proud of and I'm 100 percent pro-vet."
Something else Clark isn't concerned about is a large-chain grocery store.
"I have no fear of a Homeland or Crest coming in and running me out of business, because I'm building a clientele verbally and by action that I think will stay with me," he said.
Cowan said plans for a Bricktown grocery store are in the works.
"It will be the first development plan that Bricktown has had since the mid 80s," Cowan said.