The corner of 7th Avenue and Missouri has long been a favored destination for North Central diners.
Over the years, there’s been a changing menu of eateries including Sylvia’s La Canasta (closed in 2018) and Hana Japanese Eatery on the northwest corner. There’s a Starbuck’s to the south and La Piñata across the street (in the former Mary Coyle’s). A series of markets, next to pizza and burger spots rounded out the offerings, occupying the southeast corner’s mini-strip mall.
The latest in that location is Corner on the Market and the adjacent Hatch-it Green Chile Burgers and Tacos, which opened four years ago. As the name suggests, Hatch-it’s menu focuses on New Mexico chiles, with a green chile Santa Fe burger and green chile pork burrito leading the list as customer favorites.
Corner on the Market takes it up another notch, with a selection of crusty artisan bread — green chile, sourdough, olive, cranberry-walnut among the favorites — salsas from Las Cruces, N.M., green chile beef pizzas, taco salad, stew and a green chile meatloaf sandwich. There are plenty of other offerings on the market’s menu — pastries, cookies and other sweets, cheese, salami, salads, more pizzas and sandwiches.
The wall between the two businesses has been opened, so it’s an easy amble from Hatch-it to the market.
Owner Kathy Blackwell opened the businesses four years ago after happening on the location by accident.
“I was driving around, just checking out stuff, and saw the market was empty and thought, ‘This looks like a good corner,” she said. “Traffic is crazy along here.”
With decades of experience in the food business, she immediately saw the possibilities and decided to lease the market space. (A taco shop was next door, and while she was working on painting and organizing the market area, Blackwell also leased that space, opening Hatch-it before the market was completed.)
“I’ve been in the grocery business most of my life,” Blackwell said. “From Tucson to North Dakota, I’ve done it all — truck stops, delis, groceries, health food, convenience stores. My last job before here was helping to put together one of the largest truck stops in the country, in Tioga, N.D., from the ground up.”
For more than 25 years, her daughter, Kelly Bower-Hall, has been at her side. “I’ve only had one boss in my whole life — after my first job at 16 it’s always been her. I followed her around, everywhere she’s gone.”
Why the focus on Hatch chiles?
“My brother works for a green chile business in New Mexico,” Blackwell said. “He worked with Mark Miller, a famous chef in Santa Fe, and helped me develop some of our recipes.”
That includes those Santa Fe burgers.
“They’re really special,” said Bower-Hall. “We use a special green chile guacamole, and green chile mayo.”
“And the burgers are fresh, never frozen,” Blackwell said. “They’re made from chopped fresh chuck brisket and served on a brioche bun.”
Together, the shops are a destination made for lingering, starting at breakfast, perhaps with a latte from the coffee bar (which includes Roc2 brews from the Roastery of Cave Creek), house-made bagels, scones and pastries, breakfast burritos and sandwiches and more.
Some customers almost make a day of it, tele-commuting at their laptops with breaks for pizza, burgers, salads from the market and Hatch-it, then picking up bread, milk, cheese, salami and other items before heading home.
Others meet friends and head for a quiet corner, sinking into comfy couches to chat, play games or cards and decompress.
“People can put the busy life aside and talk with people like we used to before cell phones,” Bower-Hall said. “We hope people will come by, feel comfortable, take their time, sit, talk and hang out with friends and neighbors.”
The corner also is a convenient stop for commuters, who can stop in for a quick meal, coffee and pastries for the office, and market items for home that might include a bottle or two from the extensive selection of wines from Italy, Spain, France, New Zealand and Australia. (There’s a special on now that includes a pizza and bottle of wine for $25, and 10 percent off a case of wine.)
Customers can find some unique items in the market, Blackwell said. “You won’t find these breads anywhere else. And our olive oil. We have olive oil from Spain and Lebanon. It’s wonderful. Once you have this olive oil, you’ll never buy it in the store again.”
And don’t miss the pies. “Like grandma’s pies from the days when you visited and she always had a pie on the table,” Bower-Hall said. “We sold a ton of them — special-order pies and breads — for Thanksgiving.”
There’s also catering, Blackwell said. “We recently did a party for 150, with red and green enchiladas.”
“We also will special order anything, including gift baskets and wine crate filled with our bread, olive oil, wine — anything,” Bower-Hall said. “We’ve done several for realtors as gifts for their customers.”
Hatch-it Green Chile Burgers and Tacos, and Corner on the Market, 5345 N. 7th Ave., are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday. For information, call 602-607-5048, or visit www.hatchitphx.com and www.cotmphx.com.