Buehler's Market is located at 429 Market St.
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Beverly Madden shops Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Buehler's Market on Market Street.

Buehler's Market, a downtown Chattanooga grocery store on Market Street for more than five decades and a fixture in the city for 105 years, closed this past weekend.

However, the owner of the building is marketing the site with hopes of finding a new use as a restaurant or retail space.

The store on the 400 block of Market Street was closed by longtime owner Charles Morton, said his wife, Barbara Morton, on Monday.

"I don't know how long it will be closed," she said. "We're not going to reopen it."

The property on which the store sits was sold by Charles Morton early this year for $1.6 million to a buyer identified as 429 Market Gp.

The 6,369-square-foot brick building is being marketed for a new use by commercial real estate broker Andrew Holt of SVN/Healy & Co.

Morton said earlier this year after the sale that he had planned to keep running the store, which catered to many low-income patrons.

Morton, 70, said at the time that he started at Buehler's as "a sack boy" and had owned the business since 1988.

"It has been my life for 52 years," he said then about the market that ran out of a one-story building next to the popular Jack's Alley complex.

Morton said his clientele consisted of many older customers who still cook at home, while a lot of the younger people moving into downtown apartments don't.

About a week and a half ago, employees at the market said they were hearing the business may close.

Kim White, who heads the downtown redevelopment group River City Co., said a recent survey about downtown showed that specialty grocer Trader Joe's was the No. 1 retailer people wanted to see in the central city.

"There is a grocery store need in downtown Chattanooga," she said.

Shoppers of Buehler's said they were disappointed by the store's closure.

Erica Baker said she has shopped at Buehler's for 20 years. She said her mother did so before her, and her mother before that.

Chandria Ballard said she liked the fruit and meat at Buehler's. She said she'll probably go to stores such as Save-A-Lot or Aldi.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.