After three decades, Corner Market folds

Say it ain't so! After thirty years, a Corner landmark has quietly vanished: the Corner Market at 1411 University Avenue. The phone has been disconnected, the contents have been emptied, and we've been unable to locate long-time owner Chaney Kent.

"Another chapter in the history of the UVA Corner comes to an end," says unofficial UVA historian Coy Barefoot.

Barefoot, who wrote a best-selling book on the history of The Corner, says that the store traces its roots to 1981 when Peter Johnson bought what had been a newsstand/giftshop from Paul Dunsmore (who also founded the iconic White Spot Diner) and rechristened it as the Corner Market.

Barefoot says that Kent, who started working there in 1986 as a UVA undergrad, bought the shop in 1995. One year ago, Kent was among the Charlottesvillians lamenting the death of Yeardley Love, a customer with a penchant for Diet Cokes.

"The Corner Market closing is likely a victim of CVS," says Barefoot. "But I guess we all saw that coming."

Indeed, it's not hard to imagine that the 2007 opening of the expansive, brightly-lit drug store in the adjacent Anderson Brothers building would impact the bottom line of the smaller, funky Market. At about the same time, developer Hunter Craig purchased the Market's home, the Chancellor Building, for $2.6 million, nearly twice the City assessment.

Back then, Craig told the Hook he liked the Corner "just the way it is" and while asserting no intention of leasing to a corporate chain, Craig said he'd like to see something like PJ's Pancake House near Princeton University so "students could stop for breakfast as they walked from their apartments to school."

Since 2007, real estate has fallen into distress, and while the City's assessment of the Chancellor Building climbed after Craig's purchase, the current assessment stands $600,000 below the purchase price.

So what will replace the Corner Market? Calls to Craig's office were not immediately returned. Stay tuned.

– a slightly altered version of this story was originally posted around 2:30pm on May 9


Why is Coy's book so expensive?

Sorta off topic, but I noticed Stoney's Market on Avon Street has also closed shop.

I can't recall when Stoney's Market wasn't there and open for business.

For what it's worth, I just saw Chan walking down the Corner last week (RE: unable to locate).

I think he also owns the short-term apartments above the frame shop and now-closed convenience store.

We need a good Indian place on the corner. That's what should go in!

Stoeny's is being remodeled; it won't be closed long. I guess that this means that Lawrence Burruss, the long-time proprietor, has finally retired...

Hello slow news week? The corner market has been vacant for sometime now. Way to stay on top of things. Has someone been playing hookey at the hook?

Stoney's Grocery update: Charlottesville Police Sergeant Marc Brake, who, along with wife Heather, had been operating Stoney's since 2007, reports that property owner Lawrence Burruss has sold the property and the business. Brake says he and his wife had wanted to buy the property, but Burruss received an offer they couldn't match. Brake says he thinks the store will re-open on May 16, but it won't be called Stoney's. Stay tuned.

Thanks, Dave!

I knew Marc and his wife were involved, but I didn't want to drop any names

since I didn't know any of the other details firsthand.


Thanks for pointing out it was closed. It was the reason I called Marc.

I hear the corner market site will become a "biscuit on the run" franchise.

@Hookey ... i was going to point that out too. i noticed at least a month ago that the corner market was closed.

Hardee's is my "biscuit on the run"!

I see ya gasbag! Dat 5th str hardees da bomb mane

Thanks y'all. Now I want a biscuit. With gravy. Smothered in gravy.

I've heard the Corner Market will be a clothing retailer.

Dave McNair, CVille Food is reporting that a local real estate agent has purchased the Stoney's Grocery property and will open a local chicken shop on Avon Street. Thought you would like to be in the know! Here's the link ( you need to be logged into facebook):

"The Corner Market closing is likely a victim of CVS," says Barefoot.

If this were true - short of an in-depth business analysis it is a guess - then I would further guess that this would be a result of consumer migration from the Corner Market to CVS. If that were true, then is it the fault of CVS, or the sum totality of consumers spending their dollars elsewhere? Anyone lamenting the loss of Mom & Pop businesses who shop at CVS, or Walmart (other big box stores) really need to point the finger at themselves.

Stoneys will be called Brown's. At least thats what the sign says outside the store. @ Dave McNair, maybe call the store, or better yet take a drive down their. Office chair reporting at its best.

Before the Corner Market, there was the University Market which was in what is now LittleJohn's. Don't recall when it closed-70s maybe.
And I remember Paul's News, one of 2 newstands in the city, the othwer being Dixie News downtown. Guess when all the drugstores and grocery stores started carrying magazines and paperbacks, there was no niche left for the traditional newstand.
And sure that some here remember Chancellor's Drug Store, great place to get a sandwich and a lemonade(very much like Timberlake's).
Noonday Books on Elliewood, where Heartwood Used Books is now, another place that lives in some of our memories.
Of course the biggest change on the Corner was when the venerable Anderson Brothers/University Bookstore went under. This business was owned by John W. "Billy" Williams , a force in Virginia politics in the Harry F. Byrd Sr era.

I used to spend a lot of money in Dixie News. It, and many other businesses, went under after they dug up the pavement, removed all the parking, and created that wasteland called the "downtown mall".

CVille Food said this morning that Stoney's will be BRown's Chicken. Mike Brown bought SToney's and is converting to fried chicken which is great for us all.

@Hookey @ the Hook again. -- honestly. It was a comment in a story about a different business in response to another comment.

I wonder if this is the same Mike Brown that owns the local wine distributor HPB Corp on Harris Street?

Wasteland? I guess that for some people, civilization doesn't exist without automobiles and plentiful parking.

This is the Mike Brown who works at the real estate 3 office and is/was actively involved with the Monticello High boosters club. He seems to have his hands involved in a lot of business ventures. Looking forward to good fried chicken on that side of town.

You know what, Satmford50? In all seriousness, and now that you mention it, parking is becoming very annoying in this area lately. It seems like they are downsizing all parking spaces to fit Hondas, Smart Cars and motor scooters. I often have to take up at least 2 parking spaces widthwise. And more often than not lately, the rear end of some of my vehicles stick out 2 and 3 feet into the traveled portions of parking lots, they seem to be making parking spaces much shorter too for some reason.

I would like to see some good fried chicken in this town too, Tim! KFC just hasn't been very good the last few times my wife picked up their Family Meal Deal. My wife also picks up good fried chicken somewhere in Nelson County, I don't know the name of the place though.

way to be on top of this "awesome" story, it's been closed for weeks

If you are in North Carolina try Mrs. Winners chicken. Its a local chain and their chicken is great!

Rick Britton joined us today to discuss this article. Podcast is here:

Is this the same Mike Brown who once operated Brown's Mini Market in Esmont, serving some of the best fried chicken in the county?

does anyone know why the Corner Market closed? The Kent's are very nice people and I am sorry to hear their business shut down. Alan Jackson said it right:
"Now the court square's just a set of streets
That people go around but they seldom think
'Bout the little man who built this town
Before the big money shut 'em down
And killed the little man
Oh the little man

Yes, county resident. That is the same Mike Brown from Esmont!! I hope he will be serving up some of those tater wedges along with that delicious chicken!!! YUM!!

Mike's son is the star quarterback at Liberty University (I think).

Also, his son was a star @ Monticello High.

GSOE, I think your wife might be purchasing her chicken in Lovingston, VA. It's called the "Chicken Coop" (I think).

"Chicken Coop" is correct. I asked my wife this morning. :)

They have goooooooood chicken!

Passed by Stoney's several times today. Looks like the remodeling or whatever is moving as planned. About ten cars on the lot, probably cars eblonging to whoever was remodeling inside.

The corner market was next to worthless, just selling candy bars, cigarettes, and canned drinks. Although I went in occasionally, I certainly will not miss it, and there are plenty of places to go instead. I would love to see a REAL grocery market at the corner. Although it would likely be small (and limited parking), one can pack quite a reasonable amount of real groceries in a small store - if anyone has been to NYC, they have seen many such things.

yes, the same mike brown who owned brown's in esmont for many years and served up great chicken and taters...yes, his son was a star football player at monticello...yes, he is real estate agent....want chicken, go get some

speaking of fried chicken, Foods of All Nations has my favorite in town. highly recommended.

shame about the Corner Market. kids these days want bars and franchised restaurants, and that's what the Corner is destined to become.

oh come on! someone at UVA's daddy has to have enough money to save this place.

just make an investment people... jeez i need this place

@edh - How many (large, national) franchises are on the corner? There're CVS, Starbucks and Qdoba. Oh and Mellow Mushroom and Jimmy John's are as well. But those are not even a significant minority of restaurants and other businesses on the corner. Almost all of the businesses are locally owned.

Just remembered that Dunkin' Donuts opened recently. I think beyond "kids these days" you also have to look at the rent being charged by property owners. The Corner Market cannot have been a high margin business. With rent increases, it'd be increasingly difficult to remain in business regardless of where kids choose to shop.