There won’t be any big to-do about Bishop Street Market’s 15th anniversary, which is this week. Owner Michael Harrity intends to run the store until retirement, so he’d like to wait until 20 or 30 years for the big party.
But he brought the anniversary to our attention because, he says, he is so grateful to Oak Cliff and all the people who supported Bishop Street Market from the very beginning and all through the years.
When Harrity first moved to Oak Cliff as a young student, he rarely had extra money. So he and his partner would take walks around the neighborhood. At the time, the Bishop Arts District had a few businesses — Tillman’s Corner and Olines hair salon, most notably. But there was not much in the way of retail. The neighborhood still had a ways to go.
A few years later, Harrity and his partner, Paul Kirkpatrick, decided to open the shop. And they rented the space at Bishop and Seventh, the old Bishop’s Pharmacy, which supposedly was a hangout of Clyde Barrow, who once lived nearby.
“With no money and no experience, we opened up,” Harrity says. “And there was an amazing outpouring of support from the community from the very beginning.”
They sold 80 percent of their inventory on that first weekend in 1996. And then they were able to go buy “the things we really wanted” for the store.
The neighborhood has changed tremendously, and it has become the neighborhood Harrity and others daydreamed about.
“I’m proud to be a part of it all and happy to still be around,” he says. “I’m so appreciative of all the customers in the early days, and many of them are still loyal to us.”
Along with all the other lovely things at Bishop Street Market — candles, gifts for the home, stationery — we noticed they are carrying Slap watches. Anyone who grew up in the 80s, or had kids who did, might remember slap bands, those bracelets that would curl around your wrist with a thwack. Same idea with Slap watches, and they’re kind of cute for an inexpensive watch.