One of the oldest shops in the Bishop Arts District is entering a new era.
Cody Ellison and Ken Valencia, who own three other shops in Bishop Arts — Home on Bishop, Dwell on Davis and Bishop Ranch — bought Bishop Street Market this week.
The 20-year-old store, housed in the old Bishop’s Pharmacy at Seventh and Bishop, helped spark revitalization of the district.
Mike Harrity and Paul Kirkpatrick lived in Oak Cliff in the ’90s. They would take walks around Bishop Arts and dream of opening a business in the boarded-up buildings. They got their chance in 1996, scraping together enough money to rent the space and order a little bit of inventory. The shop was successful right away — Oak Cliff neighbors bought up most of their inventory the first weekend they opened, which allowed the partners to order more and better stuff.
“We really worked very hard, and of course, it was because we had a business,” Harrity says. “But all of that work was good for the whole district, and we’re pretty proud of the place we held in getting the Bishop Arts District to become what it is.”
Some 2,000 people come through the shop on a typical Saturday, he says.
For Harrity and Kirkpatrick, that contributed to the desire to sell. Harrity has undergone several back surgeries, he says, and he’ll probably need one or two more. They didn’t want to sign the offered five-year lease with the Jim Lake Co.
“It’s certainly bittersweet,” Harrity says. “It was a difficult transaction, but at this point … it’s a big relief.”
Harrity and Kirkpatrick close next week on a condo in Puerto Vallarta. They’re keeping their house in Wynnewood North, but they could decide to live in Mexico full time. Harrity says he already has some business ideas, but he’s also looking forward to chilling out.
“I want to see if it’s possible to get tired of lying on the beach and drinking margaritas,” he says.