In a stroll through the Warehouse District yesterday, we passed the West Sixth Street Market (1313 W. 6th St.; 216-579-1314) and noticed the doors were dead-bolted and the shades were drawn. Two lonely signs hung in the window. The first one announced that the store had relocated to the Flats (1335 W. 10th St.); the second one trumpeted the upcoming arrival of a new pizzeria.
So we walked down the St. Clair Avenue hill to the not-so-cleverly renamed Downtown Liquor. There we found co-owner Ilir Shyte barking orders to three employees as they unloaded box after box of beer and wine. Shyte — once the crime reporter for Albania's national newspaper before moving here six years ago — tells us that he'll reopen his booze palace this weekend. And he and business partner Bujar Musai will unveil the new Sixth Street Market Pizzeria by the end of November. They'll be serving meat, cheese, and veggie pizzas, along with beer and wine. The kitchen will be supervised by Mark Daverio, owner of Battuto's on Mayfield Road in Little Italy. Shyte says they'll also keep the joint open well after the bars close. "We won't kick anybody out," he tells us, almost hinting that it'll be open 24-7.
As for the liquor-store move, Shyte reasons that the Flats are on the verge of another renaissance. And he expects his clientele will predominantly include both owners and tenants of the burgeoning condominium and townhouse complexes downtown. "It's too bad that nobody comes to the Flats anymore," Shyte groans. "If you put more businesses here, the people will come." --Cris Glaser