Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market

Johnny Gibson was an Olympic athlete and long-standing Tucson resident. He owned a building on 6th Avenue that housed his barber shop and, later, his gym equipment store.

SBBL was asked to do plans for a new grocery store downtown filling a 50-year old need while also helping with the urban renewal underway in the city.

Our plan was to open the grocery store to
the street much like the original grocery
store from years past. In addition, we
wanted to create an exciting space that
invited passersby into the store…

The existing space had a 16 ft. tall wood
ceiling, but when we went above into the
attic, we discovered an additional 16 ft.
tall space with a dynamic bowstring truss
that just had to be exposed.

The recreated space is defined
by the exposed wood roof
structure, ductwork, giant fans,
and the original brick walls…

The new grocery store and its deli was planned to draw people from the street
to an outdoor dining patio connecting with other food and drink venues.
A short distance away, a major hotel was on the drawing board.