Astoria’s Peter Pan Market is going up for sale and could close in the coming weeks as owners Pat and Jim Radich, both 71 and looking to retire, try to hand off the venerated grocery and deli to a new owner.
“We’ve had medical issues,” Pat Radich said. “It has turned out we can’t seem to hire anybody, and we can’t do it any more.”
She took over the operation in 1981 at the age of 34 from BernaDean and Gary Lenhard, who relocated to Bend. Her husband joined her after retiring from Georgia-Pacific Wauna Mill a decade ago.
The store was purchased by J.C. McIrvin in 1928 and transformed from a confectionary shop to a grocery store, according to historical newspaper articles. Beezley’s Store, located at Seventh Street and Niagara Avenue, moved to a downtown location in 1931. Peter Pan Market opened in the location in 1939.
“With Gary Lenhard, it was a going grocery store,” Pat Radich said. “He had a meat market, had lockers, would process people’s game animals.”
She added a deli that has become widely popular for its sandwiches, soups and desserts.
Peter Pan is one of the only independent markets left in Astoria, along with Astor Court Grocery, owned by Flora and Gustavo Velazquez on Alameda Avenue, the Astoria Downtown Market owned by Sam McDaniel on Commercial Street and the Short Stop owned by Cheri Temple on Olney Avenue.
“We’re a real solid business,” Pat Radich said. “We’re not downtown, but all of the things that have happened downtown have not affected us. We’ve gotten busier every year.”
The business has largely been a family-run operation. But Pat Radich said her daughter, Becky Radich, is not interested in taking the business over. The business would stay closed until the couple can find a new operator.
“We would like to have it stay what it is, kind of,” Pat Radich said. “Because the neighborhood really needs it.”