For most people, the local grocery store provides one basic function: facilitating the purchase of food. But for the residents of Moon and Robinson townships, The Market District Giant Eagle at Settler’s Ridge in Robinson has a larger significance.
As a lifelong resident of Robinson Township, I can tell you that a rivalry exists between Robinson and Moon, specifically, between the Moon High School Tigers and the Montour High School Spartans.
I have spent my entire life as a Spartan. Well, technically a “lady Spartan.” Montour High School likes to be gender-specific because nothing says “lady” like slide-tackling your opponent on the soccer field. But given my background, I can accurately report that we, the residents of Robinson, have long been existing in Moon's shadow.
Moon High School always seemed to have better facilities than Montour. The Moon Tigers defeated the Montour Spartans in practically every sporting match during my time in high school. Plus, Moon just seemed like a cooler, more high-end town. In Robinson, the fancy restaurant was the Red Bull Inn (a basic steak house) whereas Moon Township boasts of , which in 2008 Gourmet Magazine selected it as one of the “21 Legendary Restaurants in the United States." opened its doors in 1982. Robinson, meanwhile, didn't have a library until 2007.
See what I mean? The Tigers always win.
Robinson Township is home to the largest grocery store in the region. That’s right. The Market District Giant Eagle at Settler’s Ridge. The 150,000-square-foot store opened in November of 2009 and instantly became the giant feather in Robinson’s cap. With more than 600 employees, a gelato bar, more than 250 brands of beer sold by the six-pack, a learning and activity center which provides a movie of the week every Friday for kids, and cooking classes with chefs from the Food Network, The Giant Eagle Market District has become the shining star of Robinson. Assuming a grocery store can be a shining star.
A win for the Spartans?
Rather than using this superstore to our advantage and finally feeling superior to the residents of Moon, a crazy thing has happened.
The Giant Eagle has brought our competitive communities together.
It reminds me of the classic musical West Side Story. The Jets and Sharks are trying to fight, but they can’t because they are all attending the dance. The dance is off limits because it’s “neutral territory.”
That’s what the Market District Giant Eagle has become for us. It’s neutral territory. For a couple of hours a week rather than judging one another’s school colors, we are now walking united in the pursuit of over-priced groceries and exotic produce that we don’t need. Moon and Robinson residents alike are going over budget buying homemade gelato while the voice of TV chef Guy Fieri shouts recipes over the loud speaker. Finally, we are all on the same side.
I mean, unless they build an even bigger Giant Eagle in Moon.
Then it’s back on.