There's been a quiet buzz around the transformation of Union Market--formerly known as the historic Florida Avenue or Centre Market--since developer Edens signed on to the project in 2007. Delays due to the economy and a fire pushed the project back, but now the opening is finally approaching in June, accompanied by a slew of big industry names.
Edens president Jodie McLean says that the project is partly inspired by San Francisco's Ferry Building: a multi-purpose community space that joins permanent restaurants and vendors with a rotating lineup of artisans, entertainers, and farmers. Union Market will eventually expand to about 40 vendors, a third of which will be permanent, plus outdoor farmers markets on certain days.
The early names are exciting: Gina Chersevani, the well-known "Mixtress" who ended her reign at PS 7's bar to sign onto Jamie Leeds' Capitol Hill venture, is debuting a soda shop in the market with boozy takes on classics like egg creams and malts. Metrocurean blogger Amanda McClements is
McLean says one of Edens' goals is to use retail to build community. To that end there'll also be classes, demonstrations, and the occasional live performance in the market. The first could be considered a big-ticket Sunday Supper on June 3rd, a James Beard benefit dinner that includes toques like Bryan Voltaggio, Mike Isabella, Fabio Trabocchi, and many others. Check back in with us for coverage of the dinner, and more details on the market.