At long last, the hotly anticipated Union Market will throw open its doors this Saturday, allowing many Washingtonians their first look inside the multi-use space at 1390 Fifth Street, Northeast. The market will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only through November, after which it moves to a six-day-a-week schedule.
We checked in with a bunch of vendors to see who’s ready to go this weekend and who will delay their debut. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list—development group Edens says there are more than 40 purveyors in total—and that opening dates are always subject to change.
Don’t forget that Sunday, September 9, is the second annual DC Scoop artisanal ice cream competition at the market—judges and attendees will evaluate treats from local ice cream, custard, and gelato purveyors. You’ll find detail about that on the Union Market website.
Arondo Holmes will have his full inventory of sweet and sour salties available on opening day.
Rappahannock Oyster Company
A rep for the family-owned bivalve business says its oyster, small plates, and beer-and-wine bar should open inside the market on Saturday.
Owner Carolyn Stromberg, who used Kickstarter to help fund her project, says her cheese bar will be open this weekend with beer and wine pairings, but will have a limited retail supply. Once the market expands its hours in November, she’ll have the full inventory.
Joe Miller, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania dairy, says the TSC booth is still under construction, but that there will be a temporary stall operating on the 8th at which shoppers can order ready-to-eat and take-home ice cream, along with milk and butter. Once they’re fully operational, expect a “whole dairy section” with yogurt, eggs, cream products, and cottage cheese, along with hand-dipped ice cream, soft serve, and milkshakes. The creamery is starting out with nine flavors of ice cream, including sweet potato pie and coffee bean frappe.
Maybe Open Saturday
Anna Leis, who owns DC Empandas with her husband, Shawn, says they might be up and running on debut day. “It depends what can happen between now and the weekend,” she told us when we contacted her yesterday. In any case, this stall should be serving up its fried pockets of goodness in short order.
Will the local java company be fully operational this weekend? “Yes, fingers crossed,” says owner Ryan Jensen. “We are definitely planning to be there with coffee on Saturday morning.”
Opening Very Soon
Red Apron Butchery
The Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s meat-mongers—who are planning a commissary nearby—will also have a retail stall inside the market, but it won’t be open this weekend. A rep tells us to look out for the project “later this fall.” (Red Apron will open a brick-and-mortar location at Merrifield, Virginia’s Mosaic District—another Edens development—this fall.)
The food truck will park it at the market in the coming days, says founder Mike Lenard, but won't be ready to serve its kimchi- and Napa-slaw-topped tacos on Saturday.
Opening Not So Soon
The gelato chain will not have a stall inside the market, but will open a production facility at nearby 550 Penn Street (along with Red Apron) in spring 2013 (see our earlier post for more on that).
Exact Opening Date Unknown
Buffalo & Bergen
Gina Chersevani says her soda shop will not debut on September 8. We’ll bring you an update on when it will open as soon as we have one. UPDATE: Chef R.J. Cooper and bartender Bryan Tetorakis will host a pop-up at Buffalo & Bergen this weekend, according to Eater DC. Rumors circulated this week that Chersevani had pulled out of the Union Market deal but she told us this was not true.
Salt & Sundry
Amanda McClements—a well-known local food writer—says the space for her retail venture is “under construction” and will open later this year. According to the boutique’s Facebook page, Salt & Sundry will carry “tableware, barware, linens, artisanal foods and covetable vintage finds,” plus rustic farm tables made by her North Carolina father. The 1,200 square-foot shop will also host events with chefs, bartenders, and other guests from the culinary world.
Harvey’s Market, Almaala Farms, and Lyon Bakery
We’re still waiting to hear back from these three vendors. Check back here for updates.
Union Market. 1390 Fifth St., NE; unionmarketdc.com. September and October hours: Friday from 11 to 8, Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 8.