Welcome Back, Market Lunch!

The historic Eastern Market food stand—known for blueberry pancakes and crab-cake sandwiches—is reopening this weekend

By: Erin Zimmer

Since an April fire ravaged Eastern Market's 134-year-old South Hall, Capitol Hill residents and other supporters have been fundraising like crazy. Just a few weeks ago, the city proudly opened a temporary home for vendors. While it’s great to see Eastern Market getting its groove back, something has been missing in the new building—long lines for all-lump crab cakes and grits (served on Styrofoam “china,” of course). That will change this Saturday with the reopening of Market Lunch, the historic hall’s source for finger-licking breakfast and lunch fare. Earlier this week, owner Tom Glasgow was behind the counter testing his brand-new stoves and throwing beef patties onto the grill.

Glasgow also has a 58-inch pancake griddle ready to crank out way more “blue-bucks,” Market Lunch’s signature blueberry-buckwheat flapjacks. But the long table out front where customers jostle for seats should look familiar. Glasgow pulled it from the burned-down hall the morning after the wreckage. It’s still in good shape and will seat 30 eaters just as before.

Service may be slow this weekend—Glasgow is a bit short-staffed. But Nani, the regular face behind the register, famous for ringing you up and telling you where to sit, will be around. The menu should look the same, with the addition of a new grilled-tuna entrée. However, expect prices to jump an extra 25 cents or so now that corn feed is so high-priced. With more cars running on corn-based ethanol, the price of corn—and any Market Lunch creation dependent on it—is affected. We’ll happily throw an extra quarter down for the blue-bucks.

Market Lunch is inside Eastern Market’s temporary East Hall at Hine Junior High School (335 Eighth St., SE).