North Market to Undergo Major Renovations This Fall
The North Market, Columbus’ first and most authentic farmer’s market, is launching a renovation project that will surely make this local landmark the premier destination in Ohio for meals, the freshest of local produce, and socialization.
The rejuvenation begins with the replacement of all the ventilation hoods in the Market with current, up-to-date fixtures that should markedly change the way the market looks, smells, and operates.
This will mean relocation for some of the businesses housed in the North Market, as the focus will be on cohesion, and making sure that not only is everyone comfortable in their new home, but that for the customer, the experience will be smoother as well.
“This new outlook will work as a positive for all,”says Rick Wolfe, Executive Director of the North Market. “We’ll be able to improve guest experience, cleanliness, and the look and smell of the place. We will still have our 137-year heritage, but we will modernize.”
On August 1st, the first phase of this project will be revealed as vendors learn where their new place in the Market will be. A committee was formed with the single purpose of redesigning the layout of the space, being careful to consider patron and purchase flow, the needs of each business, and ultimately, what’s best for the guest.
So prepared foods will be together as the new hoods are only installed on the north end of the Market. Flowers by Market Blooms and produce from The Green Grocer will still be the first sights that greet visitors upon entry because really, that’s what expected when you enter a farmer’s market, and there is no plan to change that.
Customers will also notice that some of their favorite stalls will have gotten smaller, but none of the merchants have left. In addition, there should be little to no disruption with regular services, as most of the work being done is at night.
“There’s nervousness, but everyone realizes it’s a great opportunity,” states Wolfe. “If you haven’t been to the Market, we want it to be an amazing experience your first time. And if you go all the time, you’ll see a great change. The thing I want most is for people to walk in and say, ‘wow, what an awesome market’, because they see we’re offering only the best.”
The integration of alcohol is also a subject under heavy consideration right now. When agreements are reached, visitors will be able to stroll through the Market to browse or shop while they enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, a service that isn’t currently available.
The future of the Market also promises to be dynamic, as there are plans for building up the North Pavilion, including the addition of parklets — small patches of new green space where guests can dine outside. Wolfe and his staff are also working with outdoor media and advertising firm Civitas Now to make the North Market as popular with the after-work crowd as it is with the lunchers.
There will be greater opportunities for more pop-up peddlers with the potential addition of a new wing, true farm-to-table events as the Dispatch Kitchen space is repurposed, and down the road, there’s already talks of erecting another building in order to significantly grow the number of businesses at the North Market.
“We have to evolve as the city has,” explains Wolfe. “Markets reflect the city, culture, people, and specialties, so everyone needs to be on the same page to provide consistent service. Ultimately, what’s best for the guest is what’s best for the market.”
The grand launch date for the new North Market experience is tentatively November 1st. For more on the progress of these exciting changes, visit www.northmarket.com.
Related Reading: Long-Term Vision for North Market Proposes Parking Deck Structure
Photo by Alexander Husarek for ColumbusUnderground.com.