Starting Sunday, May 1, 2016 the South End will host two weekly markets that will be separated by about 3 blocks. For those familiar with where the Sunday market has traditionally resided nothing much will seem different. The South End Market as it was previously known is moving closer to the Ink Block and will be located in Ming’s Supermarket parking lot. The artist market by the studios and farmer’s market by Cinquecento will now go by the name SOWA Market.
One notable difference with this year’s SOWA Market is their intention to be open on both Saturday and Sunday following the grand opening. The Saturday Farmer’s Market will be slightly smaller with more vendors initially participating every Sunday alongside the Vintage and Artist Markets as well as the Food Truck court located one block away in the Gaslight and BSC parking lot. Below are the names of the vendors lined up to participate for the SOWA Market 2016 season.
For more information about the SOWA Market visit here.
Another restaurant and bar looks like it will be opening in the South End’s Ink Block. You may recall back in November I wrote about Bar Mezzana which is an Italian restaurant that is aiming for a spring 2016 opening in the 360 Harrison Ave building. This new restaurant – rumored to be called Scofflaw – will be in the 300 Harrison Avenue building.
The new space is hoping to acquire the Lower Mills Tavern liquor license. A hearing for the request was scheduled for Wednesday, January 6th. You can read more about the new restaurant from, Boston Restaurant Talk.
Last week The Boston Globe wrote that a notice was filed with the city just before the end of the year that the developer who purchased the now-closed Quinzani’s Bakery and Ho Kong Bean Sprout Co. on the corner of Harrison Avenue and East Berkeley Streets will develop a 300,000 square-foot housing and retail project.
There were no other specifics provided but the developer indicated the project would “provide for 18-hour uses and result in an enhanced, pedestrian-friendly public realm”. The Boston Globe pointed out that by submitting the application on the last day of 2015, Related Beal (the developer) will not be subject to new requirements from the city of Boston for additional affordable housing benefits that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
No doubt more details will be forthcoming in the months that follow. You can read the full article on the Boston Globe, Housing heading for old Quinzani’s site in South End.
Neighborhood rumblings about the rift between Chris Masci (owner of New England Open Markets) and Mario Nicosia (GTI Properties) have continued since my last post in early December, Can the South End host two farmer’s markets in the South End.
This past week I was contacted by another source who asked I not mention them by name. They indicated that Chris Masci has opted to expand his market on The Greenway to a three-day market (Friday – Sunday) and if true would presumably not host a South End farmer’s market in 2016. But this makes no sense to me since that would mean The New England Open Market would compete with the Boston Public Market (open Wed – Sun from 8AM-8PM). The Boston Public Market is close enough to be viable competition and it has the added advantages of having more vendors, public parking and access to the T.
I’m currently in Brazil and have not been able to connect with New England Open Markets to ask if this latest rumor is true but since my previous questions have either resulted in no response or denials about GTI hosting their SoWa Farmer’s market it is hard to say if I’d get a reliable response. Maybe larger blogs dedicated to such topics (e.g. EaterBoston or Hidden Boston) may be able to get more clarification. One thing that is quite clear, the proposed relocation of the South End Farmer’s Market under the I-93 expressway appears to be a deal breaker for many long-time vendors as yet another confirmed with me that they would not participate in the farmer’s market if it was located there.
Just as the South End Open Market season was coming to a close, New England Open Markets announced that they would be moving to the Ink Block in 2016; I wrote about it in my blog post: South End Open Market moves to Ink Block in 2016 but Food Trucks and Farmers Market stay put.
After writing the post I was contacted by New England Open Market and was told that the entire Farmer’s Market would be moving in 2016. This conflicted with what I had been told by vendors. They were unhappy that the Farmer’s Market would be relocated under the I-93 expressway. Last week two longtime Farmer’s Market vendors confirmed they would not follow New England Open Market and would be joined by other vendors who would prefer to remain on GTI’s property, forming a second market for the neighborhood. How the market will be rebranded or which vendors will remain is unclear but it appears that differences between Chris Masci (owner of New England Open Markets) and Mario Nicosia (GTI Properties) are irreconcilable.
Mario and GTI Properties would seemingly have the upper hand in this feud with the public already familiar with the 450 Harrison Avenue location, ample parking and space for the market sandwiched between GTI’s recently renovated 460 Harrison Ave which now includes 40 new boutiques and Vintage Market. However, my question is can our neighborhood sustain two Farmer’s Markets?
For more background on their feud which led to this split I’d refer you to The Boston Globe’s story from early October, Bitter split muddles future of South End markets.
Tomorrow evening SoWa First Fridays is joined by the annual holiday shopping festival Chrismukkah SoWa. This year Chrismukkah will include a 6,500 square foot heated tent in the 450 Harrison Ave to accommodate the 50+ local artisans selling handcrafted goods and treats. In addition to the “Big Tent”, along Thayer Street shop the more than 90 artist studios and 60+ shops, boutiques and galleries that will be open. Food trucks will also be setting up should you want a snack or you can cozy up in one of the many restaurants in SoWa.
Friday, Dec 4: 5-9PM
Saturday, Dec 5: 10AM-5PM
Sunday, Dec 6: 10AM-5PM
If you would like directions, check out the Chrismukkah website to view the map or to get directions, here.
Sergio having fun at SoWa First Friday’s Abigail Ogilvy Gallery
Friday night was freakishly warm and that in part probably contributed to the thousands of people who turned up to see some of their favorite local artists as well as 21 new art galleries. If you cannot guess from the photo I took of Sergio at the Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, the evening was a lot of fun.
Congratulations to all the new galleries and boutiques at 460 Harrison Ave. I wish everyone of them much success. I can’t think of a more eclectic combination of retail / boutiques in Boston. If you missed this month’s opening, mark your calendar for the next First Friday event, December 4th from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM.