Market Forces

Ericka Burke's Canal Market Is Officially Open

And the breakfast setup is lovely.

By Allecia Vermillion May 5, 2015

Ericka Burke spent the better part of a year transforming a run-of-the-mill neighborhood market in Portage Bay into a full-blown adorable mercantile. Which is now officially open.

The shelves at Canal Market are stocked with sea salt and jams and olive oil and crackers, plus quotidian details like compost bags and even tampons (made with organic cotton, of course). No worries—there's plenty of wine. The freezer is full of local ice cream and gelato, the cooler replete with eggs, local cheese, and even sausages and terrine from Rain Shadow Meats.

An open kitchen takes up most of the back wall, thus the real draw of the space is the deli counter in the center. Walk in the door and the first thing you see are tiers of pastries and cookies and galettes, an arrangement that should look familiar to fans of Burke's Volunteer Park Cafe.

Days here will start with a spread of pastries, granola, yogurt, fresh fruit, and what just might be Seattle's first sighting of the toast bar trend (duh, even the jams and marmalades are Burke's own). Access to this morningtime spread costs $14, and includes Stumptown coffee and a daily house-pressed juice.

Later, the deli setup turns to baguette sandwiches plus hearty takeaway vegetable dishes and salads (corona beans and tuna, roasted beets with kale, radishes with zucchini, spring peas, and mint) that should also look familiar to VPC fans. This is by no means a sit-down restaurant, but there are a good amount of stools and counter space along the front window and the island.

If Pinterest-worthy foodstuffs aren't your thing, there are also gifty items like Falconware enamel bowls and a table of bath salts and lotions and soap from a local outfit called Handmade La Conner.

Burke's Canal Market joins Tom Douglas's Home Remedy and Cone and Steiner (originally opened by Josh Henderson) in a trendlet of mercantiles opened and curated by chefs. The appeal is partly prosaic—customers will likely visit a market more frequently than a restaurant, especially when a known chef is selling prepared food—but Burke says part of the fun is curating all the cool pantry products. She's been sharing these finds via a successful popup in the space in recent months.

The market's actual address is 2919 Fuhrman Ave East; it's open daily from 7am to 7pm. Take a look around the last-minute preparations in the photos above, but you're not done hearing Burke's name just yet. She's opening another restaurant and a sibling takeaway sandwich and juice shop on Capitol Hill this summer.


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