“Do we need another farmer's market?” asks Ryan Reiter, who helps run his family's decades old business, the Fremont Sunday Market, which has since spun off several other sister markets and festivals across the city. While no one would claim our Pacific Northwest vibe is trending away from locally grown produce any time soon, perhaps another outdoor grocery store is too expected.
So, when Reiter took time to re-tune the now defunct Terry Ave Market in South Lake Union into something more fitting for that neighborhood—an area subtitled Amazonia with a quickly rising restaurant count—he decided to go for a curated, open-air food hall: a few requisite food trucks, a handful of farms providing market necessities like peak-season produce and fresh flowers, a hearty roundup of purveyors with premade takeaway items, and an eclectic lineup of vendors preparing food onsite for marketgoers.
That lineup includes Frelard Tamales; Delia's Corn Shack, serving Mexican corn on the cob and pupusas; Don Lucho's slinging Peruvian sandwiches; Kalsada Coffee pouring a unique caffeine fix by way of single-origin coffee from the Philippines, and so many more. Other than food prepared curbside look for ready-to-eat snacks like ice cream from Balleywood Creamery, charcuterie from Carl's Cutting Board, artisanal vegan cheese made from cashews from Fauxmage, and, again, more: This European-style food market will have around 65 booths, folks.
In addition to its new format, the market has a new home on Ninth Ave between Denny Way and John St, flanked by the South Lake Union Discovery Center lawn and Denny Park, cleverly creating a definitive space for weekend eating and drinking followed by naps on the grass. The newly dubbed South Lake Union Saturday Market will launch on Saturday, May 14, with hours from 10 to 3.
To further set itself apart from other markets, Reiter is planning on a monthly brunch series of chef demonstrations, or rather alfresco pop-ups, coming up this June. Plus, there will be the occasional wine tasting or beer garden on the Discovery Center lawn, which unofficially confirms its status as a food destination as far as Seattleites' commitment to weekend boozing is concerned.
By bringing in the South Lake Union Saturday Market, the likes of which New York City and Los Angeles also have, Reiter is either helping to usher us into big cityhood...or maybe confirm that we've been one all along. Stay tuned to the South Lake Union Saturday Market Facebook page for more updates on events, chef demos, beer gardens, food trucks du jour, and more.