Cleveland – Imagine a vibrant marketplace where fresh produce, diverse food offerings, and a lively food hall coexist in a revamped, historic setting. The West Side Market is on the verge of becoming just that.
During a recent vendor meeting, the West Side Market merchants got a sneak peek at the proposed changes that’ll take their beloved market to the next level. It included plans to expand their offerings with prepared foods, public seating, event spaces, and even a teaching kitchen.But don’t worry, they’re not abandoning their traditional focus on fresh and specialty foods. In fact, the plan starts with renovating the basement to ensure the success of the merchants and the Market. Because let’s face it, no one wants to shop in a moldy basement.
Here’s a rundown of the exciting changes that the West Side Market has in store for us:
- Relocating produce merchants to a renovated East Arcade with proper plumbing, heating, and air conditioning to reduce food waste and positively impact produce quality.
- Converting the North Arcade into a food hall with 12 independent prepared food businesses, creating new opportunities for diverse businesses to operate at West Side Market, and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
- Transforming the mezzanine into public seating and event space with a hands-on teaching kitchen, offering spectacular views of downtown Cleveland.
These proposed renovations preserve the West Side Market’s core shopping experience while also meeting customer demand for food to eat in the Market. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good food hall?
But that’s not all, folks! The West Side Market is also aiming to diversify its merchants to better represent the region’s racial and ethnic composition, expand product offerings to include more ethnic specialties and prepared food and beverages, and increase the availability and promotion of local foods, including participation of regional farmers. Plus, they want to become the preeminent place to learn about and celebrate food. So, get ready to learn how to cook like a pro!
To make all of this happen, the Bibb Administration will introduce legislation appropriating $15 million to the West Side Market to fund infrastructure repairs. Funds will be used to renovate the Market’s 30,000 square foot basement, repair the Market’s roof and facade, add air conditioning, and upgrade the heading, electrical, and water infrastructure. The City will always own West Side Market and they’re committed to preserving this gem for future generations.
The Cleveland Public Market Corporation is also on board to help make the master plan a reality. They’re in the process of hiring an executive director and developing terms for a management agreement with the City.
So, there you have it, folks! Get ready for some exciting changes at the West Side Market. From food halls to teaching kitchens, they’re pulling out all the stops to make sure you have the best shopping and dining experience. Keep an eye out for the detailed renderings and cost estimates for physical upgrades and operating plans for the Market, which will be released later this spring with the completion of the second phase of the master plan.
And in case you missed it, here are the core strategies of the plan that the City shared:
- Prioritize the Market’s traditional fresh foods and specialty food offerings
- Support long-term, multi-generational businesses
- Expand product offerings to include more ethnic specialties and prepared food and beverages
- Diversify merchants to better represent the region’s racial and ethnic composition
- Expand food production within the Market
- Introduce technologies and merchandizing strategies that better serve customers
- Increase the availability and promotion of local foods, including participation of regional farmers
- Become the preeminent place to learn about and celebrate food
Get ready, Cleveland, because the West Side Market is about to become your new favorite spot… again!