Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Union Market Opening & DC Scoop

Guests previewing the Union Market space during June's Sunday Supper

Union Market (Eden's new development inside the former DC Farmers Market at 1309 5th Street) opens Saturday. It's a vast departure from the old Farmers Market, which skewed down market. The new development is much more upscale (more similar to Eastern Market), and features artisanal cheeses, a bakery, an oyster bar, a coffee shop, and much more. It's going to be interesting to see what sort of impact this has on the remainder of the Florida Market.

To celebrate the opening, Eden's is holding the second annual DC Scoop. DC Scoop is a competition during which you can walk around and try all sorts of frozen treats.

Read the press release below for full details.


WASHINGTON DC – September 4, 2012 – Union Market, the highly anticipated food market redeveloped by EDENS, one of thenation’s leading retail real estate owners and developers, will open its doors to the public on September 8, 2012.  To celebrate the opening, Union Market will host the Second Annual DC Scoop Artisan Ice Cream competition on September 9, 2012.

Union Market is an artisanal, curated, year-round food market featuring over 40 local vendors.  This authentic marketplace will spark a more vibrant Union Market district that overtime will become the unique destination for DC’s sophisticated and creative community inclusive of culinary, entrepreneurial and artistic innovators.

Through a highly selective process, Union Market is composed of the finest food artisans ranging from up-and-coming entrepreneurs to well known restaurateurs all creating a unique culinary experience.  Union Market vendors include:
Rappahannock Oysters Co.; Buffalo & Bergen created by well-known mixologist Gina Chersevani; an Amanda McClements’ lifestyle boutique; Righteous Cheese; Peregrine Espresso; Lyon Bakery; Trickling Springs Creamery; Harvey’s Market; Oh! Pickles; Almaala Farms; DC Empanadas and TaKorean.

Union Market will open this Saturday, September 8 and will be open on Friday through Sunday only until November. Hours of operation will be Friday 11 AM – 8 PM and Saturday & Sunday from 8 AM – 8 PM.  In November, the Market will expand its operating hours and open 6 days a week.

The Second Annual DC Scoop is an annual artisan ice cream tasting event and competition where the DC area’s best frozen flavor artisans gather to serve their prized traditional ice cream, savory gelato, irresistible custard and guilt-free yogurt to a panel of distinguished judges and attendees in hopes of being crowned the 2012 DC Scoop winner.  Ice cream vendors participating in the 2012 DC Scoop include: Boss Ice Cream, Dolcezza Gelato, Sinplicity, Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream, Ice Cream Jubilee, Sweet Willows Creamery, Dominion Ice Cream, Goodies Frozen Custard and Taharka Brothers among others.

The 2012 DC Scoop will take place on September 9, 2012 from 1PM – 4PM at Union Market, located at 1309 5th Street, NE.  There is no cost for admission.  Each attendee will receive three free sample tickets for tasting and a ticket to vote for their favorite.

For more information on Union Market and the 2012 DC Scoop, please visit


Anonymous said...

I miss Ely's Meats. That place didn't always have the lowest prices, nor the choicest cuts, but man if they didn't know how to help you then you were beyond saving. Anyone know where the good folks that worked there landed after the fire that displaced them?

IMGoph said...

I also would love to know what happened to the retailers who used to be there. No one has written a story about this. Everyone just wants to talk about what's new there (which is great!), but ignoring the fact that the lower cost stuff has essentially been "pushed out" is a shame.

inked said...

Technically, they were burned out by an accidental fire. The new rents are substantially higher, so I strongly doubt that any of the old vendors would be able to afford to return. Of course, the new facilities are much nicer too.

IMGoph said...

inked: yeah, I know, but I'm just saying it's a big human interest story. your livelihood, taken away, only to find that you've been replaced by something "fancier," and according to some, "better." there's a story to tell, and no one has told it, yet.

inked said...

Totally agree.

tiffanyc said...

its nice to see people share some of my feelings on this. i never saw florida market as 'down market'. i have memories as a child with my grandmother shopping there. one of the few places you could every part of the pig (including the head) lined up in the case.

who knows what happened to those business owners, employees and others who, like i, have generations of memories there. and now we have 'up market' cheese and oysters...

Anonymous said...

Am I alone in thinking that these places won't last -- An oyster vendor, a korean taco stand, a gelateria? These are cool places and I think they could do well elsewhere, but is there really any local support for this sort of venture?

I am loathe to sound the cynic because I want our neighborhood to keep growing, but who the heck is going to shop here? There aren't enough hipsters in the area to keep these places afloat, and those that are familiar with the market tend towards the cheaper produce and meats. I went to the last ice-cream social and met a lot of nice people, but will they do their day-to-day shopping in this new market?

Anonymous said...

Based on the number of people that paid to get in to the preview of the market back in July I would say there is a lot of enthusiasm for it. I don't know how it will be during the week but I can see it being pretty packed on weekends. I know I'll be posted up at the oyster bar on the regular, starting this Saturday.

Anonymous said...

A bit of a hijack, but I've been hearing rumors that the Black Supermarket is closed for good. It wasn't open yesterday.

I saw Walter out front last night. Does anyone know what is going down?

Alan Page said...

"who the heck is going to shop here? There aren't enough hipsters in the area to keep these places afloat"

I'm not sure who counts as a hipster, but there is a lot of residential density coming online within easy walking distance of the Union Market, from the 300 block of H to the 300 block of I to new buildings on Noma (1st & M, etc). A lot of the rents in these new developments are quite high, so is it safe to assume the occupants will have disposable income (or are there people out there who will shell out their last dime for a luxury apartment?)?

Anonymous said...

If you saw Walter (the owner) last night, why didn't you just ask him? And, yes, it's closed for good:

Dave B said...

I dont even think hipsters live here anymore

pft said...

my sources tell me that the previous vendors from florida market were given federal government jobs where they could play on the internet all day without fear of being fired.

just kidding, life is hard sometimes, people lose jobs for no good reason, places go under, some move on without feeling sorry for themselves. i'm guessing that's what happened to all the hard working people at the butcher i used to patronize.

inked said...

The building sold some months ago as it was headed for foreclosure. Walter knew it was a matter of time before the new owner wanted to change the use. Walter has seemed unclear of his future plans when I've spoken to him.

inked said...

I wrote that the DC Farmers Market was down market. That's not necessarily, a bad thing, but I'm trying to describe it for people who might not have been. Compared to Eastern Market, it was down market.

I never wrote that about the whole of the Florida Market, and I never would because I think it's completely false. The Florida Market is a mix of stuff. It's a functioning wholesale market, but there's a lot more going on there.

tiffanyc said...

for locals, the term 'florida avenue market' refers to the retail sellers in the large white building. while other establishments do wholesale only (some also do retail), most know/knew the white building by the same name as the general area.

no need to defend what you wrote. i'm sure we all knew what you meant by 'down market'.

heyktb said...

as long as Litterati stays where it is!

Anonymous said...

not sure why everyone thinks this wont last. if you dont think the vendors are getting a sweetheart deal with rent, you're crazy.

Eden basically was able to jumpstart a renovation project, completely paid for by fire insurance money.. so if they dont break even for a couple years, i dont think they care.. if the new market raises the nearby land value, most of which they own, it'll be a success even if it loses money.

the population density is about the same at eastern market, and the metro stop is just about as far.

inked said...

I don't know what percentage of the land in the larger market Edens actually owns. I also wouldn't be too sure on the rent. It might be a great deal once everything moves in, but the price tag is pretty steep from what I've heard. I also think the demographics are a little different around Eastern Market, than around the Florida Market (higher average incomes near Eastern Market).

There are some definite obstacles here:
1. That's a weird walk from the Metro for some;
2. It's not super close to any offices (except at Gallaudet). That said, I fully expect the venture to succeed.

Anonymous said...

Eden owns a significant portion of the overall area.

maybe the rent for businesses who want to join the bandwagon are high.. but the staple businesses, which Eden is using to sell the concept, have very favorable rents.

they are doing the same exact thing in their other development, the mosiac district.

its pretty common among large developments like this.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see the other older wholesale/retail outlets actually band together to do a little cleaning/updating/marketing so they have a chance to survive the coming changes and take advantage of the new "upscale" crowd that the new facility will probably bring. That way, instead of getting steamrolled, some of the variety and flavor (figuratively as well as literally) might have a chance to live on.

As it is, I expect they'll do nothing and eventually all get bought out or put out of business for brand new development. The website for the new Union Market building talks about the area turning into DC's own version of NY's "meat packing district." I.e. they're not targeting eclectic "hipsters," just rich people.

fatty said...

The new sign looks fantastic. Especially at night.

Robby Mann-Thompson said...

Hooray!!! I am excited about the Union Market, who knew one day I would be having awesome oysters at the Florida Ave Market in the old horrid DC Farmer’s Market building. I remember going there with my grandmother and father. It had some interesting stalls, but the smell would knock you over, and I agree the Safeway, Jumbo, and Giant often had better deals, not that the Jumbo was much cleaner than the DC Farmer’s Market building. I know people lost their livelihoods, but I’m happy to see the building’s rebirth in to something special and higher end. That old building was one of the reasons I hated the market for years. I would not go there. A friend had to coax me, and I’m glad they did, because now I really like the wholesale aspect and I can envision how both retail and wholesale can thrive. Again, hooray!!! This is awesome news.

Poo! said...

jeez. whenever i complained about how true locals couldn't stand that place, people would attack me.

FT folks are a fickle bunch.

SnoopLion said...

is this dog friendly tomorrow?

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in a human interest story on the vendors that were in the market and the potential impact on the wholesale vendors in surrounding buildings.

The old market was basically a grocery store, and a pretty good one when local options are an expensive Harris Teeter and a dingy Safeway with perpetually-long lines. The new Union Market doesn't even strive for that. It's being marketed as a weekend hang-out spot.

That's great as long as surrounding vendors like Mexican Fruits and the butcher around the corner from it aren't driven out of the area. The fruit stand has the best vegetable prices in the city, and there're only so many places where you can pick your own meat from the locker and have it cut to your specs.

The same goes for the halal market and the West African grocery.

I'd hate to see the stores go the way of the Funky Flea Market. I still haven't figured out a new place to get Nintendo-controller belt buckles.