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THE Downtown Market updates

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Quite an opinion for having been twice.

 

We go regularly. Get a taco, some chocolate, ice cream.. even an app and some wine.  It's busy sometimes, not busy other times.  Perhaps my impression is different because I see it as a fun destination for a bite to eat, versus looking to buy my groceries there.

 

Eh, it might have been three times.  :dontknow:     I had a taco, too.  But we thought it would be a good place to go for fresh produce and meats--you know, a "market".  It isn't good for that at all.  Selection is minimal, and prices are just :shok:

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Eh, it might have been three times.  :dontknow:     I had a taco, too.  But we thought it would be a good place to go for fresh produce and meats--you know, a "market".  It isn't good for that at all.  Selection is minimal, and prices are just :shok:

 

I go there for tacos on a regular basis. And I LOVE the Field and Fire multi-grain loaf.  It's expensive, but it's soooo good that it's worth it.  And the selection of flavored brats at Montello is unmatched anywhere I've been in town.  They are also expensive, but they are great. However, they aren't more expensive than eating out and did I mention they are great?  Oh, and Sweetielicious....love it.  And I've given away Thornburg and Company fruit spreads as gifts a couple of times. It's hard not to get a sample every time I'm waiting for tacos.

 

We're not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but we place a priority on quality and many of the market vendors meet that need.  We'll continue to go as often as we can.  Though it doesn't yet have the character of some older markets, like the one in Downtown Indy that's in an old brick building, I think that will come with some age.  You can't make a place like Fulton St. Farmer's Market overnight, or even in a year or two.

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I went there this weekend for Grillstock.  The Michigan BBQ Guild was there grilling up some ribs, chicken, and sausage.  It was awesome and very reasonable.  I hope they keep having these special events there.  

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Thinking about how for earlier ArtPrize editions, various renovation projects around town would rush to complete, then showcase their buildings by hosting a lot of artists. (The building adjacent to UICA, for one. It's still available. :/ )

 

Last year the market was outside of the A/P district, plus it wasn't ready. This year there are all of six pieces, along with the merch store. Could be a lot more, along with [DOUBLE DIGIT] ARTISTS banners and more hype, which leads to foot traffic.

http://www.artprize.org/grand-rapids-downtown-market

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I agree. I think it was a large miss. I'm just not sure what's going on at the Market. Since I only can speculate, I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but if they were to have been an exhibition center (or just one of the larger venues of art), it would have been marketing money well spent for the venue instead of billboards, print advertising, etc.

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The billboard next to 240 Ionia urging you to see their ArtPrize pieces seemed a waste to me. They could have done far more and used it to show off the space. Maybe open some pop-ups.

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I agree. I think it was a large miss. I'm just not sure what's going on at the Market. Since I only can speculate, I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but if they were to have been an exhibition center (or just one of the larger venues of art), it would have been marketing money well spent for the venue instead of billboards, print advertising, etc.

 

Even if they were an exhibition center, they're only going to get so much traffic because they're too far from the big parking ramps downtown (that most visitors are used to using). Plus, I don't think you guys realize what is involved with being a large venue. It's expensive and requires resources that perhaps they would rather commit to the market vendors. If it costs $50,000 or $100,000, that might be money they don't have to spend.

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I understand its quite the task to host with expenses. I'm just saying, here is your opportunity to market your product to thousands of people that are not usually going to come downtown and check our your building. I personally, think its money they should seriously think about spending. For them vs other venues, I think the return on their investment to their vendors could be something worthwhile.

 

There's plenty of parking at the market for people to park there for free. My last two cents on the market/Art Prize.

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Dropped by again today (after wandering through to see the exhibits last week) because of the A/P store. Apparently it's run by the T-shirt printer handling the A/P merch, which would explain why they stock the 2014 bicycle shirt in adult sizes. (A fellow volunteer, who helps out at the Hub retail store, said that their product ordering person decided that only children would wear the bicycle shirt.)

 

As a happy surprise, this store offers any A/P volunteer 25% off a purchase. (Yeah, the volunteers work for coupons.) So after six years of strongly suggesting that A/P encourage non-motorized transportation, I finally have a bike shirt.

 

Having typed all that...the market contains a huge open space outfitted with lounge furniture. At 5:30 pm it was well attended, with folks sitting around talking, one group holding a meeting at a conference table, smaller conversation clusters, general sociability going on. It looked like a fun coffee shop atmosphere in which to hang out, except that you could go get something from a wide variety of market vendors and enjoy it there...with a front-row view of the Klingmans building work across the street. Also, there were outdoor tables near the bar area, complete with pole heaters. If I hadn't been in a rush to several more errands, I'd have lingered.

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Saw on the morning news that the Downtown Market is going to have an announcement today. I'm thinking its about a new restaurant. I can't find a print article to attach. 

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Saw on the morning news that the Downtown Market is going to have an announcement today. I'm thinking its about a new restaurant. I can't find a print article to attach. 

 

 

Downtown?  Downtown where?  New York?  Santa Fe?  Istanbul?  Tokyo?  Oh!  Grand Rapids?  Do you mean City Market on Monroe Center?  That's a market downtown.  They are adding a barbecue restaurant in there?  Wow.  I wish Grand Rapids had a marketplace right in the city with an iconic name like Pike Place in Seattle or Quincy Market in Boston.  You know, something that would stand out, something that would engender affectionate nicknames, that kind of thing.  I'll bet people could get excited about that kind of thing.  Make it sort of a destination, an event, an experience, the kind of thing for which people will happily pay a little extra , you know, just because.  A t-shirt that says "Pike Place Market" = cool.  A t-shirt that says "Downtown Market" = cue the failure trombones from The Price Is Right.

 

Sorry, just had to vent.  Every time I hear "The Downtown Market" I cry a little inside for the lost opportunity.  It feels like:

 

 

We wanted

 

Founders-Brewing-Dirty-Bastard_182203.jp

 

but we got

 

genericbeercan.jpg

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I like Slows enough that I might make this a weekly stop. Maybe even hit this occasionally rather than Founders (since they usually have a pretty good tap list). I personally know enough people who make it a point to stop at Slows when in Detroit that this will become a destination.

 

A huge catch for the Downtown Market at a very good time. If they can fill the NE corner with another destination restaurant...

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Like the Downtown Market or not, this is big news.  These guys are very well regarded, and it's the shot in the arm the market needed.

Edited by mpchicago

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This was an interesting quote from the Free Press article: 

 

"Fritz plans to announce the market's second restaurant — one that's primarily a "beverage component" but "not a brewery," she said — next week."

 

 

http://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/dining/sylvia-rector/2014/10/21/slows-open-grand-rapids/17671651/

Edited by mpchicago

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Excellent, Very happy with this move. This will certainly generate more foot traffic in general and as others have said, will be a big boost for all of the market. 

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This was an interesting quote from the Free Press article: 

 

"Fritz plans to announce the market's second restaurant — one that's primarily a "beverage component" but "not a brewery," she said — next week."

 

 

http://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/dining/sylvia-rector/2014/10/21/slows-open-grand-rapids/17671651/

 

 

A distillery?  A craft soda pop maker?  

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This is going to be a big draw. Good BBQ never goes begging.

 

This, along with their wonderful antiques flea market is making me more bullish on the market as a whole. They should definitely expand the flea market to every Sunday and really get the word out to get people to set up there. We haven't had a good collectors flea market in GR in years.

 

And YES, please think about a proper name for the whole place. Downton Market just is awkward and confusing.

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Slow's will be great!

"Downtown Market" definitely has a placeholder feel to it. What're are some better names? Did any of the early GR trading posts have names? Of the market's neighboring streets, "McConnell Market" has the best ring to it.

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And YES, please think about a proper name for the whole place. Downton Market just is awkward and confusing.

 

I think we should rename it in honor of donors to the project.  If I recall, I think the Meijer family contributed money to it, and they sell lots of cheap stuff there on a pretty good chunk of land, so I'm proposing we call it "Meijer Thrifty Acres".   :whistling:

Edited by x99
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http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2014/10/downtown_markets_welcome_for_s.html#incart_river

 

I wonder if the "vendor" they are in talks with is the one mentioned below.

 

This was an interesting quote from the Free Press article: 

 

"Fritz plans to announce the market's second restaurant — one that's primarily a "beverage component" but "not a brewery," she said — next week."

 

 

http://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/dining/sylvia-rector/2014/10/21/slows-open-grand-rapids/17671651/

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