BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Before there was a mayor’s office in Baltimore, merchants banded together to form a neighborhood market system.
As Mike Schuh reports, it’s the oldest continuously operating market system in the country, and Friday one of its most visible buildings reopened.
A fresh coat of paint in Fells Point is only the beginning. Step inside, and there are new floors, utilities and larger stalls.
“Yes, I missed it. I got tired of going to Burger King,” said Joyce Miller, regular customer.
Miller missed it so much she baked a cake to bring to Joanne, the owner of Lucia’s Deli.
“I love it. We enjoy it all together like family,” Joanne said.
Friday, after a 4-month gut and rebuild, the city reopened the Broadway Market.
It’s a welcome sight for Benny Pope.
“I’ve been coming here over 30 years,” Pope said. “It’s not to be destroyed.”
Vickie, of Vickie’s Deli says the market is “bright, cheery. People going to start coming back in because it’s rented a hundred percent.”
There’s gleaming granite, original refinished ceilings and a bright paintjob.
“Oh, they did a remarkable job from the floors to the countertops to the ceilings; it looks great,” said Michael Barry, customer.
“It’s like a meeting place,” Vickie said. “People become family.”
A family with new members. Zophia Para opened a Polish deli.
“I have small stove behind counter. I can sell hot pierogies, stuffed cabbage, polish soups,” she said.
The food is hot, the floors clean, and the customers happy.
“You have the old antique look but it still has a new feel to it, then that’s a place people like to come,” Barry said.
Not bad for a building built more than 125 years ago.
That market is open from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.