Niagara Gazette

April 7, 2014

Farmer and artisan market eyed for Main Street and Park Place

By Justin Sondel
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Downtown residents and visitors will soon have a new market to visit.

A group of entrepreneurs, led by Custom Bench owner Robert Brawn, hope to open a farmer and artisans market at the corner of Main Street and Park Place at the beginning of May.

Brawn said he and his partners, Tome Lowe of ReNU Niagara and Elizabeth House owner Perry Jost, are hoping to create more activity in the downtown neighborhood.

“We wanted to bring something a little different that would help the neighborhood out,” Brawn said.

The market, which was granted key approvals from the city planning board and historic preservation commission in recent weeks, will host produce stands, artisan booths with a variety of wares for sale and a small restaurant to be run by Jost.

Jost opened the Old Bedell House on Grand Island last year and will be serving a similar menu of hamburgers, lobster rolls and ice cream at the market location.

Brawn said the market will host events and will be looking to collaborate with other businesses in the area.

“We want the neighborhood, we want the businesses and we want the tourists to all have a chance at something that is seen in a lot of places, but just not here,” Brawn said.

The market will use huts built for the Holiday Market, the downtown market that drew criticism from members of the city council after losing money in its one-year run and did not return, and pop-up tents for vendors, as well as the building that houses the Niagara Hub.

The Niagara Hub will be moving into the Park Place building next door. Both parcels are owned by Falls business man Craig Avery.

Brawn said the market will start out opening Tuesdays and Thursdays and may open on one of the weekend days once things get going.

“It’s another diversion, some place cool to check out,” Brawn said. “And it’s going to be, hopefully, lively. All of a sudden you’ll have a market atmosphere in the downtown area.”

Brawn said there are other partners working behind the scenes, including Avery, to get the market off the ground.

“It’s a bunch of guys and women coming together and putting their money where there mouth is, putting their effort and time into it,” Brawn said.




Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257