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Eastern Market Burns!

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    1. This is a horrible loss! I really hope they can salvage some of it and do repairs of some sort. I work right around the corner from the Market and use to live nearby as well. A lot of the people working in there have been there for decades. Major loss to the city if it can't be repaired. Its truly a unique place to shop.

      1. Eastern Market was one of my favorite places in the city. This is so sad.

        1. Word spread through the community as fast as the fire spread through the building and we are all devastated. Everybody did their marketing there - many of us for decades!
          Early word is that they are going to try to get some of the vendors set up in the North Hall as soon as possible.
          This building has been a commercial and social center for the community since the 1870s. So many of us depend on it.

          1. Here's another good article on the fire...more of an editorial/blog on the spirit of the Market: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfis...

            1. Why is it that as soon as I discover a source for Mangers' halfsmokes (Canales Meats in Eastern Market), the place burns down? Anyone know of another source while I wait for Canales to get back on its feet?

              7 Replies
              1. re: monkeyrotica

                Not to diminsh you love for Manger's halfsmokes, but we're all reeling this morning. A lot of people are wondering what they'll do for basic foodstuffs like butter, eggs, bread, cheese, and vegetables. Many people on the Hill don't even have cars or use them infrequently. Saturday is the big market day but lots of people stop by there almost daily.
                Life for all of us has changed overnight.

                1. re: MakingSense

                  Not to diminish the loss, but there is a Safeway 2 blocks north of the Potomac Avenue Metro and that was recently refurbished, primarily because of the Harris Teeter opening up in the condos off Pennsylvania Avenue. I think the Hill is fairly well-served for basic foodstuffs considering Ward 8 across the river has NO supermarkets to speak of.

                  An earlier post of mine on this topic was deleted as "libelous" without any further clarification. Hope this one makes it through, at the risk of being off-topic.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                    It verges on mortal sin what exists in Ward 8 and the city should be ashamed of itself.
                    I'll admit to being a bratty Chowhound and spoiled rotten by the quality and value that I've been used to within walking distance at Eastern Market. It served everyone from the poor to the very high-end. I shop the Safeway for staples as do most of my neighbors but there's a lot of stuff that just doesn't begin to compare quality and price-wise. Even Whole Foods over in Shaw couldn't compete with the quality on most of the stuff and definitely not on price.

                2. re: monkeyrotica

                  I heard that many are going to be setting up tents while rebuilding occurs. I wonder if you can contact them directly anyway.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                    We are hoping to be back on our feet partially by this weekend across the street at Tortilla Café. Let us know what you need and quantity, and we will have it in stock across the street from the market. We still carry our empanadas, salsa, guacamole, etc. at Tortilla as well. Aside from the half smokes, we'll also carry a limited line of our sausages, cold cuts, bacon and BBQ subs. Hope this helps.

                    1. re: ecanales

                      Excellent! I'm up for 2 lbs of the mild halfsmokes. What time will you open shop? Saturday and Sunday as well?

                      1. re: ecanales

                        It's great to know I can still get your wonderful empanadas! Best wishes and good luck with the rebuild.

                    2. It is an incredible loss. There is supposed to be a press conference in the morning, 10:00? to talk about future plans. In the meantime, the Capitol Hill Community Foundation has set up a fund for merchants and their employees. http://www.capitolhillcommunityfounda.... Bless Eastern Market, the farmers, the vendors, and that spirit of community that existed there!
                      .

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: dcfb

                        This morning the Mayor said that Eastern Market will be rebuilt.

                        1. re: dcfb

                          Do you know of anyway to find out what was said during the press conference?

                          1. re: MalinDC

                            They might have it on Washingtonpost.com. Many times they show live press conferences.

                            1. re: MalinDC

                              The Voice of the Hill, the community newspaper, one of the Current newspaper groups, will have a story about the press conference up on their website as soon as they can. http://voiceofthehill.com/
                              Much more extensive coverage than the Post because of the importance of the Market to the community.
                              Market Day, an annual street festival to benefit Friendship House, will go on as planned on Sunday, May 6 on 7th Street in front of Eastern Market.
                              The usual weekend vendors will be there this Saturday and Sunday.
                              Many of the inside food vendors are hoping to be able to set up their operations outside within a few days and plans are in the works for a temporary Market, likely on the Hines School playground or another site very close to the historic structure, where the food market can operate during reconstruction. They are looking for refrigeration, probably trucks, and portable buildings or tents.
                              The Natatorium and the Metro stop plazas have been offered as alternative sites for vendors.
                              It's all a work in progress but Eastern Market will not die.

                              1. re: MakingSense

                                I am so glad to hear that alternatives are being developed to help vendors during rebuild for small entreprenuers and business people stopping business can be death and few probably had fire insurance that will cover all their losses. I love the Eastern Market dearly I used to do all my grocery shopping there which was dangerous because on weekends I would come home with so much more than groceries. I am glad so many people are acting so quickly to right this tradgedy. The Eastern Market is more than just food which is why a grocery store just isn't the same. The talent, kindness and pride of the vendors is something truly special.

                              2. re: MalinDC

                                MalinDC - I was at the press conference. Feel free to holler if you have any questions. One recap I saw is here: http://www.saveeasternmarket.org/2007...

                                A fund has been set up by the Capitol Hill Community Foundation:
                                http://www.capitolhillcommunityfounda...

                                My thoughts . . .
                                http://dcfoodblog.blogspot.com/2007/0...

                            2. Going to Eastern Market was more than just a food stop for groceries or for a plate of Market's blueberry pancakes. I knew the people that worked there and appreciated what they did on a daily basis. I loved going to the produce stand inside (either of the two) and how they always slipped in an extra bannana or maybe a tangerine. Or listening to the butcher talk about his fishing trip with friends. Or even the latest gossip about what's happening on 7th Street or the Hil development while I picked up fresh raviolis. That kind of stuff doesn't happen in a Whole Foods or a Safeway like it did and will soon again at Eastern Market. (that is if the evil suits don't roll in to try for a profit)
                              I am very proud of the community response - again, it wasn't about the just the food, or just the quality or even just a friendly face...Going to Eastern Market is all of that and sometimes more. I still remember going there for my first Christmas Tree on the Hill in the freezing cold. Or buying fresh flowers at the outside vendors only to see the same wonderful faces 10 plus years later. Eastern Market makes the Hill a community and that is something that way to many other places lack.

                              1. The Washington Post architectural critic, Philip Kennicott, wrote a spectacular piece about the social aspects of the Eastern Market, its place in the community and the challenges faced in the rebuilding:

                                "Rebuilding Eastern Market will be particularly difficult because it was a social space. It reeked of a century of sour milk and fish and fried food. The danger is that it will be closed so long that the vendors leave and the crowds dry up and with a new grocery store opening just down Pennsylvania Avenue, suburban habits of car shopping will supplant the local habit of walking home with too many bags cutting into the flesh of your fingers.
                                The temptation to ruin it will be strong. It could be cleaner, filled with new vendors, managed more corporately to supply a more predictable stream of yuppie foodstuffs. The test for the neighborhood, and for the city, will be to resist anything that changes the social character of the building as it was on any given Saturday afternoon. The challenge will be to rebuild where it was, as it was, and what it felt like."

                                The entire article is well worth reading for a sense of how the design of markets affects our shopping and lives http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...