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St. Patrick's Market

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  • stet May 4, 2010 07:00 AM
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I'm sure most of you remember when Queen/John was home to St. Patrick's so-called Market, really just a warehouse full of fast-food eateries. Well, slowly over the past few years, all the fast-food restaurants closed, and the building became a decrepit eyesore with a Ben & Jerry's sign that said "CLOSED FOR THE SEASON--SEE YOU IN THE SPRING" all year round. There was a single greasy Chinese food place left in the back corner that still operated, but it finally closed and the last vestige of the tummy-ache mini mall is gone.

Lately, though, it looks like someone's putting in effort to have it renovated. In fact, there's a sign up that says "Queen Live -- St. Patrick's Fresh Food Market," with a mock-up image of a pedestrian mall with shoppers and a shelf full of assorted bottles of olive oil.

Does anyone know about this? What's going in? Are there any leases? Would you ever buy fresh food from a place that looks from the outside as though it hosts parties for centipedes at night and may or may not have originally been an abattoir?

  1. I don't know what's going on, but I definitely can't wait to see what goes in there. It's almost unfathomable to me that such a prime chunk of retail space has laid vacant for this long.

    1. It would be great to see this space revitalized. A real market would be awesome, actually, but probably not likely.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jlunar

        Tell me about it. I work around the corner, and I'm desperate for a fishmonger either near where I work or where I live (Church/Wellesley). I can dream, I guess.

        1. re: stet

          "Desperate" expresses my feelings too. A reliable fishmonger in either of these locations--Church/Wellesley or the St Patrick's market--would indeed be a dream come true. I've recently been disappointed by so-called fresh fish purchased at Whole Foods and Pisces, among many other places. SLM isn't nearly as convenient a destination for me as it once was, but right now it's the only place where I can be reasonably sure of finding fish that I can actually serve to family and guests. If the new St Patrick's Market lives up to the "market" part of its name, it should flourish.

      2. How amazing would that be if there was a proper fresh market in that spot! Fish mongers, bakers, butchers, greengrocers, and cheese shop owners, please answer our call!

        1. That would be a huge addition to the neighbourhood especially for all those people who live nearby.

          1. It definitely was an abattoir — Stork's. Great chicken, kinda gross parking lot (now a parkette).

            1. This place was Stork's poultry up until late '80s. Then in early '90s it was converted to a small market with a butcher (Heidi's formerly in the Grange), fresh produce, juice bar, Hillebrand wine store. I think it is owned by the city and that there were once small markets like this all over the city (like 1900). The city hoped to bring back these markets but those vendors slowly moved out and were replaced by fast food. As nice as it would to be to see fresh food sold here again I wonder if the area really can support it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: crawfish

                Here's a photo of it when it was still Stork's.

                http://flic.kr/p/BnsER

              2. I remember the days when this still was an abattoir.

                The city owns that lot and the building on it, it was bequeathed to the city sometime in the late 19th/early 20th century with a specific provisio that it was to be used for a public market. The city burghers of the day turned around and leased it out for 80 years to Storks Poultry. In the late eighties neighborhood residents succeeded in convincing the city to shut the chicken slaughterhouse down and replace it with a market according to the terms of the original bequest. In 1988 the city entered into a 50 year lease with a company that was supposed to do just that, their original proposal to the city was to provide a fruit and veg stand, a bakery and a meat and seafood shop as well as other unspecified "food stands" and for a very short while in the first year or so they actually did that, but eventually the market aspect didn't last and it just became a food court. The company subleases the basement back to the city who uses the space for community programs. Within the last couple years the company got into a dispute with the city over unpaid rents etc. I haven't seen an update lately but I think a big part of why nobody wants to touch the place is because of the unresolved litigation.

                The name is pure marketing, this site and building have nothing to do with the 1837 era St. Patrick's Market.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bytepusher

                  Thanks for sharing this info. I had no idea but I do know that it's sad the space isn't being used as originally intended, a public market. What a waste & there could be so much potential.

                2. No sign that I can see, just one saying "Closed for Renovations."

                  1. Folks, this thread is all speculation at this point, so we're going to lock it. Once someone has concrete information to share, please start a new thread.