BALTIMORE (WJZ)—If you've been to the Avenue Market, you know it's a part of Baltimore history. The Pennsylvania Avenue landmark has been open more than 60 years.
Ron Matz reports a big crowd turned out Friday to celebrate the market's grand reopening.
There was music, good food, new businesses and a big crowd.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake cut the ribbon, opening the newly renovated Avenue Market.
"It's a big deal. This is a historic market, and the improvements are fantastic," the mayor said. "It's real investment. There are healthy food options. There's a bakery. It's good stuff."
"It's a great celebration. We're having the re-grand opening of the Avenue Market. We've done extensive renovation. We spent over a half million dollars renovating the market," said Casper Genco, executive director of Baltimore Public Market System.
And the consumers like the changes to the market.
"Our commitment to the Baltimore City Public Market System is not only about economic development, it's about community development," Rawlings-Blake said. "The Avenue Market has long been the cornerstone of the business community and a focal point in the Upton community."
"In 2005 we were fortunate to bring the Murry Company to the market, and they've been a tremendous draw for us," Genco said.
The mayor says the city's public markets should be celebrated.
"I grew up going to Lexington Market, and the other public markets in the city. It's part of the fabric of Baltimore," said Rawlings-Blake.
Just Juice It has been at the Avenue Market for 16 years.
"The renovations are well overdue, and they've done a good job. New roof, new floor, painting," said Lee Bailey, Just Juice It owner. "They've brought some merchants in here. We're glad they're here, and it's a long time coming."
The owner of Gospel Corner is praying the market's new look will be a success.
"The great thing is we have eight new vendors in the market, and we have a lot of fresh and prepared products to offer the consumers," Genco said.
The Avenue Market was originally built in 1951. The grand reopening celebration will continue Saturday.
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