Fort Wayne's long-awaited, much-debated Electric Works project is opening its doors to the public, starting with one of its most highly anticipated developments, the Union Street Market
at 1620 Broadway. This food-hall-style market, similar to The Garage at Bottleworks District
in Indianapolis, fulfills a “decade-long vision of a year-round, indoor public market in Downtown Fort Wayne,” its press release explains.
Katy Silliman, Senior Experience Director for Electric Works, says: “We hope people come to the market hungry, because they will be able to enjoy great food and drinks onsite, and they will also be able to shop for fresh ingredients to cook delicious meals at home.”
The market will function as an artisan (and alcohol-friendly) food court on campus, as well as a grocery-style space, offering fresh and specialty food items and crafts. It will be open to the public every day of the week, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Who’s at the market?
Starting Nov. 22, 13 merchants will begin serving. Five more are expected to open in the coming weeks. Merchants will be housed at stalls in the West and East halls of the building, which are divided according to business type.
The East Hall offers a grocery-style experience with local and artisan products.
The West Hall offers a dine-in, food-court-style experience with local entrees, desserts, beer, wine, and spirits.
These merchants include:
- Brooks BBQ & Chicken, the first Black-owned barbecue restaurant in Fort Wayne with award-winning sauces and lovingly charcoal-grilled ribs, turkey tips, and fried chicken dipped in their famous vinegar BBQ sauce, and favorite soulful sides like greens, mac-and-cheese, and baked beans
- The Charlie Horse, a full-service bar featuring innovative cocktails plus Indiana beers on-tap and award-winning distilled spirits
- Kekoinga Craft Company, ciders in interesting flavors based on the wide variety of apples grown in Indiana and nearby states; also mead and traditional grape-based wines
- Conjure Coffee, coffee drinks, teas, baked goods, and their new lineup of gelato with ingredients sourced from local farmers
- Lunar Infusions Kombucha, house-brewed kombucha and teas
- Johnny OX Pizzeria, freshly made pizzas by Fort Wayne’s original farm-to-table chef, with appetizers, salads, and dressings
- Local Apple Cart Desserts, hard and soft-serve ice cream made with locally grown fruits, also hand-crafted lemonades, chocolate-dipped strawberries and frozen bananas, and caramel apples
- Pikoso Burritos, authentic and creative burritos, tacos, and Mexican specialties from the owners of Flora & Lily’s Mexican food truck and Kanela Juice Bar
The East Hall offers a more grocery-style experience with fresh and specialty foods and crafts, as well as some grab-and-go options, including meat, seafood, baked goods, cheese, and wine.
These merchants include:
- B&B Seafood Market, the region’s biggest selection of fresh fish from sustainable fisheries along with creative seafood boil
- B&B Meat Market, a full-service butcher shop offering hot-off-the-grill smash burgers
- Grabill Amish Pasteries, freshly baked breads, handmade donuts, and pastries, plus their signature Amish noodles
- Grabill Amish Deli, hot and cold sandwiches, and their renowned Amish potato salad, plus a wide range of sliced meats and cheeses
- Bragg-A-Lot Sweets & Drinks, inventive cheesecakes, cookies, pies, homemade fudge, and cocoa bombs (check out their signature cheesecake-filled apples)
- The Kitchen and Co., handcrafted charcuterie and wine bar, along with their signature “grazing boxes,” salads, wraps, and an olive bar
- Bee Great, Indiana honey in creative flavors and treats, honey products from cookies to cocktail mixers, and bee-themed gifts
- Herculean Meal Prep, frozen entrees with local food
Union Street Market is opening with 13 vendors.
Ted Spitzer, Director of Planning and Development for Union Street Market says: “All of the Market’s merchants are regional food entrepreneurs who produce a wide range of foods. The list is long, and we believe there will truly be something for everyone.”
His personal favorite so far? Ice cream from Local Apple Cart Desserts.
Who’s behind the project?
Union Street Market’s team includes Silliman and Spitzer, as well as Jeff Kingsbury, Chief Connectivity Officer for Ancora and Lead Developer of Electric Works, and Ermin Husidic, Union Street Market Director.
What’s the bigger picture?
Rising from the ashes of Fort Wayne’s massive and long-shuttered General Electric campus, Electric Works
is a mixed-use district of energy, culture, and innovation for a new chapter in local history. It’s being redeveloped as a public-private partnership between Ancora Partners and the City of Fort Wayne, Allen County, and the State of Indiana, and it’s one of the largest construction projects in the state
. As such, it’s being completed in phases.
The first phase, which Union Street Market is a part of, includes more than 700,000 square feet and offers office, innovation, education, healthcare, retail, entertainment, and community uses to create new opportunities for inclusive economic growth. Within the campus, Union Street Market will serve as a cafe for workers, like more than 500 employees at the anchor tenant, Do it Best Corp.
, who will be on campus starting next week.
What’s the history of this market space on campus?
Spitzer says Union Street Market’s building was formerly a warehouse at the General Electric campus. You enter the space through a tunnel under the railroad overpass, which used to be where supplies were delivered. Now, it’s adorned with a local mural and lighting to provide a more welcoming public entrance.
The tunnel leading to Union Street Market.
Just inside the main building, look up, and you’ll see remnants of the warehouse’s past in exposed beams on its ceiling (about 40 feet tall in some places). For an extra-special treat, step inside its West Hall to your right, and go up the stairs to the railing overlook. You’ll find yourself at eye-level with some old industrial cranes and other large equipment preserved from GE’s past. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a train passing on the railroad overpass next to you.
In warmer months, Spitzer says the West Hall’s ground level has glass garage doors instead of windows, which will open to create an indoor-outdoor dining experience.
Any special holiday events coming up?
In addition to its core merchants, Union Street Market is hosting an artisan fair, starting Saturday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and continuing every Saturday and Sunday through December 18. Admission is free. The Artisan Market: Holiday Edition
will feature nearly 30 local artists and craft vendors, selling unique holiday gifts and offering a preview of the types of programming planned for Union Street Market and Electric Works in the months ahead. (The Market will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.)
Where do you park?
Free two-hour parking for visitors is available at the new Union Street Garage. Enter the garage from Broadway, just north of the railroad
Bridge at 1620 Broadway, and follow the road toward the garage (past ongoing construction on campus). Once you park, you’ll have a short walk from the garage into the market. Simply walk West down the street next to the garage (away from Broadway), and turn left at the tunnel, painted blue with a mural. This will lead you to the market entrance. More information is available at unionstreetmarket.org
Where can you learn more?
Follow Union Street Market’s website
, and Instagram
for the most up-to-date information, including hours and events.