The New Market House Opinion Survey

| August 10, 2011 | 2 Comments

Several weeks ago, we solicited the opinion of our readers who had visited the recently re-opened Market House. We were looking for the good, the bad, and the ugly–not in an attempt to cast aspersions, but to perhaps offer the City and their Management Company some insight. All in all, the responses were positive. There were a few concerns about the affordability, but overall, people seem pleased. Hopefully the City will take a look at the successes and failures and finally create something that serves us all.

We left the responses completely open and free flowing and we received over 100 replies. Some of them are featured here:

  • My daughter and I stopped by for lunch/snack today about 130, and I admit I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people in the Market House. We looked around, got some fresh produce from MD Table, gelato from Firenze’s, and I was tempted by just about everything else. Everyone was friendly, the prices were reasonable, and even with the 100 degree temps it was comfortable. There were a number of folks eating outside too. Now, it we just could figure out how to get rid of the cars between the Market House and the dock, we’d be all set.
  • I was mildly surprised how successful the new Market House seems to be. This was a nice buzz and ambience when I was there the second day it reopened. Vendors are very friendly. There’s a nice electic mix, although my preference would have been a bit more upscale. I will be a regular customer and grateful that our elected leaders seem to come up with a good temporary solution.
  • Well…it seems they got the air conditioning figured out, so it was comfortable the day I was there. Didn’t seem as if there was much of a selection there. Maybe more to come…no real atmosphere or anything special at the vendors that would make me feel like I especially wanted to stop in when I’m downtown. Miss the place with the great soup from the last rendition of the Market House.
  • I love it. There was a real sense of pride under the roof and everyone was talking and laughing. In fact, it took awhile to be served because customers were having conversations with stall workers–excitedly sharing stories of whose brother used to rent which stall back in the day, etc. The owners were eager to have you try their food. Just a great atmosphere. I felt very at home. I went with some neighbors from Eastport and people/boat watched towards ego alley. I had front row seats. This is the first time I’ve “lingered” downtown that long–just sitting at the table eating and being with neighbors. I’m a new Annapolitan (as of 2ys ago) and had heard of how great it used to be. I couldn’t wait to get down and see it after hearing about how cool it was back in the day. The Wok Your Way guy proudly told me “the mayor just had my shrimp dish for lunch!” Of course, that was funny! After eating, I got some organic milk at the grocery place and it saved me a trip to traffic-jam Parole, thank goodness.I hate cheesy, generic Parole. Sorry but I do. Its like Lord Farqur’s Castle in Shrek. Anyway,at each stall, I asked the worker if this was a standalone or satelitte business, and was surprised to learn these places exist elsewhere and I never knew it. Now I’ll probably check out their permanent locations later. I do have to say–the stall workers still have the best view inside though. I hope future renovations flip the design like planned with the stalls in the center and the customers around the perimeter. As for AC–it was plenty cool inside. I do wish the hours were longer, but its new and I understand. Thank goodness there’s a gelato place to replace the one which closed earlier this year at the end of the city pier.I missed that place.This one is even better–real fruit chunks in the blueberry gelato.I could seriously eat here for a week and be happy. Cheap too- dinner and dessert was under $10 bucks and fresh. For a young person like me, this is a good thing!
  • We went there on Friday and got gelato from Firenze’s Coffee & Gelato. It was amazing! We just returned from a trip to Italy and it tasted so much like the gelato we had there! My kids can’t wait to go back to the Market. Glad it finally reopened :)
  • Maryland Table is awesome!!! Great product!!
  • Although I am a local, it is great to have tourism information. The map shop takes up valuable space for vendors more appropriate to the feel of a market. Love love love the focus on sustainable food of both BB and Maryland Table. Would be great to have a place to get flowers. Earlier hours on weekend would be nice…thinking a place to grab a breakfast sandwich before the farmers market would be great…not a fan of the options we have now for that.
  • It’s okay. I went down on the opening day excited to see the new place and I feel it’s the same as it was the last time, before it closed. I think it would be better if it was used for a restaurant, bar or even just a “market” place to get fish, local produce, fruit, meats, cheese, etc (like in New York). I think it’s a great location but it isn’t being utilized the right way.
  • Oh Boy… what a disappointment! The Veggie Vendor, slim pickin’s to sat the very LEAST! $9.99 for Chicken breast… Oh, I would rather be inconvenienced! The little “magic act” that they do for the $6.00 burger… CLUE, they pre make them, bring them in already cooked & microwave them and to order… charge an extra dollar each for lettuce, cheese & tomato… Magic, it’s a $9 dollar microwaved burger with a prop…. ugh!!! “Fried Rice”?? I can easily slap some frozen veggies into some pre made white rice at home… ackk! I am hesitant to try the $14.99 crab cake, understandably it is pre made as well, as least it only comes from a block away… Moyer screwed the pooch many years ago… and we are still getting screwed by it… just sayin’
  • I like it so far. I’d love to see a bakery, but the sandwiches, soups, popcorn and seafood I’ve purchased have been great. A bit expensive. I like Maryland table – hope they flesh it out a bit more and make it more of a market. Like the diversity offered by the map place. Wish the Chick and Ruth’s stall and Jerrie’s were not next to each other – visually and olafactorally, it’s too much. Would like more made to order sandwiches, less pre-made. All in all, pretty happy! Miss Atwater’s, but glad to see something!
  • it is so great to have this place back in business. I was there over the weekend and the place looks great and was bustling! Some really great food options and it looks well organized, clean, with enthusiastic retailers.
  • I have had Pit Boys (soft crab $7.95) and fried rice ($6.95) and some drinks and veggies. The food is better than the old market house, the prices are way better than the interim market house incarnations. Love being able to buy local produce too. Gelato looks fabulous ( I don’t eat it but it’s very pretty)
  • I am thrilled it is open. I am also afraid it will not work. The vendors seem to be very high priced. The Organic Farm Stand is expensive but you expect to pay a premium; but $6 for 2 scoops of ice cream, $2 small boxes of popcorn, $7 hamburgers and $6 box of rice is pretty high.
  • It is almost priced like a sitdown restaurant. And to boot, there were $5 hamburger specials at the Rams Head the night I went to the Market House.
  • I’m a local. I just walked through one day last week for the first time and the place was hoppin’. I was very impressed. I think it might make it this time, this way. It made me happy to see.

I visited the Market House two weeks after it opened and spoke with several of the food vendors who were less than optimistic. Three of them felt that aside from one or two vendors, no one was seeing enough foot traffic to be able to afford the rent. We have not seen the leases for the vendors, but we hope that the terms are not onerous as the City has long claimed that this was not to be a profit center. Additionally, we hope that the City and the Management Company will do what they can to work with the vendors in terms of rent to make it a success for all!

What is your opinion? Please leave a comment!

Category: Businesses, LIFE IN THE AREA

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.