ThMuglifers went on a mission this weekend to check out the new Worcester Public Market. This newest addition to the city of Worcester is part of the revitalization of the Canal district in preparation of the new minor league baseball park for the “WooSox” team.

Neither of us are strangers to the Canal district section of Worcester. It has some great restaurants, bars and live music venues that we frequent. (ok, maybe used to frequent when were a little younger and more ambitious to “go out” all of the time) We are all too familiar with saying our prayers as we drive through the infamous Kelley Square intersection, used to trying to ignore or avoid street fights and cat calls on the street and very familiar with trying to find a parking spot anywhere at all.

Why do we venture to this city neighborhood again? Oh yes, because there is a new touristy market there. But, there is still no parking for anyone that wants to visit this new attraction or any other attraction in the area, for that matter. So we drove around for at least 20 minutes past small full lots that are quickly shrinking because of ball park construction. And then we drove past many full meter spots, until we found a spot on a nondescript street near a church, (so again, we took that as a sign, said our prayers the car would be there when we returned) and walked a few blocks to Green Street.

We noticed the neighborhood was really busy. Lots of people had this same idea. (Where in the world did they park?)

We made to the public market and it was mobbed. There are multiple entrances, but the one we used led us to the open space food court. It was definitely buzzing. First thing we noticed was that it was difficult to maneuver through the people seated at the tables eating.

Once we got our bearings, we gravitated towards the section where Wachusett Brewery has made its home. It seems they got the best part of the market. It was bright, open and didn’t seem as congested as the rest of the space. They were serving beer from the taps inside a renovated Airstream with kegs supporting the bar stools.

The mission of the market boasts of providing a space for locally sourced vendors and for ethnic foods that represent the people of the city. This was evident in the food vendors which included: Mexican, Jamaican, Japanese and Italian, among others that haven’t opened yet. For anyone that knows what “Bubble Tea” is, Bubblebee Tea sells it, along with some interesting waffle cone sundaes. There was also an Irish themed gift shop, a local honey stand, and a local produce stand.

Lots of vendors paid homage to Worcester with wall decorations, food names and there is a “Worcester Wares” store with a street facing entrance for all of those baseball tourists.

Oh, did I forget to mention the liquid nitrogen ice cream vendor? They had the longest line in the place!

All in all, the Worcester Public Market has the potential to be great. I believe that future plans include outdoor street vendors around the perimeter of the building during the warmer months, which will add to the attractiveness of this place. However, it would be a shame if these vendors don’t get the business that they signed up for because the city doesn’t provide enough parking. Build it and they will come- but not if there isn’t a place to park their car!!- E


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