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Wood Tavern's Owner to Create First Permanent Open-Air Marketplace in Allapattah

Businessman Cesar Morales is launching the Allapattah Market, located on the outskirts of Wynwood. He hopes to open it in the fall. 

For the past three years, Morales' bar, Wood Tavern, has hosted The Market at Wynwood the last Sunday of every month. The outdoor fair showcases local artisans, artists, and vendors with unique items. The popularity of the event inspired him to create a more permanent shop that supports the community while also maintaining a relaxed vibe.

The Allapattah Market would essentially become the area's first permanent open-air concept marketplace operating Saturdays and eventually weekdays. The space will feature crafters, designers, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between selling one-of-a-kind finds such as vintage clothes and records you could never get on the internet.

“I want it to have an organic, grassroots vibe — that's my whole ideology behind it," Morales says. "Going into Allapattah and being the first food-and-beverage business on this scale, I want it to grow by word of mouth and organically.”

The Wood Tavern and Bar Next Door owner says that he had the idea to open something like this six years ago but that now is the right time to execute. The market is a play on the beloved Smorgasburg in Brooklyn and a permanent continuation of El Mini Market.

So far, about 100 vendors have applied to participate. With a rate of $60 to $80 a day for a space (and $40 for smaller businesses), participation is affordable. If he had to pick a price point for attendees, Morales says the items on sale would ideally range from $5 to $50.
The 15,000-square-foot space was once an old lumberyard. Morales has plans to include a bar, a late-night coffee shop, a live music stage, and food vendors.

“To me, the vibe is important, and I want the locals and the artists who are no longer in Wynwood because they can’t afford the rent, to come," he explains. "I want to be cautious about how I proceed, and I don’t want to turn it into a big party. I don’t want it to become this huge monster overnight. It [will maintain] a calm, chill, low-key vibe.”

The neighborhood of Allapattah has become home to businesses such as His and Hers Parlor, a tattoo shop, and various convenience stores. Street art, including a piece by Atomic, can be found on some walls. Yet the area still consists of mostly commercial warehouses and body shops.

In addition to launching the marketplace, Morales also plans to open a tequila and rock 'n' roll bar dubbed Taberna La Rosas that will stand across from the market and open simultaneously with it.

The businessman has an advantage in the area because he signed a ten-year lease on the space. His rent will remain affordable and he isn’t subject to a soon-to-expire contract.

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The interior design appears to be inspired by Key West beach houses. A red Fiat 500 sits in a corner. A peace sign flower-bed hangs in the backdrop. There’s also a wooden deck with an iron bench and some '60s- and '70s-inspired décor. The market's street-side sign resembles that of Pike Place Market in Seattle and reads, "Local Vendors, Designers, Go-Getters." 

“The primary objective is to provide a creative platform for artists and entrepreneurs," Morales says. “ I want them to do their thing, charge cheap rent, and create a community event where money is not the driving objective.

"I know that if I do everything else right and create this the way I want to create it, the business side will take care of itself."

The Allapattah Market
Opening fall 2016 at 728 NW 29th St., Miami. Visit allapattahmarket.com.

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