BRIDGEPORT — One of Bridgeport's newest and most popular restaurants is now organizing the local farmer's market, turning it into a hybrid market with produce, local food vendors and entertainment.
Antique Taco, 1000 W. 35th St., has launched the Sunday City Market, a farmer's market that incorporates local businesses, artists and chefs into its weekly offerings. Beginning July 9, it's the third iteration of the Bridgeport farmers market, which was previously hosted in a parking lot and most recently at the Bridgeport Arts Center.
The new market now resides on Antique Taco's unique lot, which includes parking spaces and a large patio where vendors set up shop. (Patrons can park across the street at the Zhou B Art Center or ADG Printing.) Growing Power, an organization that advocates for urban farming, parks its bus along Morgan Street and allows people to board and get some produce.
"We're blessed to be on this corner," said Ashley Ortiz, who co-owns Antique Taco with her husband, Rick. "We wanted to be a part of the growing of the community."
The event is billed as a "city market" because it incorporates other aspects than just produce selling, though its focus is on farmers and local food vendors, Ortiz said.
Bridgeport Coffee sells doughnuts and pairs with Antique Taco to make a horchata cold-brew coffee. Nana, a Bridgeport restaurant that serves sustainable and organic food, also has a booth. Antique Taco also gets in on the fun, too: it serves up breakfast tacos made with ingredients for sale at the market.
The Sunday City Market makes use of Antique Taco's extensive patio. [Provided/Avery House]
Local artists will play music and chefs from some of Chicago's most hyped restaurants put on demos. Sunday's chef's demo will feature Diana Davila of Logan Square's Mi Tocaya. The market also has had chefs from Furious Spoon, Kimski and Bang Ban Pie in the past.
"We want to include as many local people as possible without losing our purpose, which is to have a farmers market in the area," Ortiz said. "We're just trying to see what works and how we can grow it."
Ortiz and her husband are, in a way, getting back to their roots by getting into the farmers market business. They got their start by selling tacos at Wicker Park market and elsewhere before opening up their popular Antique Taco on Milwaukee Avenue and later in Bridgeport.
"We started on the market scene," she said. "It definitely feels natural."
The Sunday City Market will run from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. every Sunday through Sept. 10 at 35th and Morgan streets.