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Melrose Market
Seattle's new 21,000-square-foot gastronomy and retail mecca
by Phuong-Cac Nguyen
on 16 September 2010
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This past weekend marked the official grand opening party for Seattle's new 21,000-square-foot gastronomy and retail mecca Melrose Market. Located in Capitol Hill, the destination steps in as a refreshingly modern version of the city's tourist-heavy Pike Place market. Melrose Market focuses on locally sourced, independent and organic goods and launched with bands playing while the public roamed booths set up by retailers, sampling their fare and enjoying the camaraderie of the city.

Although the first resident of the Melrose Market project moved into the beautiful brick building—a combination of two automotive stores built in 1919 and 1925—at the tail end of last year, nine other shops and restaurants have since opened, including a butcher, cheese shop, bar and record stop. melrosemarket-sitker.jpg

A local favorite focused on Northwestern cuisine, Sitka & Spruce moved its digs here after a suggestion from Melrose Market developer Scott Shapiro. The elegant layout of the space houses a 12-seat butcher block table for diners that doubles as a workspace for the chef's team.

An intimate atmosphere comes naturally, thanks to Shapiro and his partner Liz Dunn's friendship and because they were both customers of the stores before they were approached to join the project. "We decided that a market would allow us to create smaller spaces, which are more attractive for local entrepreneurs. It became clear that there were a lot of like-minded local tenants that wanted to be together, so we identified great tenants that would go well together," Shapiro explains.

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The opportunity also gave old acquaintances a chance to strike out on their own, like Russell Flint of Rain Shadow Meats. With house-made charcuterie and a custom curing room, Flint also emphasizes local meats and offers classes on the art of butchering.

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Calf and Kid offers a selection of cheeses culled from farms around the area, with special attention to freshly-churned goat cheeses.

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In the basement Still Liquor serves drinks at a rustic bar with vintage chairs recalling classic Americana.

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In addition to food and beverages, other spaces include the sweet gem Marigold & Mint, an organic flower shop also stocking handmade cards and soaps.

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Shapiro is looking to fill the last two spaces of the Melrose Market up, making this mostly locally-sourced market an even stronger destination for tourists and residents alike.

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