On Friday night, I joined a meetup group to get a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting at Union Market. That area of northeast DC had been a bustling area of the city for a century before it fell into decay in the 1960s. About 10 years ago, just as I was leaving the city to go to grad school at UVA, this area started to be revitalized and Union Market is now a magnet for residents, visitors, and businesses alike.
The premise of Union Market is a food incubator, allowing enterprising people to launch a food-based business for a fraction of the price it usually costs to enter the market. These startups are varied and thriving—from brothers who own a knife sharpening business to bakeries to a 1950s-style soda shop to spice vendors to seafood to BBQ—Union Market is showcasing the very best of DC’s future food scene.
The aromas and visuals were stunning, though what really got me was the energy, the spirit of the place. Customers were smiling, laughing, and chatting. Business owners were happily cooking and serving up love on many plates and in many glasses. Union Market is a place rich in possibility, and that is a wonderful thing.