SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a comment from the city of San Antonio spokesperson about when tenants were notified of the move.
If you’ve visited Market Square in the past few days, you probably noticed that the indoor Farmers Market Plaza is closed. On January 2, the historical building was temporarily closed for maintenance and repairs, leaving tenants worried about the future.
Verónica Ramírez is the co-owner of Market General Store, a small business that’s been part of her husband’s family for generations.
“We had a lot of anxiety because we had already been closed due to COVID-19 for two and a half to three months,” Ramírez said. “We lost a lot of business. We did reopen.”
In less than a week, small business owners from the Farmers Market Plaza made the move down the Market Square corridor to settle into the Centro de Artes building at 101 S. Santa Rosa for the Pop-Up Mercado.
Ramírez and her husband are thankful they didn’t have to permanently close their doors or move too far.
“The city has been tremendous in helping us try and recover from the (shutdown),” Ramírez said. “They gave us the option to come in here and continue business. They’ve been advertising and put up this Pop-Up Mercado for us. We’re grateful that they did help us to come into (this new building).”
Face covering are required and visitors and vendors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, including a contactless temperature check. Other safety protocols including social distancing and capacity limits will be enforced through the Centro de Artes Building.
Some tenants say they were advised of the change on December 31 and had three days to move out all of their merchandise, but a spokesperson for the city says all vendors were notified on Nov. 18, and the date for moving was set based on their feedback. The spokesperson, Kelly Kapaun Saunders, with the Center City Development and Operations Department, said tenants were also notified again on Dec. 4.
The Pop-Up Mercado will be open four days a week beginning on Thursday. Customers can shop 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
“We’re excited about being here and about opening up,” Ramírez said. “It’s a beautiful place to visit and we just hope everybody comes in. We look forward to doing business as we have always here at Market Square.