Very rarely does one get to see an entire neighborhood or city transformation in one location. Most cities have a so called “downtown” comprising of grid streets as it’s major concentration of businesses and other offerings. The creators of East End Market managed to pack the entire Audubon Park Garden District in one building. Not only are the gems of restaurants, bars, artisan shops and gardens represented but the current Orlando Food Movement of farm to table is well established.
Driving up to this building you are immediately greeted by rows of neatly planted produce. This garden is a source for the food establishments. It does not get any better than this. Parking is limited but there is valet. The first floor front door opens to an enormous space of reclaimed wood, stained concrete floors and high open ceiling. There are several food purveyors and an incubation kitchen along a central walkway. The bustling vibe is as patrons saddle up to various storefronts is very communal. An elevator or stairs take you up to the second floor where more businesses call home. The second floor walkway/balcony overlooks the stunning courtyard. A musical duo entertains the cluster of tables, while kids play joyously in the courtyard.
This market place is a unique neighborly hub. The kind of place found in more forward thinking cities. For this to be in Orlando is a nod that maybe there is hope for us after all. Have we finally established that Orlando is not just a major theme park destination. We are a neighborly culture that puts effort into knowing where our food comes from and supports our local talented artisans.
Go see my Photo Journey on Flickr.