Farmers market and free concerts add life to Sugar House

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SALT LAKE CITY -- In spite of an empty lot at the corner of 2100 South and Highland, Sugar House residents say they've got a lot to be excited about.

A Friday farmers market and free concert series will add life to the neighborhood where a development project has been stalled for years.

Sugar House Farmers Market
  • Sugar House Monument Plaza
  • 2100 South & 1100 East
  • Every Friday from July 9 until October 15
  • 3 p.m. until dusk

That empty lot is just part of the landscape in Sugar House at this point. Look beyond it, and you can see evidence that the neighborhood is thriving anyway.

It's got the same goodies other farmers markets have in Utah. It's a trendy attraction that's spreading everywhere.

But the people in Sugar House say the opening of this market is a sign the area -- in spite of setbacks -- is thriving.

"In a lot of ways events like this become more important, because it's free and there's great food and it's affordable," said Soren Simonsen with the Salt Lake City Council.

It was about three years ago that developer Craig Meacham tore down a significant section of the city block.

Lots of people were outraged that, instead of a the high-end condo/retail complex planned for the space, it remained an empty lot. Today, that hasn't changed.

Hidden Hollow Concert Series 2010

Meacham said off-camera Friday that the economic conditions that killed his project have improved only a little. No firm plans are in the works, but he's hopeful a quality project will come within a year.

In the meantime, business owners and customers say they feel good about shopping in Sugar House.

"Sugar House is where I had my first apartment when I was married, and I worked here and keep returning here," said Neil LeBaron. "I think there's something compelling about it."

The owners of Fats Grill and Pool Hall are so optimistic on the area that they're expanding.

"I think Sugar House has always had a spirit," said co-owner Jerry. "I think people have kind of come back to Sugar House to see what it has to offer."

Friday night, a concert at nearby Hidden Hollow will kick off a free Friday concert series.

Business owners say that event, a Fourth of July arts festival, the community-funded fireworks and now the farmers market all are signs the area is thriving -- in spite of signs that things could be better.

In the meantime, there's another sign that Sugar House is still popular: Traffic can be quite thick at times.



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Richard Piatt


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