Boston Public Market is about to get a little boozier.
A bar is slated to join the sprawling marketplace after The Boston Public Market Association clinched a liquor license earlier this year. The market is now on the hunt for a New England-based company to take the lead on developing the bar, which will serve local craft beers and cocktails made with local spirits.
Adding a bar to the ranks of the market’s permanent vendors was a long-time goal, said CEO Cheryl Cronin. The pandemic, she said, meant that some liquor licenses were returned to the city, giving the market the chance to snap one up.
“Alcohol is an important component to make the market a destination,” Cronin said. “Because we’re very focused on local, and because there are so many fine ... craft beers and spirits, as well as wine, in New England, we’ve always thought it was a shame that we couldn’t have a bar in the market.”
Currently, the only vendor that sells alcohol in the market is Boston Beer Alley, but it’s not for on-site consumption.
Cronin said the bar will be integrated into the rest of the Hanover Street marketplace, and will hopefully incorporate the work of other vendors — for example, unique cocktails using George Howell Coffee or milk from Crescent Ridge.
“It is important to us to have someone working with us on the bar that also wants to collaborate with other vendors,” Cronin said.
The market, which typically sees upward of 2 million visitors per year, is taking proposals through Sept. 24 for companies to spearhead the bar. Interested companies can e-mail head of vendor recruitment Carrie DeWitt at CDeWitt@bostonpublicmarket.org.
“There’s a lot of great expertise in the Boston area,” Cronin said. “We have some preliminary ideas, but we do intend to be very much guided by the expertise that the organization we work with brings to the table.”
The selected company will design, operate, and manage the bar, sharing profits with the market. Outdoor bar service is a possibility, and the company can also serve the private events that the market hosts.
The liquor license allows for people to imbibe throughout the Market, and permits an 11 p.m. closing time, meaning the Market will expand its hours.
Ideally, Cronin said, the bar will be open by the end of the year, in time for the holiday season.
“People always say the Boston Public Market is a really happy place to be,” Cronin said. “The bar will just strengthen that.”
Dana Gerber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org