Here at the Bow Market in Somerville’s Union Square, you’ll find an eclectic collection of small-scale food vendors. For some, it’s their first brick-and mortar experience; previously, they’ve been selling their wares to eager eaters at pop-ups or farmers’ markets.
Empanadas at Buenas are puffed high with fillings of corn, roasted red pepper, and cheese. Jaju’s pierogis are sealed around soft butternut squash or savory jalapeno and cheddar. Perillas offer outsize bowls of Korean bibimbap, and Maca’s pastel macarons with inventive fillings appear light enough to simply float away.
The market opened last May in a two-story 1920s concrete building, once a garage, now renovated and repurposed for eating and shopping. “We wanted to provide a place for small businesses,” says Zachary Baum, who developed the project with business partners Matthew Boyes-Watson and his father, Mark Boyes-Watson.
The building’s a sweeping, curved structure whose ground floor is lined with eateries; some of the spaces are larger versions of food stalls, but with their own entrance. Even on a bone-chilling Saturday, there’s a crowd gathering and nibbling, seated at cafe tables in the courtyard. Some take their food into craft beer maker Remnant Brewing, or into the cozy and friendly wine bar Rebel Rebel. “We took cues from marketplaces around the world,” says Baum. The souks in Marrakech and the piazzas in Rome, he says, inspired Bow Market’s aesthetic and vibe.
The place is clearly a work in progress, with vendors yet to move in, like the chocolatier Gate Comme Des Filles, and a restaurant — Nibble Kitchen — with a rotating, international menu and cooking classes. But still, there’s no shortage of things to eat and drink here, and not all are by start-up entrepreneurs. Worth trying is Hot Box’s thinly sliced, sublime rosy roast beef, nestled beneath a delicate spread of mayo, barbecue sauce, and cheese and enclosed in a squishy roll. Hot Box is owned by the husband and wife team Mike Gurevich and Ania Zaroda of Bay Village’s Mike & Patty’s; the tasty menu item is based on the North Shore’s iconic roast beef sandwiches. Then there is the juicy burger at Saus, which occupies one of the larger spaces at Bow Market, with eat-in seating. Saus is already known for the fries and poutine with homemade gravy that’s served up at its Boston location. At Bow Market though, Saus’s menu is all-vegetarian, so the burger is made with plant-based Impossible meat. “As more and more businesses open and the seasons change, eaters are going to be even happier,” says Baum. “We’re aiming to continually keep the place really fresh.”
1 Bow Market Way, Somerville