Partner Spotlight: Pythian Market
By Green Coast on 26 Jul 2016
When Pythian Market General Manager and Partner Eric Eckert talks about what food means to people, he brings a sociological perspective to it.
“Food is a great communicator and connector,” Eckert. “Today with the resurgence of public markets, food still has the ability to build communities and that’s what I think the Pythian Market will do.•
The public market will be located on the first floor of the historic Pythian building, which is located in the Central Business District and is being developed by Green Coast, ERG Enterprises and Crescent City Community Land Trust. The market will provide a 20,000 square foot space dedicated to
• Food, drink and retail vendors,
• Art and music installations
• Common dining areas, and
• Celebrating community.
Currently with few restaurants nearby and no fresh food availability, the market will fill a gap with 27-30 food and retail vendors, featuring Louisiana flavors and operators and will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night. The market will offer a wide variety of New Orleans fare such as a baked goods, fresh produce, cured meats, cheeses, locally caught seafood, prepared dishes and made-to-order menu items. Plus, in keeping with New Orleans joie de vivre, the market will offer cocktails, a microbrewery and a wine bar.
Eckert, who is an entrepreneur, restaurateur and a chef, envisions a complementary melding of the city’s classic and contemporary cuisine that compliment each other.
“We won’t have five different pizza shops,” Eckert says.“We will have some of those old school market vendors like a fish monger and a butcher, but you will also be able to grab a quick breakfast before work, sit down for lunch or dinner with friends or family, and share evening cocktails with friends.”
When the Pythian first opened in 1909, it became a nexus for the African American community: housing African American businesses, a theater, a jazz club and the Louisiana Weekly newspaper. Restoring the Pythian, which will include housing, health care, and office space, will reinvigorate a neglected area of the CBD.
“It’s really a community hub that ties together the popular areas of town; the sporting venues [Mercedes Benz Super Dome and the Smoothie King Center], the medical corridor, French Quarter, City Hall and the thriving central business center,“Eckert says. “As more people live and work downtown, and they need a gathering place. A bustling and lively public market will be the perfect fit.”