The Montavilla Farmers Market Will Expand to Thursday Evenings

Thursdays on the Plaza will launch July 7 with five farm and food vendors as well as a beer garden.

Montavilla residents who can’t make it to the neighborhood’s popular farmers market on the weekend, or simply need to restock their pantry midweek, are getting an extra shopping day on the calendar.

A new program called Thursdays on the Plaza will launch July 7 at Southeast 79th Avenue and Stark Street. The bite-sized market will feature five farm and food vendors, including heirloom green producer Moorish Roots, Indian frozen milk pop maker Kulfi, and Sicilian restaurant Sebastiano’s.

You can also browse the stands with a Polish lager or IPA in hand thanks to a Threshold Brewing-operated beer garden. Outside food is also welcome, as well as dogs.

The Thursday market was made possible through a Vibrant Spaces Community Events Activation Fund grant from the city of Portland in conjunction with the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Public Street Plaza Program. It’s an expansion of Montavilla’s successful public square that was created during the pandemic by blocking street access to drivers on Southeast 79th between Stark and Pine Street.

“Last year showed us that when we take back the street and we use it as a place for coming together, that it does build community,” Neil Mattson, president of the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association, stated in a press release. “With the city of Portland’s support, we are turning it up a notch this year and expect to serve even more community members and see additional benefits to our small businesses near this weekday farmers market and Public Street Plaza.”

Adding another day of farmers market operations also aligns with community feedback. In a survey conducted at the venue in early June, shoppers expressed overwhelming support for a Thursday evening option, with most respondents stating they would attend “every week” or “regularly.”

The expansion is good news for anyone who participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as well. The mini market matches EBT benefits up to $20, which can be used to buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are all grown locally.

Thursdays on the Plaza will run for 13 weeks through Sept. 29.