Greenwich Market closed its doors on March 19, and the empty covered market has since been one of those ghostly sights on a south-east London wander. In more recent days, since rules around outdoor meetings relaxed, people have been congregating under the glazed roof on rainy days for a socially distanced drink with friends. So locals seeking that sense of community will no doubt be pleased to hear that the historic market will be back in business tomorrow (Thursday June 11).
The market, which usually sells arts and crafts, clothing by independent makers and globally influenced street food – from empanadas to dim sum – has announced on its social media that it’ll be trading again from Thursday. However, for now, food will be the focus of its offering.
It will be open from Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4.30pm for ‘hot and cold street food available for takeaway’. A spokesperson for the market confirmed that it’ll be just Fry’s Court, the open-air space off the pedestrian walkway into the market via Durnford Street, that reopens from Thursday.
The layout has been changed to allow space for eight hot and eight cold food traders, and familiar faces include The Oyster Brothers, Andes Empanadas, Ehla Eats and Meru Crêpes.
Greenwich Market also advises that social-distancing measures will be in place and says that signs will be put up to help direct customers, suggesting a one-way system might be in place, as seen at other markets that have reopened in the capital, including Maltby Street Market.
Outdoor markets have been allowed to reopen to the public since the start of the month (Monday June 1), although many of London’s favourites including Columbia Road Flower Market and Brick Lane Market are yet to return due to fears of overcrowding.
A market has stood in Greenwich since 1737, and although once home to slaughterhouses and fruit and veg stalls, the ’80s saw the space given over to more bougie arts and crafts offerings, with independent shops filling the periphery. It’s now part of a World Heritage site.
Even if the arts and crafts aren’t making an immediate comeback, we’re looking forward to filling that empanada-shaped hole in our lives.