West Side Market

1979 West 25th Street at Lorain
Cleveland, OH

Submitted by: j marini

Built in 1902, this market's European ambience helps draw shoppers from the greater Cleveland area

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Why It Works

The market is home to over 120 tenants selling produce, meats, bakery, fish, spices, sauces, and some prepared food. 2002 marks the 90th anniversary of the market. It is a public market that draws customers from the greater Cleveland area encompasssing give counties and many suburban cities as well as the most popular place in Cleveland to shop in a place reminiscent of a European market.

What Makes West Side Market a Great Place?

The West Side Market is easily visible by its large clock tower and has been for 90 years. It is easily accessed by public transportation, foot, and car. It is a stop for tourists from near and far. The area surrounding the market is evolving into the culinary district with nearby ethnic restaurants, a brewery, apartments, condominiums, and an upcoming retail area in an historic building with complementary small businesses (home decor, wines, candles, etc.). The West Side Market is the place to shop whether you make $15,000/year or $100,000 a year. It is the place to shop if you are a new citizen to Cleveland or have lived here for 80 years. Cleveland is home to more than 75 different enthnicities and the market is that central place to shop no matter what language you speak.

The area surrounding the market is clean and home to a diverse group of people. It is a place where families come to experience the market and children as well as adults enjoy their shopping experience. People get to know their butcher, the man or woman selling their produce, and get quality products. The market is well kept and very clean. It is a safe place to shop and experience a little bit of Europe.

The West Side Market is generally a place to shop. Special events are held periodically in conjunction with activities going on in the immediate area. Market personnnel work in conjunction with the Ohio City Near West Development Corporation to bring new customers and residents into the area.

Tours are scheduled on a regular basis, especially with local schools and senior/retirement homes. The Market is handicapped accessible and everything is on one floor. I was standing by one of the fish stands talking to a gentlemen who was bitten by a shark in the Black Sea when he was a young man, when a younger man asked where he was from. They discovered they were from the same country and began speaking in their native language. It appears the young man had just arrived from his home country and was excited to find someone he could speak with in his native tongue. This happens regularly at the West Side Market -- no matter where you are from you can find someone from your native country.

History & Background

My mother has shopped at the West Side Market since she was five years old - her parents brought her weekly. She still enjoys shopping here. By the number of older and younger people still shopping at the Market, I know she is not alone.

Contact Info:

Patrick Hearn, market operator

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