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17th Street Market celebrates grand opening, brings ice skating to Richmond

The 17th Street Farmers Market opens Friday after about a year and a half of renovations. (Mike Platania)

RICHMOND, Va. — After 16 months of construction, a Shockoe Bottom landmark is set to reopen, bringing with it a return of ice skating downtown.

The 17th Street Farmers Market reopens today at 100 N. 17th St., with festivities including live music, an illumination of oak trees in the plaza, and an ice skating rink that serves to replace the rink that was removed from East Broad Street to make way for a parking lot.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m.

The market’s transformation into an open-air plaza began in July 2017. The $4.5 million city-funded project included removing decades-old stalls to make way for more open space, greenery, event space and outdoor seating for nearby restaurants.

The market’s grand opening includes a small ice skating rink. (Mike Platania)

Jeannie Welliver, the project’s manager in the city’s economic development office, said the open layout will allow the plaza to accommodate more vendors at the farmers market as well as to host more events. Local nonprofit Enrichmond Foundation is managing the market.

“The plaza design allows for about 70 market-day vendors,” Welliver said.

Several new restaurants facing the market are set to open, including a fried chicken conceptfrom Chris Tsui’s EAT Restaurant Partners in the former River City Diner, a pizza conceptfrom Belmont Pizzeria owners Victor and Melinda Guevara in the former Halligan Bar and Grill, and Cafe Clang, a coffee shop at 29 N. 17th St. by Paul Keevil and Linda Lauby, who own the adjacent Lulu’s and Tio Pablo Taqueria.

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