If you’re planning to visit the East Bayside Portland indoor winter farmer’s market, which has been held at 84 Cove St. for several years, remove it from your GPS.  The building, which resembled a dude cave more so than a farmer’s marketplace, is no more as we know it. The location has indeed changed–but no one knows for sure where it will be held.

It’s still scheduled to open on Saturday, December 2, for the 2017-2018 season.  But an entry on the Maine Farmers’ Market website lists the site as TBD.

It’s not clear why the market organizers left their Cove Street space, except that the lease held by Swallowtail Café and the farmers’ market is being taken over by Taproot Magazine.

The tables at the year-round Swallowtail cafe at Cove Street

One reason might be pure economics regarding the tenancy on a 12-month basis.  The market operated there for 5 months along with Swallowtail’s Café and Market Place, which might not have been viable   economically to keep as a year-round space.

Scenes at the market in years past

The market organizers are waiting for the city of Portland to determine which of several sites under consideration will qualify as the new home for the winter market.  At this writing, the top contender, however, is the Maine Girl’s Academy on Stevens Avenue.  The private school was formerly Catherine McCauley High School, which was affiliated with the Sisters of Mercy.  That has changed, and the Sisters are not part of the new entity.

A Maine Girls Academy cvent–nice space for a farmers’ market

The city council will decide on their November 20th session whether the academy meets their standards.  Most market members think it will be OK.

But it brings up a larger issue. As Maine’s largest city, shouldn’t Portland’s markets have firmer footing especially in our food-centric city categorized as a food and dining nirvana?

Stay tuned.