Hartford’s Parkville Market kicks off $6 million expansion, with plans for a rooftop terrace, event spaces and a new home for Hog River Brewing

Hartford’s Parkville Market opened in 2020 just as the first wave of the pandemic was sweeping Connecticut, with the odds seemingly stacked against it.

Two years later, however, the market has gradually expanded its dining options, now offering 20 restaurant vendors and three bars.

Even with delays in returning office workers to the city center, market promoter Carlos Mouta sees a bright future. It is launching expansions in two of the four buildings that encompass the market site, with plans for small and large event halls, a roof terrace and a new home for the Hog River Brewing Co., which has exceeded its neighborhoods across the street.

In total, the expansions are approximately $6 million and include $4 million in state-funded loans from a joint development fund of the City of Hartford and the Capital Region Development Authority. Public loans target the building with entertainment options.

What is Parkville Market?

The market is a food hall inspired by larger ones such as Chelsea Market in New York and Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia.

The market was created in the old Capitol City Lumber Co. building which sat vacant and decaying for years.

Vendors offer an assortment of international delicacies and food options ranging from fried chicken and poke bowls to pho and ice cream. The market also hosts holiday-themed popups and special events.

A new restaurant will debut in February called “The Lettuce Bar”, which will offer soups and salad.

The market has seen an average of 65,000 to 75,000 visitors per month this winter, a number lower than expected due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, but expected to increase as the latest coronavirus wave subsides.

Where will the extension be?

The second phase of the market, known as “The Hall at Parkville Market”, will be established in a 30,000 square foot building just east of the main market building.

This building will focus on entertainment options, including an 11,000 square foot ground floor space for concerts, comedy, weddings, corporate functions and other events.

Mouta said he hopes the space will be ready by late spring or early summer and will include a bar.

Elsewhere on the first floor, plans call for a sports bar or restaurant and a commercial kitchen for catering events.

On a higher floor, there will be a smaller event space and bar, about half the size of the one on the ground floor. Above, there would be a roof terrace.

“There are no rooftops here, and people love rooftops,” Mouta said.

This could all be done for the fall, Mouta said, with more larger restaurant stalls on the top floor to come in the future. The stalls would be up to 1,000 square feet, almost triple what is available in the main market building to accommodate growing vendors.

Where is the brewery going?

The Hog River Brewery plans to expand on Park Street to a new, larger location. The building would include larger spaces for its brewing operations, a rooftop terrace and a patio with a fire pit. There are also talks of building stairs that would connect the brewery, set on a hill, to the street below.

The move of the brewery could come later this year.

How does Parkville Market fit into larger neighborhood plans?

City leaders and the private sector are pushing to create an arts and innovation corridor in Parkville, with Bartholomew Avenue as its “backbone”. The vision calls for a mixed-use community of new apartments, restaurants and arts venues and startup spaces fostering innovation, building on the neighborhood’s long manufacturing history.

Kenneth R. Gosselin can be reached at [email protected]

About Octavia A. Dorr

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