Visual Arts

Group to open Allapattah weekend market for arts community

‘People have a natural draw to what Wood [The Wood Tavern Group] does. They are leading the way to the Allapattah neighborhood, it's a new frontier,’ says vendor Aida Sabina, who makes and curates hand made retro-style jewelry.
‘People have a natural draw to what Wood [The Wood Tavern Group] does. They are leading the way to the Allapattah neighborhood, it's a new frontier,’ says vendor Aida Sabina, who makes and curates hand made retro-style jewelry.

During Art Basel 2013, when brothers Freddy and Alex Lopez were setting up their booth at The Market at Wood, a young man approached them interested in buying one of their handcrafted wooden bowties for his upcoming wedding.

A few minutes after the purchase, the soon-to-be groom came back to the booth with beer to share with the brothers, who own TV Head Co., which creates clothing and accessories using locally sourced materials in a sustainable manner.

“[The groom] spent the rest of the day with us, relaxing and grabbing a few drinks. This is the type of vibes you get. The Market at Wood is an extremely cool place to kick it, meet cool people and do business,” said Freddy Lopez, 29.

For about three years, Wood has hosted a market every last Sunday of the month, which has grown in popularity. Now, with the same concept, the Wood Tavern Group, which owns Wood, The Bar Next Door, Taverna Las Rosas and Taco Pancho Mexican restaurants, is opening Allapattah Market, a weekend market for the arts community to showcase their crafts.

Barbara de Varona, 42, of #IamWynwood, a community-based initiative that spotlights the faces and places of Wynwood, has gone to the monthly market and is happy about the opening of Allapattah Market.

“We’ve found that the Market at Wood is a wonderful gathering of local talents and a very inviting way to connect and get to see and hear them talk about what they do,” de Varona said.

Cesar Morales, 37, proprietor of the Wood Tavern Group, said he hopes the new market — which will have a full bar, serve organic juices and fresh fruits from local farms — will also bring families together to enjoy the Key West-inspired wraparound porch, the bright-colored murals, the 1960s- and ’70s-era designs and vintage furniture.

“It’s a cool daytime activity. I have a 5-year-old daughter, and it will not be out of place to bring your child here and have some beers with your friends too,” Morales said. “The place will have a corner for kids, maybe clowns or swings. It’s a new daytime experience for the whole family.”

The market, which will open Dec. 2, will initially run every Saturday throughout the year. Morales and his team plan to add Sundays some time after the market opens, incorporating food vendors as well.

Morales said he is giving the project flexibility to grow organically, willing to increase the days and hours of operation to accommodate to the needs of the community.

“I’m very curious on how the community will receive Allapattah Market. We’ll have to wait and see until people start coming through the doors,” Morales said.

The new market will be in the Allapattah neighborhood, a few blocks west from Wynwood.

According to Morales, he chose Allapattah because it’s more economical for local artisans than the popular Wynwood neighborhood.

“I’m really excited about the Allapattah neighborhood,” he said. “Wynwood has changed a lot and rents are going through the roof.”

The Wood Tavern Group has made the commitment to keep rent low and showcase local talent. Artisans can rent booths starting at $50, plus tax.

The venue will have capacity for 60 vendors. There is currently a waiting list to get a permanent stall at the market.

Artisan Anna Kristina Espitia, 29, is on the waiting list. “Being a struggling artist, having a place where customers can always find me and buy my art is so great,” she said.

Originally from the Philippines, Espitia moved to Miami in 2014 to pursue her artistic career. She paints live portraits at events and has her own T-shirt line.

“I’ve been dreaming about a place like that,” she said.

Local artisan Maria Rivera, who makes handmade softie dolls and whimsical home décor, agrees. She found out about the opening of Allapattah Market through a fellow friend and artist.

“As a local artist, as a vendor, I want the handmade community from the area to get more notice and to help create more demand for markets like this that help the local economy and the discovery of all the local talent available,” said Rivera, 36, who would like to get involved with the market once it opens.

If you go

▪ What: Allapattah Market

▪ When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, beginning Dec. 2

▪ Where: 728 NW 29th St., Miami

▪ For more information, email or visit