Art at Mercado O'liva — Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta
Mercado O'liva, a new monthly open-air market in downtown San Antonio, made its debut in May 2014 to a bustling crowd of over 500 locals and tourists who enjoyed the numerous artisans and exciting artwork, jewelry photography, pottery, handmade soap, clothes, local olive oil from Salud de Paloma and other wares on offer!
Mercado O’liva, located in a courtyard at the Plaza de Armas and Spanish Governor’s Palace, is akin to a family-friendly block part. The festivities also include chef demos, refreshments and live entertainment, such as folklorico dancing.
“This will be the first mini mercado-style market downtown San Antonio has seen in many years, and the whole city is invited!” says Owner and Executive Chef Chuck Hernandez of O'liva and Arugula Catering.
Plaza de Armas is a unique historic block between Commerce Street and Dolorosa, conveniently located to a majority of downtown hotels.
Mercado O'liva — Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta
Mercado O'liva is just a taste of what's to come. Hernandez will be opening his farm-to-table eatery, O'liva, at the Plaza de Armas City Center later this year. He is proud to be joining a community of established businesses who support the O’liva concept, including Penner’s - which has been the store for all men since 1916 - and Martie’s, a women’s boutique with jewelry and art, all from Mexico. These brick-and-mortar stores will also be open to the public during the mercado.
The upcoming Mercado dates for 2014 include June 14, July 5, August 16, September 6, October 4, November 1 and December 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Starting in 2015, Mercado O'liva will take place on the first Saturday of each month.
"People have forgotten about this beautiful historic space that we have right in the heart of downtown San Antonio. I love that Mercado O'liva gives us a chance to bring people back to this wonderful venue," says Maria Williams, the event coordinator and owner of Majestic Events by Maria.
Chef Iverson Brownell of CanSurvive Cuisine will be joining the team as a summer partner.
"I'm thrilled to be an asset to this very special market," says Iverson, whose innovative work involves a partnership with a cancer research scientist, Dr. Wargovich. Iverson's partner identifies cancer-fighting ingredients and Iverson incorporates these into tasty dishes, such as green tea vinaigrette and pomegranate, rosemary, watermelon and cracked black pepper agua fresca (a traditional Mexican drink).
"I love San Antonio," explains Iverson. "What we're doing is not about changing the cuisine; it's about adding to it and giving people healthy options. That's the kind of perspective we want to bring to the Mercado."
Mercado O’liva will take place outside in the courtyard along Commerce Street at 119 Plaza de Armas. Anyone staying in town for more than a few weeks might want to take part in their new Gourmet CSA.
For more information, call 210.734.7815.