WINTER GARDEN — With the grand opening of the Crooked Can Brewing Co. at the Plant Street Market on March 21 came plenty of cheers and craft beers, as well as a common follow-up question: When does the rest of the Plant Street Market open?
“Our goal is the beginning of May, about a month from now,” said Jared Czachorowski, one of the founding members of the brewing company and the market who also oversaw construction. “That’s the plan. In a few weeks from now, when we know everything’s good, we’ll make a grand-opening announcement. Definitely by May 10 or so, but we don’t have an exact date yet, but the first or second week (of May) is our goal. That’s pretty much what we planned on.”
The bad news is that those hoping the grand opening of the entire Plant Street Market would have followed right after the grand opening of the Crooked Can will just have to wait that one month more.
The good news is that the entire process has taken little more than a year.
“Considering we only had the idea to start this whole venture around 13 months ago, it’s been pretty amazing,” Czachorowski said.
Even with the hoopla surrounding the grand opening of the Crooked Can, the parking situation has worked just fine, with no sign of trouble on that front for the grand opening of the rest of Plant Street Market, Czachorowski said.
“There was a lot of events that Saturday when we opened,” he said. “Winter Garden is becoming a nice restaurant-friendly area with a lot going on. There was definitely a lot of pedestrian and bike traffic. There’s a lot of (parking) spaces throughout the city. We got a lot of parking back there (in the market lot) and the city’s overflow parking for events to anticipate it. The parking garage will help when it’s built on the other side of City Hall. That will alleviate space around us.”
The Plant Street Market is at around the same stage as the Crooked Can was early this year, when webmasters were constructing an improved website to launch before the grand opening.
“We were switching over who was doing our website for us,” Czachorowski said. “It’s just a little transition period to change the company that’s doing it. We want something better to make it look nice. We did Crooked Can first. It was down for a week or two when we were updating it. Now that the market’s next, it’ll be coming online pretty soon.”
And for anyone worried that this lull period might dissuade planned occupants from following through on their tenancy, signs point to the contrary, according to Czachorowski.
“Everyone’s been going through the construction, so just building it out,” he said.
With around 25 vendors set to occupy open-style shops and crannies along the market corridor, several locals have been chomping at the bit for the market to open for business.
“The response from the community is amazing,” Czachorowski said. “We have a lot of happy customers, and they’re very excited to be able to get food there on site and looking forward to getting our retail vendors in and making it an amazing place.”