Last Friday, I paid a visit to the Dublin fruit and vegetable market. I wanted to see the ‘beast’ before it gets renovated later this year. I’m surprised that in the 6 years I’ve been living in Dublin I’ve not stumbled upon this imposing structure. Although I have to say I don’t think I ever ventured into the area between the charity-shop filled Capel Street and Smithfield square.
Currently, the building is inhabited by produce and flower wholesalers but by September 2015, the place will be remodelled after a continental-style market: half wholesalers, half retailers. Food counters will be available to the public: cheesemongers, butchers, greengrocers, … but also cafés and stalls serving food to eat on the premises.
The other reason why I wanted to visit the market was that it’s currently peony season. Idealist me was hoping for a sea of peonies at the resident wholesale florist. Sea of peonies, not as such, only two containers but they were surrounded by loads of other kind of pretty posies, which made me forget why I came there in the first place.
After seeing the market last Friday, a part of me can’t help but feel a tad worried. While I think the renovation plan is an exciting idea, believe me I’ll be the first at the opening eating my way through all the food stalls, I wonder if the feeling I experienced of opening a ‘secret’ door to the old Dublin will disappear next year. I was watching some RTE archive footage of the market earlier and sure the machinery has evolved but the hustle and bustle seemed like it hasn’t changed one bit. I’m glad this beautiful building, dating back to 1892, is to be put on the map of the exciting things to do in Dublin but I hope it’s not at the cost of its authentic charm.
Dublin Corporation Wholesale Markets
St Michan’s Street
Luas: Four Courts stop
Bus: 25, 26, 27, 39, 51, 66, 67, 69, 70, 79, 83, 145
Opening Hours: 6am – 2.30pm (Mon, Wed-Fri) / 6am – 12.30pm (Tue) / 7am-11am (Sat)