For over two years, the Downtown Arlington Urban Market has been providing a truly local shopping experience right in the heart of the city.
"These are all local people making handmade products or growing their own goods, so when you support the market, you are truly shopping and supporting local," said Kelley Vander Veen, Director of Hoppiness for Legal Draft Beer Company and enthusiastic organizer of the Urban Market.
There are typically between 40 and 50 vendors who participate in the Market. Regular patrons look forward to shopping with vendors who return month after month while also enjoying a variety of new vendors each time they shop. Vendors who participate in the Downtown Arlington Urban Market look forward to the experience, too.
"I enjoy the Urban Market for a few reasons," said Adam Isch of Isch Beard Works, which makes lightly scented men’s personal care products "for the man who doesn’t want to smell like a pine tree farted in his face."
"The Market falls on a Thursday each month, so as far these types of shopping experiences go, there is very little other competition around so it bring in a more diverse group of people to interact with," said Adam. "Also, the environment in upbeat and very friendly. I love seeing the families out their enjoying themselves in a safe place watching sports and taking in the atmosphere of the area."
Kimberly Matthews, founder of a cinnamon roll specialty business called Holy Rollie Pastry Shop, agrees. "The Downtown Urban Market provides an opportunity for small businesses to sell beyond the normal weekend farmers markets. This market includes various vendors which brings great traffic and the location is ideal for customers from local restaurants to browse and shop."
The Market pops up in Urban Union adjacent to Legal Draft Beer Co. between 4-8pm on the second Thursday of every month, except during the summer. There's also a special market coming up on Sunday, Dec. 19 starting at noon.
Offering a fun and diverse events calendar, large indoor and outdoor seating area, an on-site brewery and rotating selection of beers, Legal Draft is a natural host for the Market. Legal Draft Beer Co. was one of the first businesses to open in Downtown's Urban Union back in 2016. Since then, the area has grown to include nearly 20 diverse businesses.
Kelley is quick to shout out to the entire Urban Union community. "With its central location and so many great restaurants, shops and places around, Urban Union brings all kinds of different people to Downtown," said Kelley.
Typical vendors who participate in the monthly Market include farmers with veggies, jellies, meats and other homegrown products, plus artisans who offer items like handmade baskets, earrings and jewelry, dog goodies, homemade breads, knitting, woodworking products, and locally roasted coffee. Between 5-8pm, there is always live music.
Just inside the tasting room, shoppers can also enjoy Legal Draft's regular selection plus seasonal brews. Right now, their seasonal beers include Lawktoberfest, Fall Guy and Legal Holiday.
This Fall, with COVID-19 infection rates on the downturn and well-established safety protocols at this outdoor event, more and more vendors are attracted to the Market because they can connect with customers who are eager to support small and local businesses.
"There are so many great vendors, so there is something for everyone," said Kelley. "Coupled with the live music that everyone enjoys, you can walk around, enjoy the outdoors and bring your family and friends. The Market has such a great community spirit."
Aisha Byrd of R&B Dog Bakery said, "I enjoy attending the Downtown Arlington Urban Market as I am committed to community involvement and providing quality products to fur families." R&B Dog Bakery LLC is an Arlington-based business which is "passionately committed to providing our fur families with healthy, natural gluten free treats without added sugars and salts."
As for Kelley's favorite thing to shop for at the market?
"It depends on time of year and what I am in the market for," Kelley said. "Do I need a birthday gift from one of our artisan vendors? Or is it the holidays, and I have family coming in town so I need fresh veggies and jellies?"
We plan to try them all!
Downtown Arlington Urban Market
adjacent to Legal Draft Beer Co.
4-8pm, second Thursday of the month except during summer
special Veterans Day promotions with VetStarts on Nov. 11
special Sunday Market from 12-5pm on Dec. 19, 2021
500 East Division Street
Arlington, Texas 76011
Click here for more information or follow the Market on Facebook.