LOGAN SQUARE — The outdoor Logan Square Farmers Market is getting an extended run through pop-ups this month.
The final outdoor market of the season was Halloween weekend, but organizers are keeping the fresh produce flowing with three pop-up markets 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 12, 19 and 26 at the Solidarity Triangle plaza at Milwaukee, Diversey and Kimball avenues.
The outdoor markets, which will each feature more than 40 vendors, are being held in lieu of a winter farmers market. Organizers decided against hosting an indoor winter market this year to focus on other programs and fundraising efforts.
Nilda Esparza, executive director for the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce, the organization the puts on the markets, said extending the outdoor season was a natural decision given the unseasonably warm weather Chicago has seen recently.
The pop-ups will also give a boost to new businesses along Avondale’s Milwaukee Avenue, Esparza said.
The outdoor market is typically held May-October on Logan Boulevard between Milwaukee Avenue and Whipple Street.
“I just didn’t want to extend the permit on the boulevard. I could have done that, but we were there for 26 weeks, and it’s time to give our neighbors a break,” Esparza said.
“There’s just so much development near that entry to Avondale. This is a great way to carry the traffic through and have these folks see all of these new businesses that have popped up over the past few years.”
The pop-ups will take up Solidarity Triangle, which was renamed earlier this year to mark the neighborhood’s disappearing Polish identity, and spill out onto Milwaukee Avenue. There will be music and bistro tables for people to sit and enjoy their market finds, Esparza said.
The markets will go on even if the weather doesn’t cooperate later this month, Esparza said.
In recent years, finding a suitable location for the indoor farmers market has been a struggle for Esparza and her staff.
For several years, the indoor market was held at Emporium Logan Square and at the Pierre’s Bakery building, which has since been torn down to make way for a large apartment building.
Market organizers moved the operation to The Fields warehouse in 2020 only to be kicked out a couple weeks later over concerns the weekly event was siphoning business from the ground-floor grocery store, Cermak Fresh Market.
After The Fields, the indoor market moved from Rockwell on the River in Avondale and then to a west Logan Square warehouse.
If the November pop-ups take off, they will continue next year, and organizers may not bring back the indoor market, Esparza said.
The chamber staff could use more time to plan events, work with small businesses in the neighborhood and fundraise, Esparza said.
“We would get five months of chamber work for brick-and-mortars, as opposed to five weeks,” she said.
The indoor market has also struggled to attract a steady amount of interest compared to the outdoor iteration, organizers have said. The outdoor market attracts about 5,000 people per day, while the indoor market only draws an average of 500 people per day — and that number went down during the 2021-22 season.
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