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Stroll the streets of Paris on the Peninsula with Bon Marché

Uploaded: Oct 15, 2021

By Sara Hayden

A French-inspired outdoor market is coming to Menlo Park. Bon Marché will feature more than a dozen vendors for fresh produce, flowers, cheese, charcuterie, mushrooms, beer, wine, olive oil, honey and more.

The market will take place weekly every Wednesday, starting Oct. 27. It will run 4 to 8 p.m. at the 600 and 700 blocks of Santa Cruz Avenue, adjacent to Bistro Vida at 641 Santa Cruz Ave. Local high school students, who've been providing music in the area during weekend brunch hours, will also perform at the inaugural market.

"We'll bring the best gelato, the best saucisson. There will be the mushroom guy, and the cheese guy," Bistro Vida owner Ali El Safy previously said in an interview about coordinating the effort.

Bistro Vida customers eat on blocked off parts of Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park on July 29, 2020. A new open air market is planned to open in the area in October of 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The new open-air market will complement the Menlo Park Farmers Market that takes place every Sunday. It's one of the latest pilots in the city to reimagine what life in the area can be as people have needed greater physical distance and gravitated outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, organized with the city, West Coast Farmers Market Association and Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce.

El Safy, whose restaurant is inspired by France, says that he's long had a desire to do a boutique French-style outdoor market — "it's got to be very Parisian." In addition to that, it has to draw the community. "It's an idea that can bring people in the middle of the week downtown," El Safy says. "We wanted to do it right."

A car drives past a blocked off portion of Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park on July 29, 2020. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, cities have been reimagining what city life can be. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Vendors will be confirmed as required permits are finalized. The market will feature up to 20, such as:

- Bistro Vida
- Buon Gusto Pasta
- Artisan Macaron
- Fabrique Delices
- Castellano fruits
- Lemos Farm strawberries
- Tu Universo Farm produce
- Arellano Farms produce
- Hummus Heaven
- Fernandez Flower Growers
- GIO Gelati
- Achadinha Cheese Company
- Little Sky Bakery
- JuiceAlize
- Jewelry by Geri

In the winter months, El Safy hopes there will also be a vendor for hot chestnuts and mulled wine.

"It's going to be fun," El Safy says.

Update: This article has been updated as of 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 to reflect a new start date of Oct. 27 instead of Oct. 20.

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