SOUDERTON — An innovative coffee bar, juice and smoothies, upscale sandwiches, a vegan restaurant, local distillery and craft beer are all expected to be part of the planned North End Market, owner Barbara "Bea" Smith told Souderton Borough Council in a June 3 update on the plans.
The market, which will include a variety of vendors in the former Hope's clothing store at Main Street and Hillside Avenue, is all about being a gathering place, she said.
"The first floor is going to be a food mall with upscale foods and drinks," Smith said. That will include a market selling local products, she said.
"The second floor's going to be a demo kitchen," she said.
That will be an area that can be used for shows, parties or cooking events, she said.
The plans also include a rooftop area, she said.
"We have a couple of ideas up there, but basically it's going to be very comfortable seating areas around where vendors will be," Smith said.
That area also would be able to be rented for event space, she said.
The past few months have been spent developing relationships with the people who will be vendors in the market, she said.
"It wasn't working going to people and saying come to the market and open up a place, so we didn't do that," Smith said. "We just talked to them about our vision of Souderton and so we connected with many people that actually had the same vision that we have of Souderton."
Smith said she's heard from some existing businesses in town who think the new market will hurt their business, but the ones moving into the market are not competitors with the existing ones.
North End will bring more people to Souderton's downtown area, which will help the existing businesses, she said.
"I'm here to grow community. That's my main thing," she said.
The market will provide a place for groups in town to hold events that they now don't have a place to do, she said.
"We're planning the opening, and we were told by the contractor, that it would be November to early spring," Smith said.
She would prefer for it to be in November, but it's probably more realistic to expect that the opening will be in 2020, she said.
Information on North End Market is available at thenorthendmarket.com or the market's Facebook and Instagram pages.
In other Souderton news:
• Council approved having a proposed ordinance prepared making S. School Lane in the area of E. Merton Crouthamel Elementary School one-way traffic between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days. The one-way brings traffic to the school from the Cherry Lane side and exits toward the East Broad Street side.
The move would continue restrictions that were started in August of 2017 for construction at the school. Council is expected to vote on the matter in August.
• Council approved having bid specifications made up for new curbs and sidewalk on Hillside Avenue.
The borough has been approved for a federal Community Development Block Grant through Montgomery County for $198,000 to have the work done, Borough Manager Mike Coll said. The application and approval were both done last year, he said.
The work is for the residential part of the street between an alley near Main Street and Wile Avenue, he said.
"Hillside Avenue is in a state of major disrepair at the moment due to North Penn Water Authority's work in replacing water main ahead of this project," Coll said.
After that's done and the curb and sidewalks are put in, milling and overlaying will be done on the street, he said.
Doing the administrative work to meet the federal grant requirements is cumbersome, he said, but things are moving along.
"I think once the contract is in place, the project should go fairly quickly," Coll said.