Another New Market Concept, and This One Might Actually Work

Beginning Friday, May 11, the Shambles at Headhouse Square will be a regular host to an exciting gathering of regional vendors. Locally grown and handmade goods from food purveyors, craftsmen and artisans will be sold in the historic open air market every Friday evening from 3 – 9pm, with live music at 7:30. Named The New Market as more than a nod to what the meeting place was originally called when established in 1745, The Shambles setting will give a historic backdrop to this newest asset to the South Street and Society Hill neighborhoods.

The Shambles
Closer look

Bob Logue, partner in Bohdi Coffee and Federal Donuts, is behind this venture to bring a new community shopping experience to Philadelphia. The current merchant roster currently includes Farm to City, Capogiro, Love Bar Chocolate, Trinity Framing, Wash Cycle, Robert True Ogden, Jeb Wood, Bennett Composting, Tyson Boles, Carol Forman, Jeffrey Allen Designs, and Edibikes, and is still growing. Updates will be posted on The New Market’s website and if you are a local vendor that would like to become involved, send your inquiries here.

“Shambles” is an old English term for butcher’s stall or shop. The Head House building, built in 1805, originally served as home to the country’s first volunteer fire department. This photo from 1916 and this one from 1920 show it as a busy commercial area, with the structure having many closed sides and stalls. A major renovation to the outdoor complex was done in the early 1960’s, with continual preservation in the years since.

In 1916. From Phillyhistory.org

In the 1970’s and 80’s, the ill-fated Newmarket Mall and Market at Newmarket attempted indoor/outdoor shopping in this area, but even fancy digs didn’t help either survive. A great photo from a vintage postcard posted in Philly Skyline’s archives shows Newmarket giving it a shot.

This is now a vacant lot. Toll Bros. still might built something here, though.

The Shambles has been the home to an excellent farmer’s market on Sundays from 10am – 2pm, with this season kicking off Sunday, May 6. Hopefully, this newest New Market will achieve similar success through its first summer.

–Lauren Summers