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Mercado Beira-Rio in Gaia opens to the 21st century in August | in Observador

Fruits and vegetables stalls, but also restaurants, stores, Port wine tastings and a stage for concerts. Mercado Beira-Rio is renewed and almost ready to open.

The old Mercado Municipal da Beira-Rio, in Vila Nova de Gaia reaches the 21st century at the end of this month. After being closed for six months in the scope of profound rehabilitation works, the market kept the same fresh food vendors which add to the new restaurants and shops. Overall, 40 fixed jobs will be created, plus some seasonal jobs in the summer.

“We have a total of 30 stores and stalls, plus two cultural areas: one for conferences and workshops and another for musical events, with a stage”, explained the mayor of Vila Nova de Gaia to Observador. Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues’s wish is that the gastronomic experiences will attract customers, but that this is not the only building attractive. The idea is to reproduce the model of Mercado de San Miguel, in Spain, i.e. “to combine the market with leisure in a place where people may experience gourmet food, workshops and also a cultural element”, said the mayor.

The market has 1.180 square metres and two floors. A mezzanine was made on the first floor and can be rented for private events. The interior esplanade will hold concerts and other events. Outside, there is a generous esplanade by the front façade. “In moments of higher occupancy, the market’s rear exterior and lateral esplanades will also be used”, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues added. The goal is to create “a cultural and leisure block”.

Fruit and vegetable vendors and the butcher and fishmonger “are all the same, except for one that dropped out”, he highlighted. The rents are the same for the old vendors, but the conditions are much better. The yellow façade is now back to the original pink, the asbestos tiles were replaced by tiles that were like the original tiles. Among other improvements, the frames were fixed within a work that cost “around two million euros”, said José Rodrigues, one of the partners of the concession holder Douro Wine Market – a partnership established between Lúcio da Silva Azevedo & Filhos and Legível Puzzle – that was awarded with the concession for 30 years.

“The concession holder was responsible for everything”, clarified José Rodrigues, that will also gain 2.000€ in monthly rent. The only public investment made that benefits the market was the rehabilitation of Avenida Diogo Leite.

The market is located at the marginal road of Vila Nova de Gaia near the Port Wine cellars. To attract the many tourists seeking Port Wine, there are two areas that will be selling Port Wine and promoting tastings, said Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues. José Rodrigues added that UNICER will be responsible for the beers that will occupy a central space.

Moreover, there will be restaurants serving “suckling pig, sushi, ice-creams, sea food, hotdogs, francesinhas”, claimed José Rodrigues, giving some examples. Some brands are not chosen yet. “There are three times more interested parties than the spots we have available. Santini is interested, and Chefs José Avillez and Rui Paula are also interested, according to their responsible.

The rehabilitation of Mercado da Beira-Rio was one of the electoral promises of Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, who also wanted to build on university residences. This was not possible due to the lack of space, but the market is ready. Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues cannot guarantee a day for the opening but believes that the market will be opening “in the last week of July or first week of August at the latest”, when everybody will be able to check out the new space. “Exacerbated optimism”, said the concession holder that thinks Mercado da Beira-Rio will most likely be opening in “mid-August”.

“I think this model is going to be used in other locations by the sea”, he said. Full markets or restaurants. A new restaurant at the top of Mercado da Afurada is inaugurated on July 18th and was granted by the autarchy to Grupo Madureira’s.

Name: Mercado Municipal da Beira-Rio
Address: Av. de Ramos Pinto 148, 4400-261 Vila Nova de Gaia (Cais de Gaia)
Opening hours: Summer (May 1st to September 30th): Monday to Wednesday from 10:00 am to 00:00 am, Thursday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 02:00 am
Winter (October 1st to April 30th): Monday to Wednesday from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, Thursday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 00:00 am

In Observador