First opened to the public in 1927, North Avenue Market hosted 12 retail shops and a 22-lane bowling alley. It’s opening day saw 50,000 visitors. Previously, the land was the site Confederate General Bradley T. Johnson’s former residence. The market was hugely successful in its early years, and at its height hosted over 200 grocery vendors.
The decline of Baltimore’s industrial development following WWII caused North Avenue Market to slowly lose its shopper base and in-turn, its viability. The final nail for original North Avenue Market came in August 1968 when a six-alarm fire destroyed a portion of the building.
Following the fire, the building was purchased by the investment company City Center Inc, which redeveloped part of the market to open as senior citizen housing. The northern portion of the building was demolished to make space for a supermarket opened in 1974.
However, despite these attempts, the building was closed and left vacant for nearly 40 years until rehabilitation efforts were reignited in 2008.
North Ave. Market was started with a basic idea: to combine great food, drinks, and arcade games under one roof in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Conceived in the Summer of 2018, Michael Shecter and Jaimes Mayhew put out the word that they were in search of restaurant partners to help spearhead this ambitious project. Jack Danna of Central Baltimore Partnership introduced them to Matt Steinberg and Vaughn Weitzman of Secret Sauce Co., shortly after their Station North pop up at Lost City Diner concluded. Together, the group brainstormed about how to make the idea of North Ave. Market a reality. The team accomplished their vision by combining delicious burgers, fries, and milkshakes along with a catalog of fantastic arcade cabinets. They handpicked some of the best arcade classics with input from the folks at MagFest, a local gaming non-profit. Additionally, the team partnered with a local gaming enthusiast to have cult favorite newer cabinets like Killer Queen available for play.
North Ave. Market is the story of passionate Baltimore entrepreneurs bringing a fresh entertainment concept to the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. We hope to see you there!