Downtown Roanoke's 16 West Marketplace on Church Avenue has gone through a bit of a renovation.
It still houses several local retailers and eateries, such as Vintage Vault, Wok N Roll Kitchen and Little Green Hive, but there's now a craft market right in the middle of the building. Crafteria opened April 25 with a handful of vendors already in place. Owners Mark Ferguson and Alex Dykes want it to be the largest community of makers in the area. The layout is similar to an antique store, with a dozen vendor booths filling out the ground floor of the property. Already in place are sellers offering Appalachia-themed gifts, jewelry, pottery, knitted items, art and handmade foods from popcorn to pretzels.
A Crafteria employee will staff a front desk for patrons who want to buy items or have questions.
The idea plays on the success of the Riot Rooster events that have been held at 16 West in the last few years. Crafteria, which is named for the former S&W Cafeteria that was housed for many years at that location, will be year-round and is designed to highlight many different craft producers.
"It’s like Etsy, only Southern and real life,” Ferguson said.
He and Dykes also plan to reopen the restaurant space in the back of 16 West. It was home to several restaurants over the years, but it's in a tough spot and hidden from the street. The Crafteria owners hope to give the kitchen a community use, making it available for rent and opening it up to any chefs who need a kitchen space to sell prepared foods in the market. In the coming weeks, they also plan to lunch workshops and a fresh food walk-up window.
Right now, Crafteria is now open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The market's hours and vendor offerings will expand later this month, when a grand opening is planned.