A new addition to this year’s downtown Cedar Rapids Farmers Market may help bring more people to the twice-monthly Saturday summer markets. It’s similar to a beer garden except with Bloody Mary’s, other beverages and a small sampling of food.
Zins is hosting the Bloody Mary Garden on Third Street SE just outside their restaurant.
“I think we might get a younger crowd, we don’t want people just to sit in the Bloody Mary garden, we want people to go experience the market. But I think it will appeal to others people who wouldn’t normally go shopping at the market at 7 in the morning,” said Chris Miller, the general manager at Zins.
The goal isn’t for a party atmosphere, but a place for people to relax and take a break while enjoying the bustle of the downtown market. It’s been increasingly common in recent years for downtown businesses to open during the markets. The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance said this is just one more reason people have to come downtown. But to keep it around, Zins needs help covering the cost.
“We are looking for sponsors to rent that out for 90 minutes at a time, with that there will be a bottle of vodka, Bloody Mary mixers and a little snack type thing,” said Miller.
It’s $250 and that guarantees you a table. For others, it will be a first-come, first-served basis. Miller said that handfuls of people have already indicated interest, so he expects the Third Avenue garden to be a good addition. Zins is looking for three sponsors per market for each of the eight markets. They are expecting to have 20 to 25 additional spaces in the garden for others. For those who don’t get a spot outside, Zins will be serving brunch and have live music playing inside.
The garden will run 7:30 a.m. to noon on market days. The first market is June 2.
For more information on the garden call Zins at (319) 363-9467.