WAL Public Market Features Local Flavors & Fashions
By Kellie Conway Edson
While my husband and I were in Hawaii and thoroughly enjoying the local Poke, I remember seeing on social media that a new “Poke Bar” had just opened in Sac. What?! We were stoked to try it out when we arrived home. Fish Face Poke Bar is one of several new additions at the WAL (Warehouse Artist Lofts) Public Market (1104 R Street) that opened in May.
Fish Face is a ‘casual sushi’ counter and Poke Bar created by chef and owner of Kru, Billy Ngo. They have a “create your own poke bowl” set-up. You pick the fish (or tofu), sauce, toppings and other additions. My fav is a combo of salmon and tuna. Add a side of sushi rice or cucumber salad and you will leave satisfied They even feature several local drink vendors including Silk Road Soda.
Plus how cool is the octopus painting on the wall?!
Across from Fish Face is Metro Kitchen and Drinkery. Metro not only offers fresh pressed juices, but also healthy salads, sandwiches, soups and other drinks. Just as casual and grab-and-go as Fish Face, it’s great that you could come for lunch with a colleague or friend and between the two restaurants there will be something to satisfy everyone. And you can all chow down together at the communal tables.
WAL Public Market isn’t just about food. The first floor market also includes vintage clothing store Old Gold, MediumRare Records & Collectibles/Kicksville Vinyl & Vintage Record Store, Kechmara Designs Morrocan Rugs and Benjamins Shoes. Three of the vendors in the market are also residents of the upstairs lofts.
If you’re looking for reasonably price fun and funky vintage clothing and accessories, Old Gold is the place to go. I had to stay away from the boots wall. With weather getting cooler here in Sac, boots are my fall weakness!
MediumRare Records & Collectibles and Kicksville Vinyl & Vintage Record Store are two stores sharing the same space. I love the communal feel of mid-century furniture mixed with vintage records. It has such a cool, eclectic old school vibe. Vinyl records in pristine condition from every genre line the store. They also have all kinds of fun vintage record players. My husband and I visited the market with my parents recently and they enjoyed pointing out the different record players they actually used themselves as children.
The Morrocan rug place was closed when we visited, but the rugs looked beautiful from afar.
Benjamins Shoes has a very open floor plan with an area in the center where you can actually observe the shoes being made, by owner Benjamin Schwartz. I always like when you are able to see a makers’ process and what really goes into what you are purchasing. It takes him eight to ten hours to complete each pair of custom shoes which are made with luxury Italian sourced textiles. Benjamins also has this fun little alcohol bottle wall on one side of the store – adding to the whimsical vibe of the whole market.
The hallway walls of WAL public market feature the works of local artists’ which are available to purchase inside Old Gold. Currently Paul Anderson’s “Ringmaster” series is on display. The nearby plaque says that these pieces are extremely labor intensive and took six to twelve months to complete. Wow!
All in all, the WAL Public Market has such a fun easy vibe, great for a weekend stroll and bite to eat, and is a welcome addition to the R Street Corridor.