Wenatchee taps the spirit of Pike Place with Pybus Market

Despite the buskers, fresh produce, and seafood, it's immediately evident you're not in Seattle anymore.

'There is no fish throwing here,' said fishmonger Mike McKee of Mike's Meats and Seafood. 'We leave that to the professionals in Seattle.'

The red neon 'Public Market' on sign outside is reminiscent of Seattle's Pike Place Market, but this is the Pybus Market, as in E.T. Pybus, a humble blacksmith who forged himself into a larger than life businessman and helped build the city of Wenatchee in the early 20th century.

Lance Dooley is sculpting a statue of the man to be put on display here.

'I think he'd be very happy to see this was happening under his name,' said Dooley.

Pybus was an English immigrant and big on family. His warehouse that once held steel in the 1940s is now a modern day public market.

'We're capturing the spirit of what E.T. Pybus was all about,' said Dooley. 'He was a self-made man who came to this country, worked hard and made the community a better place.'

The renovated warehouse is now home to 20 vendors, several restaurants, a community kitchen for cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and of course produce stands and fresh meats. There is also space for working artists. John Craddick owns West Coast Glass Studios at the market and creates his pieces on site.

'That's what makes this place cool. Having us around gives it a unique twist that's not available anywhere else,' he said.

Open since June, the market is already becoming a destination for people all over the state and drawing tourists from Leavenworth and Chelan. So far, about 17 percent of the visitors come from the Seattle area. It's providing opportunities for businesses like McKee's meat shop to expand and open a second location.

'It's a phenomenal place,' he said. 'There are so many people who come through here that we otherwise wouldn't have access to.'

The Pybus Public Market is open seven days a week. It's a $10 million partnership between the Port of Chelan and local philanthropists Mike and JoAnn Walker. For more information visit pybusmarket.org.


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