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Experience Eastern Market's New Palette of Colors

by Lisa Diggs

Long known as a palate-pleaser, Detroit’s Eastern Market is now pleasing to palettes of a much different kind. Over the past four years, an astounding visual transformation has been taking place in the historic district. Already worth a visit as one of the oldest and largest year-round markets in the country, it is now a veritable 24-hour gallery, open to any who choose to drive or stroll the streets that surround the shops and sheds. Murals abound.

Over the past four years, Detroit-based fine art publisher, 1xRUN and Eastern Market Corporation have worked with incredible artists from around the corner and across the globe to produce more than 125 original works of art in the Eastern Market District. In fact, it’s hard to see them all in just one trip, which makes visiting the market on a regular basis even more fun than it used to be.

Each year the place vibrates with life and artistic passion during Murals in the Market, a September feast for the senses. Fear not, if you missed the event this year, because in many ways it is easier to check out the murals on days when it doesn’t feel like everyone in the city is also there. This map can help you take a self-guided walking tour of the most recent installations.

If you prefer more guidance, the talented and well-informed team at Feet on the Street tours is happy to guide you past the murals and through the market. They have a variety of public tours available, or you may contact them about creating a private tour for just your group.

With the growing season coming to a close it is worth noting that the public market, which can be found in Sheds 2-6, is open only during the following times:

Saturday Market: Year-round, 6am – 4 pm 
Sunday Street Market: June – September, 10am – 4pm 
Tuesday Market: June – September, 9am – 3pm 
Thursday Night Market: 3rd Thursdays, June – September, 5pm – 10pm
Wholesale Market: Monday – Friday, April – November, 12am – 6am (Open to the public, but you must buy in bulk.) 

The great news is that makes more time for visiting the wealth of eateries and shops that are worth the trip to the district at any time of year. In fact, the upcoming holiday season can be quite magical with the sale of greens and trees, and it’s a definite party locale when it comes to Lions tailgating. In addition to classic stops like Russel Street Deli, Bert’s and Vivio’s be sure to check out some of their newer neighbors like Detroit City Distillery, Eastern Market Brewing Company, or Stache International.  

As for shopping, you can find plenty of interesting stops even when purveyors are not at the market like Motorless City Bicycle Company, Well Done Goods, Peoples Records, 3 Dogs 1 Cat, and Division Street Boutique (home of Detroit Hustles Harder apparel). Everything old is new again with the relocation of Henry the Hatter and the never out of style Devries & Co. Among the coolest new entries are Floyd, for uniquely and locally-designed furniture, and Beau Bien Fine Foods for extraordinary preserves and condiments.

No matter which eateries and shops you choose to visit, you’ll find a unique piece of art or two awaits you on your short walk to your destination. There has always been a bounty of deliciousness in Eastern Market to fill your stomach, and now you can complement it with a plethora of art to feed your soul. It’s time to take a trip.


Murals from top to bottom by: 1) Brandan "BMike" Odums x Rick Williams 2) Camilo Pardo; 3) Case Maclaim; and 4) Sydney G. James


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