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BLVD Market reinvents ECB with fresh eats

San Diego's first prepared-foods-only popup market comes to the Boulevard

High Tech High media arts director Joshua Krause and his students contributed work to the reactivated Boulevard Center.
High Tech High media arts director Joshua Krause and his students contributed work to the reactivated Boulevard Center.

Once infamous for its streetwalkers and illegal street car races, El Cajon Boulevard is further reinventing itself by debuting San Diego’s first popup outdoor prepared foods market. The BLVD Market will be held every third Friday at the recently remodeled Boulevard Center on Utah and ECB.

“From what I understand, the property owner uncovered some crummy ‘80s exterior and revived its midcentury streamline façade,” says Beryl Forman, marketing manager for the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association. “He branded the building based on our iconic Boulevard sign and has worked diligently on attracting local businesses to the space.”

The L-shaped strip mall is now home to Heart & Trotter whole-animal butchery, Pop Physique fitness center, Bluxom Salon, a juice shop, and an unannounced restaurant. Cafe Madeline from South Park will be opening a second location across the street from the Center. The parking lot just received a new “pavements to parks” mural painted by SDSU art students to accompany benches and planters installed by students at High Tech High.

Forman says it’s all an example of placemaking, or the creative use of landscaping and urban design to attract people to the Center while showcasing the potential for the re-imagination of small strip malls, which are ubiquitous on the historic Boulevard.

The prepared-foods-only concept was inspired by the success of Shmorgasburg in Brooklyn and coincides with the advent of ECB’s new bus rapid transit system.

The BLVD Market premieres on Friday, October 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. and features 11 vendors including Tribute Pizza, Spanglish Eats, Barn Brew (a brewery coming soon to ECB), and Anthem Vegan.

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High Tech High media arts director Joshua Krause and his students contributed work to the reactivated Boulevard Center.
High Tech High media arts director Joshua Krause and his students contributed work to the reactivated Boulevard Center.

Once infamous for its streetwalkers and illegal street car races, El Cajon Boulevard is further reinventing itself by debuting San Diego’s first popup outdoor prepared foods market. The BLVD Market will be held every third Friday at the recently remodeled Boulevard Center on Utah and ECB.

“From what I understand, the property owner uncovered some crummy ‘80s exterior and revived its midcentury streamline façade,” says Beryl Forman, marketing manager for the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association. “He branded the building based on our iconic Boulevard sign and has worked diligently on attracting local businesses to the space.”

The L-shaped strip mall is now home to Heart & Trotter whole-animal butchery, Pop Physique fitness center, Bluxom Salon, a juice shop, and an unannounced restaurant. Cafe Madeline from South Park will be opening a second location across the street from the Center. The parking lot just received a new “pavements to parks” mural painted by SDSU art students to accompany benches and planters installed by students at High Tech High.

Forman says it’s all an example of placemaking, or the creative use of landscaping and urban design to attract people to the Center while showcasing the potential for the re-imagination of small strip malls, which are ubiquitous on the historic Boulevard.

The prepared-foods-only concept was inspired by the success of Shmorgasburg in Brooklyn and coincides with the advent of ECB’s new bus rapid transit system.

The BLVD Market premieres on Friday, October 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. and features 11 vendors including Tribute Pizza, Spanglish Eats, Barn Brew (a brewery coming soon to ECB), and Anthem Vegan.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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