An open marketplace is set to open next month in downtown Portland.

Monument Square Market will open on May 19, according to an announcement by Portland Downtown.

The market, which will feature up to 14 vendors, will operate on the Monument Square plaza off Congress Street. It is a joint effort by Monument Square business and property owners and Portland Downtown. The market will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday throughout the spring and summer.

Portland Downtown, in its vendor application form, said it is looking for local vendors, but prepared foods and other offerings that compete with Monument Square businesses will not be considered. All vendors must be Maine-based.

“This (market) will bring vibrancy to one of our premier locations in the city. It will help local entrepreneurs while at the same time being an active space that will entice tourists and others,” Cary Tyson, executive director of Portland Downtown, said in release. “We hope folks will also buy lunch or a snack at nearby restaurants and eat outside. We’re excited to continue to bring activity to our downtown.”

Bill Stauffer, owner of 22 Monument Square and vice president of the Mechanics’ Hall governing board, said people want an open market in the square.

“Despite the pandemic, Monument Square has continued to reinvent itself over the last few years,” Stauffer said. “The one thing that is still missing, the one thing that everyone has been asking for, is a return of a market to the square.”

Portland Downtown is a nonprofit downtown improvement district funded through a tax assessment paid by property owners within the downtown district.

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