Milwaukee Public Market announces ‘responsible reopening’ plan

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MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Public Market announced Tuesday, June 9 that it will reopen its doors to customers starting Wednesday, June 10. The market closed to the public nearly three months ago due to COVID-19 concerns.

In a news release, the Milwaukee Public Market said customers can expect a number of health and safety policy changes to promote customer confidence -- part of a focus on a "responsible reopening."

In early May, the Market To-Go curbside pickup and delivery service was launched and, for many vendors, will continue that service. The market, classified as a shopping mall by health officials, was permitted to allow customers inside the building weeks ago, according to Paul Schwartz, executive director of the Milwaukee Public Market, but given the operation and the measures the market felt it needed to have in place, it elected to wait.

"You only get one shot to do this, and we're focused on the long-term success of the market, not necessarily jumping back in and trying to reignite and re-engage with our audience when we're not ready to do so," Schwartz said.

Capacity will be limited at 25%. The market is taking a piece of its north side parking lot and converting it into outdoor searing which is cleaned after every customer -- allowing for social distancing.

"We wanted to make sure that every protocol was in place and that we even exceeded some of the measures that we needed to take to make people feel comfortable," said Schwartz.

General indoor hours at the market will be as follows:

  • Monday through Saturday -- 10 a.m to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday -- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For a full list of vendor offerings and individual hours of operations, please visit milwaukeepublicmarket.org or call 414-336-1111.

Procedures and policies enforced during the phased reopening will use both WEDC, CDC and Milwaukee Health Department guidelines. Many of the new measures the market is instituting during this first phase of reopening include:

  • All Market employees are required to use face coverings
  • All vendors and management are required to administer temperature and health screenings to employees daily at the beginning of each shift
  • The 2nd Level seating area will remain closed for the time being; restrooms and market
    office access will be permitted
  • The Market strongly encourages customers to wear face coverings until they begin eating inside
    the Market; if customers don’t have a face covering and would like one, the Market will provide
    a mask free of charge as long as our supplies are full
  • Eight additional touch-free hand sanitizing stations are being added throughout the first level
  • Customers will be encouraged to eat outside, as the Market has expanded outdoor dining areas around the perimeter of the Market
  • Seating areas have a regular sanitization schedule and are spaced six feet apart per CDC and Milwaukee Health Department guidelines
  • Indoor dining options will be offered at select vendor spaces in a reduced capacity, proper distancing and, in many cases, will also include physical barriers between chairs/tables
  • New HVAC filters have been added to filter finer particles -- in addition, through a combination of exhaust fans and the HVAC system, the air inside the building is estimated to be turned over every three to five minutes
  • Additional cleaning measures and designated staff will be responsible to maintain the Market’s already high level of sanitization standards
  • Some vendors will continue to offer curbside pickup options for customers
  • Many vendors will be implementing additional safety precautions, such as touch-free payment processes and modified food safety steps, to promote customer health and wellness
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