News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Levin Furniture

Meaden & Moore

The Holden Arboretum

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business

Cleveland's West Side Market continues to recover from last week's fire
The fire and shutdown has impacted neighboring businesses as well

Kevin Niedermier
A clean up worker hauls smoke damaged debris through a side door at the West Side Market. The job is expected to take 5 to 10 days. Until it's finished, vendors inside are out of business.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Life is slowly returning to normal in parts of Cleveland’s West Side Market after a recent fire closed the historic main building.

Inside, where the blaze started, a clean-up company yesterday started scrubbing down the soot and throwing away contaminated meat, bakery items and candy. None of the vendors can go back to work until the clean-up is finished. But as WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, this morning some of the fruit and vegetable vendors outside the main building were trying to return to normal.

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:59)

The 85 produce stands that line two sides of the main building of the West Side Market were not directly impacted by the fire’s smoke and have been allowed to reopen if they choose. This morning, about half are open, including Rick Calabrese’s stand, where he’s arranging oranges in a bin beside some cantaloupes and grapefruits. It’s his first day back since the fire. He decided not to open last Friday and Saturday, the lucrative days before the Super Bowl. Because of the clean-up, Calabrese says, he and the other produce vendors are still not allowed to go inside where their storage facilities are. So, he can buy only enough fruits and vegetables to get through a business day.                                                                

“With the weather being bad and trying to guess what to buy for those two days, I decided to stay home, and a majority of us did.

"We’re trying to keep our customers coming back. It’s hard without the meat people here because people don’t come here just for produce, they want meat too, and visa-versa. So, we’re just doing what we can until the main building reopens.”

Some vendors taking a serious financial hit
Calabrese says the shut-down is going to be tough on all the vendors, but some will be hurt more than others.

“Our rent is due, we have bills just like everybody else. You have to keep going and not just wait for everything to be cleaned up and then come back to work.  Most of us don’t have another income; this is it.”

Regular West Side Market shoppers showing support
Business is slow, though some loyal customers have returned. Out in the nearly empty parking lot, Kathy Zalinski of Walton Hills is packing the produce she just bought into her car trunk.

“I’ve been coming here since I was in a stroller, and I’ve been bringing my own family as well. I was on my way to work and thought I’d stop because we all have to patronize the market now more than ever.
"The vendors have a lot of fruits and vegetables at good prices. I have strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, garlic, but I’d also like to go inside to get baked goods, cheese, spices and things like that.”

Market shutdown is hurting some neighboring businesses
Across the street from the market at the Coffee Café and Bakery, Margret Latch is working behind the counter. She says the fire has had a ripple effect on neighboring businesses.

“We buy some of our product from the market, some things that we don’t have replacements for and some that we can get at grocery stores, but the market’s prices are better. We also get a lot of business from people who come to the market and then stop here.”

Cleveland officials say the interior cleanup of the market could take up to 10 days.  Then there will be a health inspection that could take several more days before the vendors can reopen. The cause of the fire is still not known.

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Kimono canvas makes rare trip outside Japan
Hi! There is some mis-information regarding Itchiku Kubota's showing of his work. The first time his work was shown, was not in 1995 at the Smithsonian, but was...

Kasich campaign evokes dark images of a Trump presidency

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University