Creator of the Breakfast Market, co-manager of Hala Gwardii, new place on the market and cultural map of Warsaw. This weekend grand opening.
People in Warsaw love nagging. For sure they have already asked you why it will not be another Mercado San Miguel from Madrid, a place with food only.
– Because it is Hala Gwardii in Warsaw. We don’t have such variety of products to fill the whole space. And the culture of spending time at markets fades in the times of shopping malls or shops like Biedronka and Lidl. In my neighbourhood in Żoliborz small markets, groceries and little shops vanished almost completely. I don’t have an inferiority complex and I don’t want to compare my place with those in Madrid or Lisbon. It will be a market hall in Warsaw, with its own formula.
What kind of formula?
– Market, restaurants and culture. Big marketplace, parties, music at night, food till late hours. Stands mainly with products from the best food manufacturers will occupy half of the market hall and in the rest of the hall there will be dinning tables where you can sit and eat. We have a whole line of various restaurants. There is a bar at the entresol with food, wine, beautiful view that stretches on the whole hall. I want this place to be filled with culture for example concerts. I’ve been talking with Mariusz Adamiak about organizing here Jazz Jamboree or Niewinni Czarodzieje. There will be Bazarch, and in a minute I will have a meeting with the Museum of Modern Art and TR Warszawa. Next week we will celebrate here the 5th anniversary of Pożar w Burdelu. We will certainly come up with some nice ideas with Bęc Zmiana which has a shop here. Kwiaciarnia Grafiki will organize workshops for kids here. Cultural institutions lack what we have: space.
Will it be very expensive?
– I would like people to feel comfortable here, drop by during walks, meet with friends. The offer will be varied, prices as well. Thus on the premises we also have a milk bar, hot dogs, burgers, Georgian and Ukrainian cuisine. You have a choice- cheaper or more expensive. It is not a wealthy neighbourhood. In the evenings or on Sunday life dies here. No cafes, no places to eat. I like such challenges. It is not difficult to create a market in Wilanów.
For 5 years you have been successfully organizing the Breakfast Markets in such affluent neighbourhoods…
– And for 5 years I have been looking for a place to organize these events during autumn and winter as well. We lack such places in Warsaw.
With partners you have rented the place from the city only for 3 years. Does it pay off?
– It is definitely a costly endeavour: repairs of electrical installation, ventilation, renewal of an entresol, heating, toilets or creating interior design dedicated to food market. But we’ve tried to do only what was necessary, not to over-invest. Maybe we will manage to stay longer, win the next tender. Or maybe next year new municipality will step in and there will be a different conception for Hala Gwardii.
Hala Gwardii will be open only Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Why?
– I have to take care about our tenants so that they will be satisfied with the revenue because it has to be a bustling place, buzzing with marchants and buyers. And the beginning of the weekend is dead when it comes to market activity. Besides, vendors and restaurateurs lack workforce. There are no workers. It is some kind of a tragedy.
There are such halls in Berlin that operate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. We focus on weekends. But it doesn’t mean that the hall will be empty during the whole week. We will organize special events: concerts, theatre plays, theme markets, wine fairs for example. We want to let the place for closed events, conferences. I cannot wait for the Christmas market or New Years Eve which we will take place here.
Opening of Hala Gwardii: Firday, 29th September, 8 AM. It will be open on Fridays, Saturdays 8 AM – 5 PM market, from 11 AM- 1 AM shops and gastronomic zone, 8 AM- 1 AM Smak Brasserie. On Sundays: 9 AM- 5 PM market, 11 AM- 11 PM shops and gastronomic zone, 9 AM- 11 PM Smak Brasserie. More here…
Photo: Filip Klimaszewski