Inspired by some European markets and also by successful Portuguese examples such as the Algés, Campo de Ourique, Ribeira and, more recently, the Bulhão markets, the council intends to create a dynamic hub of commercial activity while also promoting the heritage of the city itself.
David Pimentel, president of LC Global, explained, the opening of four restaurants in the central area of the building will create “a wider range of hours,” that is, the market will stop following traditional hours - until 3 pm – and instead will open until 12am / 1am, varying according to the time of year.
The idea is that, at the same time, the operators of the fish stalls, butchers, fruits and vegetables, among others that exist in the space, can also develop their activity during this extended time, “boosting consumption occasions not only of the restaurants that will be stocked here, but also customers who visit us and people who shop after work at the end of the day” said the head of the municipal company that manages Mercado de Loulé.
But it is not just “within the walls” that this new market is expected to have an impact. Since the city of Loulé has a much greater dynamic in the mornings as a result of commercial activity in the market, it is estimated that the extension of these opening hours may attract people to the city also in the afternoon and not only to the area directly surrounding the Market but also to other streets such as Praça da República or Maria Campina Street.
In the new catering area there will be a space with removable tables and chairs as one of the ideas of the executive of the Chamber of Loulé so that this is also “a dynamic event space and a social living space”, creating here a terrace area where people can enjoy their meal.
Demystifying the idea that this hub will be direct competition to merchants around the market, David Pimentel considers that this is “a complementary offer that will empower customers of peripheral restaurants”.
In order to minimise inconvenience to operators and buyers, work involving noise or dust will be carried out between 3pm and 8pm. It should be noted that the area where the four restaurants will be created will be properly isolated during the period of the contract.
From 15 to 31 December the works will be stopped allowing the normal operation of the space at Christmas time. In order to keep traders informed, the LC Global team will welcome all interested parties, from 3pm to 5.30pm, in the market space, to clarify any doubts about the evolution of the work. This contract involves an investment of €575,000.
“I think this initiative will make it possible to boost the city centre in a more positive way and I hope it can be a solution that will bring more economic activity to all operators in the market, with this additional value that will boost the business. What interests us is to leverage the business of those who are already here with this new offer and make this iconic space, which is the Loulé Municipal Market, even more attractive to all people who visit us,” said Vítor Aleixo, Mayor of Loulé.