Letters to the Editor

A gourmet food hall would revitalize Madonna Plaza

An empty storefront in Madonna Plaza.
An empty storefront in Madonna Plaza. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Every time I visit Madonna Plaza, I cannot help but wonder what will happen with all these empty “anchor” stores and whether the plaza is already in a death spiral.

This is why your Aug. 12 editorial about ideas for plaza’s real estate got my interest. The great (and sad) thing is that there is so much space available there; we can make more than one thing happen.

One idea I especially liked is from Ermina Karim, president/CEO, San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce: an “indoor farmers market and gourmet food hall.”

I know exactly how this should look: Go no farther than one of my favorite places in Spain — Madrid’s Mercado de San Miguel. Words cannot describe the experience, so watch this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kh_cNooL3s.

We have all the ingredients to make Madonna Plaza a major “place to be”: farmers, fishers, butchers, chefs, wineries and craft breweries. This will not take much from the current SLO County farmers markets that focus more on fresh produce, but will provide a place for more local businesses to showcase their products and bring a lot more people to the plaza and its other merchants.

I can definitely see this becoming a tourist destination on its own. We can do this! I would be happy to volunteer and help in any way I can.

Dmytro Marushkevych, Atascadero

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