The home of Rockford’s new entrepreneurial event space may date back to the 1920s, but Rockford City Market is primed to showcase future creatives and makers of all kinds.
Comprised of a food hall featuring Crust & Crumbles, Quixotic Bakery, Velvet Robot Coffee Lab and Ronit’s Kitchen (all vendors that got their starts at outdoor markets), the market also features a state-of-the-art incubator kitchen that’s primarily rented to entrepreneurs looking to start their own food truck or restaurant. It can also be rented for private events as a designated catering kitchen, along with three rentable spaces available for private events as well as public events, ranging from farmers markets and yoga classes to live music showcases, wellness expos and whiskey tastings.
The market’s 3,214-square-foot lower-level Market Hall, which features industrial cement floors and the land- mark building’s original limestone, can accommodate up to 175 guests seated or 225 standing. Its 18,360-square-foot Outdoor Pavilion can accommodate a scaling capacity based on event type, while the 3,364-square-foot Bowtruss Room, complete with exposed brick and wooden beams, can accommodate up to 225 seated or 300 standing.
“Our building’s been around since 1921, where it began as one of the first Harley Davidson dealerships, so we’ve tried to keep as many of the building’s original features as possible,” says Rockford City Market Event Coordinator Becca Bartels. “The Bowtruss Room has an amazing arched ceiling that utilizes a lot of the original wood beams and we’ve installed two garage doors in our Market Hall space, paying homage to the building’s past. It’s a really great space that definitely captures historic downtown Rockford.”
While the market is already popular for fundraisers, weddings, galas, corporate meetings and workshops, “our space is flexible, so we’re able to cater to exact needs depending on desired look and layout,” Bartels says.