Located in downtown Dayton, Ohio and part of the Five Rivers Metroparks system of urban parks, National City Second Street Market is a unique public market housed in an old railroad building. Easily reachable from Interstate 75, it attracts about a quarter of a million visitors each year.
The block-long building that houses the National City Second Street Market had its start in 1917 as a railroad freight house for the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad. When the building was in danger of demolition in 2001, the city of Dayton and the National City Bank stepped in to save it. Though the city renovated and modernized the old structure as part of its Metroparks effort to preserve 14,000 of open space around Dayton, the structure still maintains its early 20th century charm but with all the amenities of a modern marketplace.
The market is open three days a week year round - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Because the market is, for the most part, enclosed, the weather does not affect the hours of operation though crowds are biggest during the summer months. Additional outside stalls are set up in the warm weather months.
Operating like a typical farmer's market, National City Second Street Market - named for the financial institution that helped save it - welcomes local artists, growers, and others to sell their wares at this downtown location. Currently, the market - which is modeled after similar markets in Europe - boasts about 40 local farm, floral, food, and gift vendors as well as craftsmen and artisans peddling items such as wine, soaps, herbs and spices, artwork, and more.
Local produce and baked goods are the most popular and readily-available items at National City Second Street Market in Dayton. In-season produce is always for sale, including fruits, vegetables, and eggs. A variety of cheeses are offered at several stands as well as foods such as honey, maple syrup, and coffee beans. Fresh, homemade baked goods dominate the morning hours and are often enjoyed by visitors as a breakfast treat. Organic items and meats are also available at some stalls. Some stands offer luncheon fare including both sandwiches and full platters. Modern refrigeration methods assure buyers that everything is properly maintained and safe to eat.
Entertainment at National City Second Street Market occurs year round and often marks special occasions such as Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, or Christmas. Musicians are generally from the region and enjoy a local following. The market also holds a variety of special events throughout the year, including annual fetes such as Springtime at the Market, the British Car Meet, and the popular Wine Fest, featuring local and regional vintages.
The marketplace is also available to rent for special occasions both during regular market hours and after hours. Two rooms are offered and can be set up as the renter wishes.
Admission to National City Second Street Market is free. Schools and other groups may schedule guided tours of the market, also free of charge. Parking is available near the marketplace.