Mixed-use marketplace brings businesses to center of town

PASO ROBLES — A steady stream of people have been exploring all of the offerings at Paso Market Walk.

People go in for one thing — a glass wine or fresh-baked cookie — and leave with much more — vegan cheese, olive oil, and a cup of coffee.

It’s just what owner Debby Mann had in mind when she broke ground on the development in 2018. The 16,000-square-foot mixed-use marketplace is located outside of Paso’s Downtown corridor on the old Hometown Nursery site at 1803 Spring St.

“This is the next natural progression of wine country because it provides people the opportunity to see artisan purveyors that they wouldn’t see ordinarily,” Mann said. “People are very excited. We opened Aug. 1, and it has been busy ever since.”

The Market Walk has brought much-needed development, business and foot traffic to the center of town. The property was home to a community nursery from 1980 to 2008. In recent years it sat empty and was decaying.

Mann, a former co-owner of the iconic Justin Winery and Vineyard, said the project’s inspiration came from visits to similar venues such as Oxbow Public Market in Napa.

“The City of Paso Robles was excited to have money put into the middle of town which needed development and what happens with that in almost any market that I looked at is once you move in, mostly the markets were away from the main square, and then other businesses start coming around,” Mann said.

The Market Walk is a blend of old and mostly new urban country architecture, bookended on the south end by an 1890 Victorian home that showcases the “Carpenter Gothic” architectural style. The house has been renovated and will open as FINCA.

FINCA is the latest project from the owners of La Taquiza — a Napa-based Mexican restaurant that has been in the Michelin Guide since 2009. FINCA will be a Mexican restaurant focused on bringing traditional and regionally inspired cuisine to California’s Central Coast.

The restaurant in bloom — a small-plate designer cocktail bar — will occupy the Market Place’s northern end.

FINCA and in bloom are slated to open the spring of 2021.

Paying homage to the original Hometown Nursery is GATHER | Urban Agriculture, an “experiential nursery bringing nature, wonder, playfulness and beauty to Paso Market Walk.”

Inside the Paso Market Walk is currently home to the following purveyors.

• Montello Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
• Just Baked Cake Studio and Bakery
• The Vreamery Plant-Based and Dairy-Free Fare
• Momotaro Ramen Japanese Soul Food
• Leo Leo Gelato Master Gelatiers
• Paso Robles Wine Merchant Wine Bar and Kitchen
• The Third Degree An American Grill by Berry Hill
• Joebella Coffee Roasters
• Paso Robles Wineries Visitor Center

SLO Cider and Hog Canyon Brewing Company have space inside but have not opened.

The property is also home to the Lofts at the Paso Market Walk — six modern, well-appointed European rooms and suites.

Just Baked Cake Studio and Bakery is enjoying its Paso Market Walk location.

“It’s been very busy. It’s been exciting,” said owner Libby Ryan. “I think, for the most part, Paso Robles has loved the experience. The outdoor seating area has been amazing.

“Market Walk is awesome. It has a really good vibe,” Ryan added.

For more information, visit online pasomarketwalk.com.

Paso Market Walk is open for Business. Photos by Brian Williams

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