Hollins Market, which dates back to 1846, is the oldest of the surviving five neighborhood public markets in Baltimore. It is also the least changed. The two-story brick structure and the adjoining long shed that run along Hollins Street betweenSouth Arlington and North Carrollton Avenues were built in 1877. The old-fashioned market is a stone’s throw from H.L. Mencken’s house near Union Square.
Until the late 1950’s, vendors were still selling their goods outside along Hollins Street. There are currently thirteen vendors, with only a few vacant stalls. In addition to the food offerings, there is an enclosed convenience store, plus “Quiet Time,” a stall selling inspirational gifts, plants, candles and aroma therapy. Hollins Market is operated by Baltimore Public Markets Corporation, a non-profit group.
Francis Joseph Baroch, 51, known to regulars as “Lumpy,” has run L&R Produce for 27 years. His parents once had a produce stand at the market. “Years ago,” Baroch recalled, “you couldn’t get up the aisle way, it was so crowded.” Mary Petty, another old-timer from Chuckie’s Fried Chicken, observed that, “The younger generation doesn’t want to cook.” A lot of loyal, older customers have moved away or died, but another generation of Baltimoreans still appreciates the traditional atmosphere and reasonable prices for carry-out meals, fresh meats, fish, fruit and vegetables.