Citizen Public Market opens after long coronavirus delay

Citizen Public Market opened its doors Wednesday at 8 a.m. in downtown Culver City. The expansive 8,000 square-foot food hall opens with goodboybob; coffee roaster and cafe, Pizzette; Nancy Silverton’s first stateside fast casual concept, and The WEHO Sausage Co.  serving the best in burgers, sausage and artisanal charcuterie. 

A project by the NOW and RM/d, Citizen Public Market showcases local chef-driven experiences and the best-in-category food-and-drink, in the heart of Culver City. With the virtues of its intimate scale, central location, and commitment to culinary entrepreneurship, Citizen is presented as a vibrant morning-to-night neighborhood experience for eating and socializing. 

The market will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. with each vendor having its own operational hours. Starting with three concepts, the indoor outdoor space will eventually host a total of eight beloved Angeleno dining options. The footprint is a walk in-walk out style floorplan with two-level indoor, outdoor and rooftop space. Los Angeles based architecture and design studio NCA Studio led this project with creative direction and brand development provided by Jonathan Sample of Modern Format. 

“From the start, my team and I embraced the striking Art Deco and Beaux Arts building elements while maintaining that era’s level of craft and beauty throughout. Each material, color and design decision was fully considered and tested to ensure it nurtured that vision. Building on that approach, we also designed a majority of the tenant spaces in the market to reflect each unique identity, honor the mission and create the most welcoming space,” shares Nicole Cannon, Principal, NCA Studio. 

Citizen Public Market, formerly The Citizen Publishing Company Building, has been an architectural landmark in Culver City since it opened in 1929. It was commissioned by Eugene Donovan, publisher of The Citizen newspaper, and designed as a collaborative effort between the publisher’s wife, Catherine Donovan, and architect Orville Clark.

In 1987, the building entered the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its iconic facade with a two-story arched entryway combining Beaux Art and Art Deco elements. Inside, the historic ground-floor reception area leads upstairs to the original publisher’s offices. The interior shares an industrial feel that once was the original printing press room and bindery. There are many design elements both original and restored as well as and recreated to celebrate the legacy of this historical building and its legacy.  

“It’s rare to work with owners who are as dedicated to honoring the history of a building as they are to implementing their vision for its future” notes creative director Jonathan Sample. “If we were unable to source an original artifact from the newspaper or building, painstaking effort was put into using era-specific methods, materials, processes and craftspeople to recreate it. There are lots of little kernels of history and inspiration throughout. Kiln-molded glass sign letters, communal tables fabricated from salvaged printing equipment and pendant lights that project words from the newspaper and its founder are a few. Particularly exciting for the team was having notable Los Angeles artist Kenton Nelson create an original painting in the WPA style that adorns the patio wall.” 

Rick Moses, principal, RM/d has developed this project from its beginning in 2018 along with Jeff Appel, principal, the NOW. Moses also restored and re-opened Grand Central Market in Downtown LA in 2013. He also worked with Rick Caruso on local projects like Americana at Brand. 

“When Jeff and I decided to buy the Citizen building we did so because we fell in love with it.  Only after we closed on the purchase did we begin to think about how best to preserve and adaptively reuse the building,” said Rick Moses, Principal, RM/d. 

“First and foremost, we celebrated the beauty and history of the building by adding design elements that complement the original design.  We also wanted to create a special place that would become the heart of the Culver City. As we open the Citizen Public Market we are devoted to artistry, quality and community in all that we do.  We have not only redeveloped the building with great care, we handpicked the best local chefs and restaurateurs to fill the market with finest food and drink in the Los Angeles area.” 

Citizen Public Market has approximately 200 outdoor seats for guests to enjoy dine-in. The WEHO Sausage Co., set in the back of the market, is the company’s first brick and mortar. Complementing its catering service, chef + founder, Peter Tulaney will now be located in Citizen Public Market serving a variety of sausages, sausage patties, beef, non-beef burgers, and artisanal charcuterie with his long list of craft beers and other beverages. goodboybob, positioned right at the entrance, provides a nice welcome into the market. 

The concept is a coffee and wine bar that will also be serving delicious food. Pizzette, Nancy Silverton’s fast casual concept inside Citizen Public Market, will be serving traditional pizzette, stuffed pizzette and salads for lunch and dinner. The remaining restaurants set to open inside the market will reveal opening schedules soon. All Citizen Public Market concepts have their own delivery app offerings.