- Associated Press - Saturday, March 12, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) - A historic food market in northeast Ohio is about to be open on Sundays for the first time in its more than 100 years in business.

City officials sent vendors in Cleveland’s West Side Market a letter confirming the market will open from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays beginning on April 3.

“The changes in Market operation hours will allow the Market to be more competitive and reach a broader clientele,” said Michael Cox, Director of Public Works.

Cox tells The Plain Dealer that about 70 percent of tenants were in favor of opening on Sundays.

“We just need to make sure that they do what they need to do in terms of regulations,” Cox said.

The market’s hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, are remaining the same. Sundays will be optional for vendors.

Several vendors say the new hours could prove too cumbersome for small businesses, including concerns over additional staff, time and costs. Some vendors believe Sunday hours would cut into Saturday hours and wouldn’t necessarily provide more income.

Tenant association president Vince Bertonaschi, who cuts meat in the market’s basement on Mondays, says opening on Sundays or Mondays would hurt the quality and service of his products.

“If (the city wants) to throw me out, I guess they’ll throw me out,” Bertonaschi said.

Others say the move could increase sales and bring in new customers.

Vendors who don’t follow regulations could face penalties, including citations, fines, suspensions or eventually getting kicked out altogether.

The city is also planning to combine and restructure a pair of parking lots behind the market to add more than 100 spaces.

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