Downtown SF's Vacant to Vibrant program, which puts pop-up businesses into vacant spaces rent-free around SoMa and the Financial District, is hosting a community market on this sunny Thursday afternoon on Market Street.

The Vacant to Vibrant Community Market event started at noon Thursday and goes through 4 pm, and it features live music, food trucks, vintage clothing for sale, and free ice cream. The event, co-sponsored by Wells Fargo, is happening in the plaza outside the Wells Fargo branch at 333 Market Street.

It's the latest in a series of activations organized by SF New Deal, which is running the Vacant to Vibrant program with funding from the city and private entities. The program launched last fall with a night market, and initially featured 17 pop-ups, including a community event space from local NPR station KALW, Devil's Teeth Bakery, Whack Donuts!, and the Mission's Sucka Flea. Nine of those have continued on through the spring.

As the Chronicle reports today, via SF New Deal, the program seems to be succeeding in reviving downtown's retail scene in a more permanent way. Seven out of those nine spaces that were used for the program's initial round have long-term leases signed and are set to receive more grant funding.

And now eight new pop-ups are joining the mix starting in June. These are:

  • Aurora Centro, a deli
  • Hungry Crumbs, a cookie bakery based in the Bayview
  • JUMA Ventures’ Steep Creamery, a boba and ice cream shop
  • Koolfi Creamery, an Indian-inspired ice cream shop that started in San Leandro
  • Paper Son Coffee, a coffee shop that has been in residency at Neighbor Bakehouse in the Bayview
  • 7x7 Social Club, a program from 7x7, the website and former magazine, that will provide "discounts and deals to businesses and events in the Bay Area"
  • SAINTFLORA, a floral shop
  • and Public Glass Gallery, a nonprofit arts organization and glass studio

The latter three of those will move into soon-to-be-announced spaces in Yerba Buena and the Financial District, while the five others are going into vacant spaces in the East Cut — that little-used neighborhood name that is basically Rincon Hill/East SoMa which realtors and the city are still trying to make happen.

"We are working every day to bring creative solutions and vibrancy to our Downtown and neighborhoods across the City, and Vacant to Vibrant is a great example of how we are solving for vacant storefronts while supporting our small businesses," says Mayor London Breed in a statement.

See info on all the Vacant to Vibrant pop-ups here. Businesses interested in participating in future rounds of the program can contact SF New Deal at [email protected].

Previously: Downtown Night Market and Friday Parties Help to Launch 'Vacant to Vibrant' Program