Salt House owner Steve Lau has purchased the Stockton Market for an undisclosed sum, the New Hope restaurateur confirmed Saturday.
Located in nearby Stockton, N.J., Stockton Market began as a farm market, and now includes a cafe, eat-in food stands, a meat and seafood vendor, a chocolatier, baked goods and an art gallery.
Lau’s popular Salt House pub is located at 7 E. Ferry St. in New Hope. Originally from Hershey, where he helped form indie rock band Ocean Blue in 1986, Lau has also lived in New York City, and has owned a house in Carversville for the last 18 years, along with a record label or two, and a vineyard. He purchased the Raven bar/club/restaurant in New Hope in 2015, left that business a year later, and opened Salt House in 2017.
Stockton Market at 19 Bridge St. contains 10,000 square feet of retail space, with three apartments above, and a parking lot to the rear with 28 spaces. Kurfiss Real Estate listed the property at $1.55 million.
Lau believes that acquiring Stockton Market is a logical fit with his business strategy.
“I’m really psyched about this on a few levels,” he said. “It’s a natural extension to the Salt House, with our close relation ship with local purveyors and our commitment to service. It’s also my local farmers market, so I’ve been there almost every week for years.”
“I can’t wait to step it up a few notches with some exciting new vendors, music, art and events,” Lau added.
He said his overall focus will be on the local.
“More local produce, more local talent,” explained Lau. “It’s really all about service, quality, and old school hospitality. It is our privilege to serve our guests — not the other way around.”
Lau said that expanding take out options is a possibility, with the addition of “market meals to go.” And he emphasized that extending market hours to at least five or six days for breakfast and lunch is a top priority.
Lau also said he’s talking to some “big local players” about a presence at the market.