Ever since it opened in January, 3rd Street Market Hall—a.k.a. the sprawling food hall that occupies the first floor of the former Shops of Grand Avenue at 275 W. Wisconsin Ave.—has become our favorite downtown spot. Food! Drinks! Shuffleboard! Virtual golf! A selfie museum! A couple of Nintendo Switches hooked up to some flatscreens so we can get destroyed by some 11-year-old in Mario Kart!

And now, an aquaponics farming business!

Yes, Waukesha-based Valor Aquaponics is set to open a 3rd Street outpost on Friday, March 25. According to a press release, Valor will “display an aquaponics farming operation within their station at the hall. This is where they will grow and sell herbs, spices, fruits, and other smaller-scale produce. In addition, they will sell grab-and-go produce including mixed greens and vegetables that they grow at their main facility in Waukesha. They also plan to feature items from other local farms, juicers, and businesses.”

Valor will be located near the main north entrance. It will open at 11 a.m.

“We farm-raise fish and use their nutrient-rich water to feed the vegetables which in turn cleans the water,” explains owner Patrick Hansen in the press release. “Then we recycle that water right back to the fish. Because of this loop system, we use 95% less water than conventional farming.”

Adds Hansen: “We’re looking forward to expanding our business at 3rd St. Market Hall. Downtown Milwaukee’s where it’s at.”

Valor is part of 3rd Street’s second phase of vendor openings. Current vendors include Dairyland (frozen custard and burgers), Mid-Way Bakery (sweets, soups, sandwiches), Hot Dish Pantry (comfort foods), Amano Pan (sourdough bread, pizza), Strega (pasta), and Milwaukee apparel company Brew City Brand. A full bar is also open.

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