In San Antonio there are plenty of flea markets, swap meets or mercados de pulgas, whatever you want to call them—but only one PPP.
Inaugurated on December 1, 2012, PicaPica Plaza (roughly translated as “SpicySpicy”) is a 130,000-square-foot retail/entrepreneur center carrying everything you could find at a swap meet and much more—but please, don’t call PicaPica “a swap meet.”
“We prefer not to be known as a swap meet,” said a vendor who asked to remain anonymous. “We only sell new stuff, so we are a … We’re PicaPica!”
The establishment, located in the lot that used to house Walmart and Steve & Barry’s, allows more than 300 independent and not-so-independent vendors to lease space (ranging in size from 150 to more than 2,000 square feet) and sell anything from handmade leather boots from Guanajuato, Mexico, to clothes, video games, health products, rare comics, musical instruments and much more.
But that’s only part of what goes on at PicaPica planet: There’s a special events hall (you can celebrate anything from a simple birthday party to an elaborate quinceañera) and the Kiddie Park (America’s oldest, opened in 1925) has set up shop at PicaPica and features a carousel, jump houses and an arcade, among other amenities. You can also celebrate your kid’s party at the Kiddie Park, with prices ranging from $135 and $300 for a two-hour rental (all prices include food, game tokens and unlimited rides).
Hungry? No problem. PicaPica has a food court with 10 restaurants for all tastes: Mexican fare, ice cream, seafood, burgers and more.
PicaPica “will be San Antonio’s largest community center,” lead developer Al Honigblum told the San Antonio Business Journal. “The focus of PicaPica Plaza will be on the family and on the South Side culture … The South Side is a wonderful retail area.”
Our advice: take advantage of PicaPica now, before every single one of the available vendor spots are taken (on my visit I saw very few spaces left). You’ll still find plenty of good deals but you’ll also be able to walk comfortably unlike … some other places.
910 SE Military, (210) 927-7422, picapicaplaza.com
10am-7pm Tue-Sat; 11am-7pm Sun
Kiddie Park at PicaPica
10am-7pm Fri-Sat;11am-7pm Sun