The latest and greatest attraction in town


Photo by Brittany Chang

One of the entrances into Union Market at The District.

The creators of the OC Mix, formerly known as the OC Mart Mix, in Costa Mesa have brought their unique small store shopping experience to The District in Tustin. The area where Border’s Books and Music once stood is now occupied by a large complex, cleverly divided up to create space for 18 independent stores, eateries and a coffee shop. All of the stores collectively create the “market.” Though a large part of the Union Market is still under construction, a few stores are now fully operational and ready for customers.

The Union Market, not including all of the stores and eateries, officially opened this past summer. There are now multiple eateries open. Drinkbar Juicery is a juice bar featuring juice cleanses and, according to, “organic, cold pressed, small batch juices (and) acai bowls.” Chocolat Noir specializes in making chocolates and truffles created by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chocolatier using, according to and, “traditional French techniques with modern and exotic flavors.”

Stores open include Luella, a clothing-based boutique catering to young women, and Timree, a store and studio combo that has painting classes taught by renowned painter Timree Gold.

In the next few months, Portola Coffee Lab, made famous in the OC Mix for its unique latte art and roasting and brewing techniques, and The Kroft, one of the most popular eateries in The Anaheim Packing District, are expected to open at the Union Market.

This concept of a  large space sectioned off and filled with independent, trendy “hipster” shops has proven extremely successful in the past, as seen with the popularity of the Anaheim Packing District, The Camp in Costa Mesa and The OC Mix. Even though the Union Market has yet to be completely filled, visitors have already been crowding its grounds and distinctive layout.

By shopping at centers like these, independent stores and their owners who are not part of a larger chain receive money. Not only does this unique shopping center allow people to escape average shopping malls, but it allows smaller businesses to showcase their work without the competition of bigger chains or brand name stores that already dominate the rest of The District.