Anaheim recently celebrated the grand opening of The Anaheim Packing House, which is located in the heart of downtown Anaheim. The Packing House is a part of The Packing District and is one of Anaheim’s newest gems. The area itself, has a rich agricultural history and was formerly used for packing citrus grown in Orange County, which was then shipped to other parts of the US via train. The entire project to restore the old citrus packing house took several years for the architects to design, revamp and transform, all the while maintaining a vision of creating a community hub for Anaheim residents to utilize in their everyday lives and visitors to enjoy as well. The Packing House consists of over 20 handpicked culinary eateries and shops, all housed under one roof, with open-style seating for guests to enjoy food, drinks, and perhaps play a game of cards with friends or even strike up a conversation with another.
The grand opening celebration of The Packing House was nothing short of extravagant! It was only fitting that there be a orange everywhere at the event. The pre-ribbon cutting activities in Farmers Park were themed around oranges. Sunkist generously donated oranges for guests to self-pack in a bag, to take home to enjoy. There were many stations set up for the celebration-goers to participate in. Guests could help make a button, visit the juicing station, and make a pomander. If you aren’t sure what a pomander is, it’s where you take an orange and decorate it with clove studs, it’s a wonderful scent to place in your home. In addition to these activities, guests signed up to learn about the sustainable garden, located in Farmers park. Some of the plants included, as well as some beautiful flowers. Farmers park also houses the Anaheim farmers market, which is a certified farmers market, and takes place on a weekly basis at the Packing District.
The rows of chairs placed front of the ribbon cutting were vibrant orange and guests gathered around to hear several speakers talk about what The Packing House meant to them and what it was intended to represent for the community. Speakers conveyed a message about how “Anaheim Proud” they were as they’d strived for YEARS to get to this day. As the official orange ribbon was cut by Anaheim mayor Michael Tout, a giant bunch of orange balloons released into the air at which point, guests were allowed to enter The Packing House.
It was an emotional experience to be part of something so historical that day and I patiently waited my turn in line to shuffle my way into the Packing House, along with hundreds of other visitors. Although it was crowded, seemed equally patient as we were all just so excited to see what was waiting inside!
A visit to PopBar seemed necessary as it was one of the first eateries near the entryway. They offered a variety of gelato on a stick, as well as dippings. It was difficult NOT to eat mine quickly, because it was so delicious.
There were several eateries already up and running for business that day, while others had representation at the grand opening festivities, but were still scheduled to open soon.
If you stopped by The Black Sheep Grilled Cheese Bar that day, you had the opportunity to sample some of their menu creations in an appetizer form, that they’d be featuring on their menu, as soon as they opened. One of my favorites was this one. It was topped with jam and sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs. I am definitely looking forward to returning to The Black Sheep GCB very soon, to sample more of their gourmet grilled cheese items! To see a complete list of the eateries and shops located inside The Anaheim Packing House, please click here.
Wendy is a mom to a beautiful daughter and a first grade teacher. She blogs at http://www.overthetopmommy.blogspot.com