Uncontained Excitement for the MSA Annex

Explore Mercado San Agustín’s brand-new sister property | By Heather Wuelpern

The MSA Annex—a collection of converted shipping containers, which house nearly a dozen shops and a bar—celebrated its grand opening May 4–6, 2018. Local favorite Giant Sand added to the good vibe as their band christened the stage before they kicked off their month-long European tour. The hubbub of activity that night was outstanding as patrons danced, shopped, and socialized.

If you didn’t make the grand opening, there’s no need to fret. The MSA Annex—adjacent to Mercado San Agustín on the west side of Tucson—will only continue to flourish as the word gets out. Plus, a few more shops are slated to open soon.


The names of a few shops might ring a bell since they’ve already developed some roots in Tucson. Avenue Boutique, for example, has branched out to the Annex after being at their Broadway and Country Club location for years. Transit Cycles transported themselves from up the street at the Mercado San Agustin. And Isabella’s Ice Cream has been chilling over on Fourth Avenue and in the new American Eat Company. Also, Westbound—a spinoff of the popular Tap & Bottle—serves up beer, wine and spirits in its open-air bar at the Annex.


Why I Love Where I Live has a knack for spreading their love for Tucson. They have that in common with iconic actress Diane Keaton, as she confessed her love of Tucson on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and then posed for a quick picture while shopping at this special shop the next day. Perhaps Ms. Keaton found some treasures for her new Tucson barrio home at Dust and Heritage or a pair of earrings at Now or Never. Regardless, she’ll have to stop by the MSA Annex again to explore all of the other wonderful stores, such as Luca Ryann or Fletcher and Co.


Stroll through the Mercado District’s residential area and find a perfect mix of Old World and modern architecture living in harmony. Some homes have rich colors, balconies, and hidden courtyards, reminiscent of homes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, while others have clean lines, contemporary touches, and interesting angles. Explore the homes near South Avenida del Palo Fierro and scope out the large-scale mural of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera by local muralist Rock Martinez on the west wall of one of the residences.


Whether you get to the MSA Annex via the Sun Link Streetcar or Tugo Bike Share—both have stations within a few strides of the shops—or by walking, driving, or skateboarding, just get there! You’ll find treasures and enjoy a snack or brew. And, who knows, maybe you’ll even see a celebrity.

MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento

Mercado San Agustín, 100 S. Avenida del Convento