Night Market Plans Reopening and More for the Bronx
Photo Credit: Marco Shalma, Bronx Night Market
The Bronx Night Market has quickly become a major summer attraction in the borough. On Saturday nights in the summer Bronx vendors set up shop in Fordham Plaza - Down the road from the 4 and D trains and right in front of the Metro North station. Live music often features Bronx entertainers and the vendors are mostly what founder Marco Shalma calls Micro Businesses. This summer the market should have already been in full swing - opening in April and running all the way through October but Covid-19 has derailed the typical schedule. Shalma says that’s having a big impact on the market’s micro-businesses that have been mostly overlooked by stimulus and aid packages.
“There’s another cut in the population that’s micro businesses that’s really ultra small businesses that are not being heard at the moment. Because people have connected with the restaurants and bigger businesses and those guys you have to remember most of them are seasonal workers they make their money between April and October.”
So to help fill the gap the night market has helped it’s vendors create an online presence. They built websites, shared posts on social media, and promoted businesses to their email lists.
“We want to make sure that they last. By the time we reopen we want to make sure they're still around. And that idea of commerce within the Bronx with innovators in the space of food and art and merchants can continue to evolve.”
Shalma says he’s not sure when the market will reopen but when they do possible modifications will include, more space, timed entries to eliminate over crowding and more hygiene stations.
“We’ve been working on putting a plan together to allow New Yorkers and especially Bronxites to come back and enjoy and the main thing was create a safe environment - create a place where they feel comfortable”
In addition to working to reopen the night market, Shalma and his company are planning another socially distant activity for the summer: The Uptown Drive-In. In the parking lot of Yankee stadium, the drive-in will feature food, live performances and even game show type activities.
“Our first commitment is to the Bronx community to put some smile on peoples face and then to the small business community that we are a part of to make sure they gain back some of the income they need to support their families.”
Shalma says they’re still working on ways for New Yorkers without cars to access the event. Right now the tickets for the drive-in haven’t even gone on sale and the list of those interested already has tens of thousands of names on it.