THE BRONX, New York City (WABC) -- The Bronx Night Market is set to make its return to Fordham Plaza in April, after hosting what was thought to be its final season in 2023.
Organizers and local lawmakers say they were able to work out a deal for the market to return, after the market's founder decided to pull the plug last year amid a losing battle with illegal vending, vagrancy and subpar city upkeep.
"The return of the Bronx Night Market is a testament to the power of community voice and our dedication to serving the Bronx. We're not just bringing back a market; we're leading a movement to reclaim Fordham Plaza for the community, with a vision of making it a thriving hub of culture, commerce, and connection. This can only be achieved through a joint interest approach, with every stakeholder playing a crucial role," said Marco Shalma, the founder of MASC Hospitality Group, who is behind the Bronx Night Market.
The market, modeled after Smorgasburg, is an open-air market with food and live music. On one Saturday a month, from April to October, for the past seven years, the market has brought culture and cuisine to Fordham Plaza.
"Post-pandemic we've seen something like the deterioration of the plaza," said Marco Shalma, founder of MASC Hospitality Group, and the person behind the Bronx Night Market. "I had to personally pick human feces every time we used to show up to the plaza... it became consistently more difficult."
This year, with more attention from local government and partnerships with local organizations, the vision for the Bronx Night Market will include a bookstore. Plus, organizers are working with local health organizations to encourage plant-based eating and conduct cooking demonstrations.
The first Bronx Night Market of 2024 will be on Apri 6 at Fordham Plaza, and the market will return on the first Saturday of each month through October.
In total, more than 60 food and drink vendors are expected to participate.