Essex Market finally opens on the Lower East Side with 17 new vendors

Emma Orlow
Written by
Emma Orlow

When it was announced that Essex Market, New York's oldest public market, would close in its old location that had been on the Lower East Side since the 1940s, a ripple of fear shot through New York. Would the existing vendors continue on in the space at Essex Crossing, a sprawling mixed-use mega development opening across the street? The new Essex Market thankfully debuts today with all 21 existing vendors which span Puebla Mexican, Shopsin's General Store, and Ni Japanese, alongside 17 new vendors, like South Williamsburg favorite, Samesa (their first expansion to Manhattan) and Flower Power, a wonderfully witchy, old-school herb shop in the East Village (the full list of new and old vendors are below). 

Located at 88 Essex St., the beautiful new 37,000-square-foot market (said to be triple the size of the old space) will be home to a total of 39 vendors, as well as two seated restaurants and a demonstration kitchen, where the market hopes to host classes and workshops. 

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#vegan donburi or macro bowl #glutenfree #japanesefood #nijapanese #essexmarket

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Essex Market served as an affordable resource for fresh produce, hard-to-find provisions, as well as providing a rare public space to just sit and eat a packed lunch. In a neighborhood with soaring rents and increasing wage gaps, the Essex Market hopes to remain a valuable service for a diverse set of customers. 

When Time Out reached out to the New York City Economic Development Corporation handling the overhaul about rent figures for the old space versus the new space, they declined to comment about specifics, but said rents would not increase per square foot in the new space, with prices below market-rate. Whether that figure would go up after a certain time remains unclear, but the city will maintain ownership to keep the mission the same.

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Stop by Friday or Saturday or catch us in May in the new @essexmarket #twomoredays

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The new, multi-level space is bright and airy. Instead of hand-painted signs, many are designed with neon and blonde wood interiors, and vendors have more room to play with. Shopsin's, one of the most well-known vendors from the old version of the market, benefits from a sprawling new space with additional seats.

Essex Market hopes to remain a home for artists, even putting out an open-call to design their mural, which is proudly displayed with a 720-square-foot design by children's book illustrator, Aaron Meshon. 

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Introducing...the new Essex Market mural!! 🚨📢💯Earlier this year we published an open call for local artists to submit design proposals for this enormous 720 square foot wall above the new market’s demonstration & teaching kitchen. We received incredible artwork from so many amazing artists — fortunately our partners at @grandstsettlement @aai_nyc @cpc_nyc @nycedc @lowereastnyc and #CommunityBoard3 helped us narrow down to our finalist, NYC-based artist @aaronmeshon! We are thrilled with the clever take on our historic corner building and the detailed representations of all our vendors’ offerings. Huge thanks to everyone involved in completing this public art installation! We’re so excited for you all to see it on May 13th!! 💥💥💥 #grandopening #nychistory #essexmarketnyc #publicmuralproject

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We're happy to see that the bright new space was able to bring along all of the previous vendors who make the space so special alongside some special new food concepts. We hope the more spacious revamped space is an opportunity to give more eyes on smaller vendors, increasing their bottom lines from the undoubtable influx of tourists and newer neighborhood residents. And hopefully, old customers will continue to remain loyal to their favorite vendors for fish, meat, flowers, pantry staples and even barbershop cuts. According to their website, an estimated "740,000 customers will pass through Essex Street Market annually."

The Essex Market will be joined by The Market Line, a bazaar operating under separate management, which will include a restaurant and wine shop from Fabian von Hauske Valtierra and Jeremiah Stone, of the famed Contra. The upstairs will be home to a Regal movie theater and apartments. 

21 Existing Vendors (from the old market location)

  • Formaggio
  • Davidovich Bakery
  • Luna Bros
  • Café D’Avignon
  • Artists Alliance
  • Czars Grooming (barber)
  • Essex Farms
  • Luis Meat
  • New Star Fish
  • Dominican Cravings
  • Puebla Mexican
  • Ni Japanese
  • Top Hops
  • Arancini
  • Nordic Preserves
  • Essex Olive & Spice
  • La Tiendita
  • Porto Rico Imports
  • Peasant Stock
  • Viva
  • Shopsins

17 New Vendors (one more vendor is to be announced)

  • Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
  • Heros and Villains
  • Flower Power Herbs and Roots
  • Eats Khao Man Gai
  • Saffron
  • Josephine’s Feast
  • Roni-Sue Chocolate
  • Don Ceviche
  • Samesa
  • Essex Shambles
  • Riverdel
  • Zerza
  • Mille Nonne
  • Sugar Sweet Sunshine
  • Valley Shephard
  • Essex Market Gift Shop

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