Office workers on the west side of Midtown Manhattan have reason to be excited: every day for the next two months Broadway Bites will be open in Greeley Square Park, just south of Herald Square, from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
The pop-up food market is presented by UrbanSpace, an organization that turns open spaces into vibrant and active places for people to come together. UrbanSpace also puts on Madison Square Eats and the Union Square and Columbus Circle holiday markets.
"We put our pop-up markets in highly trafficked areas where there are tons of people, but don't have this mass of creativity," said Creative Director Heather Sperling.
And the people seem to like it. On opening day on Tuesday, there were lines at nearly every vendor's stall.
UrbanSpace rents the public spaces from the Parks Department, and then charges market vendors a fee. Madison Square Eats just had its fifth season in May, and Broadway Bites is in its second year and will be set up through August 1. Each year, the line-up of vendors changes, and UrbanSpace has seen growing interest with each year. For Madison Square Eats there were approximately 100 vendor applications and for Broadway Bites, there were about 60. Only 30 or so stalls are available at each site.
[The goal is] "to create venues for amazing innovative small businesses to engage with the public in a new way," saud Sperling. "We also think of it as a launchpad for small businesses."
Indeed, some of the vendors at Broadway Bites are well-known, like Roberta's and Red Hook Lobster Pound, others are brand new concepts being tested by chefs who don't have brick and mortar restaurants.
Choosing vendors is "like a puzzle," says Sperling. A variety of restaurant concepts is important.
- Mayhem & Stout
- Breads Bakery (new this year)
- Brooklyn Taco (new this year)
- Mason Jar NYC
- Bangkok Bar (new this year)
- Arancini Bros.
- Mighty Balls
- Two Tablespoons
- La Newyorkina (new this year)
UrbanSpace was founded in London in 1970 and has been working in New York City since 1994. They were behind the now closed DeKalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn, which used shipping containers as stalls for food and craft vendors, and have three more markets in development.
Thanks to a new partnership with the Garment District, two markets will pop up in the area, including another food market and a fashion and design market, both in the fall. Locations are TBD. A permanent food market is also in the works and will be located at 230 Park Ave., between 45th Street and Vanderbilt. That new market is expected to open in February 2015.
Some vendors sell beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages. To see a full list of food vendors, visit the Broadway Bites website.