Vendy Plaza food truck and open-air marketplace returns

Harlem will see a tasty revival of La Marqueta this spring and summer.

Vendy Plaza, a collaborative project launched last year by the Vendy Awards, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, returns this season on May 17 and will run every Sunday from 12 – 6 p.m. through September 9.

The food truck market and open-air marketplace will feature between 25 and 30 food vendors each week, said manager Cesar Fuentes. The lineup is still being finalized.

“It’s a very exciting project,” said Fuentes. “We will have seasoned vendors and smaller vendors.”

Fuentes is best known for his work in his previous role as the manager for 15 years of the Red Hook Food Vendors marketplace.

Fuentes says he sees Vendy Plaza’s role as two-fold: it will be a place to get tasty street food but it will also be an “incubator.”

“We want to do a talent search… for those smaller vendors that have great food but they don’t have a way to get into the major markets like Smorgasburg,” he said. “We want to find the local vendor who people may not know much about, that’s my mission, to guide the vendors.”

The Vendy Plaza initiative is part of La Marqueta Retona, launched by Mark-Viverito last year to revitalize the historic Harlem landmark.

Fuentes said Vendy Plaza will also eventually include a beer garden, once the proper permits have been obtained.

Vendy Plaza has a soft-opening on May 17 in collaboration with the Harlem EatUp! Festival and will have a grand opening on May 24. Vendy Plaza at La Marqueta is located at 1590 Park Ave., under the Metro-North tracks.

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