First Impressions of the New Essex Market, Now Open on the Lower East Side [PHOTOS]
Seventy-nine years after its founding, the next generation Essex Street Market officially launched yesterday morning in the base of The Essex, with much pomp and circumstance. Politicians, ribbon cutting, the works. But it actually soft-opened over the weekend. We took a walk through and recorded our first impressions, posted here in no particular order.
Everything is big. Bigger market space, bigger signage, bigger vendor quarters.
Vendors are no longer tucked into cramped stalls, and customers can more easily shop the aisles. However, it does channel that midtown food hall vibe a bit, so definitely brace for the potential crowding on weekends.
Luis Meat Market, the old-school Market tenant since 1997, leased a huge footprint with a neverending display case of meats.
Shopsin’s General Store carved out an attractive mini diner that appears more accommodating (and comfortable) than the predecessor, which was basically dining in a doorway.
Where the original row of warehouse buildings felt cozy and community-driven, albeit rough around the edges, the high ceilings and luster make the reboot feel a bit intimidating and catered toward outside clientele.
Design is impressive, with its exposed infrastructure and throwbacks to the original. Including the original neons from the 1930s.
The mezzanine seating area provides a sequestered perch for people watching. And a sobering view of the burned-out Beth Hamedrash Hagadol across the street.