Essex Market Shut Down for Private Maker’s Mark Event, Leaving Locals Confused [Updated]

Posted on: October 11th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

The following guest post was written by Joshua Cohen, a Lower East Side resident and patron of Essex Market.

I think the Essex Market, generally speaking, has been a great model for public-private partnerships.

But last night, the Market hosted a private event for Maker’s Mark whiskey, where the local community’s interested were certainly not considered.

The Market was shut down at 6pm, precisely the peak of afterwork shopping hours. Parts of the Market were roped off, but there was no one there to explain what was going on. No posted signs, no security, no market personnel to inform neighbors about why they were unable to get their dinner. There were dozens of confused customers who had no idea what was going on.

I asked someone who looked like they were in charge what was happening. Turned out to be an employee of Maker’s Mark, and their only response was to “get out of here” and “get out of my face.” The individual then put their hands on me to physically move me out of the way.

The Economic Development Corp., which operates the Essex Market, should do a better job communicating corporate closures to the public. But more importantly, set guidelines about how private event organizers interact with everyday patrons.

This should spark a conversation about whether it’s really appropriate for publicly funded spaces like Essex Market to be closed down for these type of corporate events.

A spokesperson from EDC responded to the allegations with the following:

There was signage posted throughout the market, ample security, and posts about the event (which was open to anyone) on our social media and within some other media outlets. Furthermore, vendors who had interest were all incorporated into the event and received payment for their services.

Recent Stories

Samesa is the First Vendor Casualty in the New Essex Market

Open only six months, the first vendor of the new Essex Market has gone belly up. Not one of the long-timers, though. Samesa ended its brief run earlier this month. Established by brothers Max and Eli Sussman in 2016, Samesa first announced its Lower East Side grab-and-go stall one year ago. The Middle Eastern restaurant […]

‘GoNightclubbing’ with Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong at The 72 Gallery [INTERVIEW]

Thirty-nine years ago, a new nightclub called Danceteria featured a video installation which recreating a suburban living room. The twist was that the giant old-school TV, housed in a mid-century wood cabinet, wasn’t playing reruns of I Love Lucy. Instead, there was a live feed of bands such as Iggy Pop, The Dead Boys, and […]

Market Line Debuts Beneath Essex Market this Friday

Come Friday, Essex Crossing hits another goal. Debut of the Market Line. There have been no official communications about the launch, but this date is two days later than participating vendors had previously communicated. (And a full season later than publicized at the Market itself.) Once fully operational, the Market Line is to occupy 150,000 […]

LES Synagogue Pursues Removal of Deed Restriction to Redevelop for Residential

As reported last month, the Lutowisker Synagogue on the eastern fringe of Delancey Street is headed toward redevelopment. The congregation, which owns the building and has been present on the Lower East Side since 1877, hopes to construct housing atop its house of worship. The proposal as it stands is to expand the building at […]

Famous Hakki Opens ‘Cluck’s’ Fried Chicken Spot on Essex Street

Famous pizza maker Hakki Akdeniz just unveiled his latest fast food concept. It’s chicken-focused fast food and seems poised to collect plenty of cash from weekend revelers in Hell Square. Cluck’s debuted last week at 115 Essex Street, mere steps from Hakki’s Champion Pizza. The signature menu offering here is the “chicken cone,” which is […]