Cleveland has its farmers markets, its flea markets and now, thanks to the efforts of the St. Clair Superior Development Corporation, its own Night Markets on Thursday nights from 5:00-10:00 p.m. throughout July and August.
Known in Asia as “Ghost Markets”, these open-air, outdoor markets were illegal when they surfaced in Shanghai, Hong Kong and elsewhere throughout Asia. Hidden by the darkness of night, vendors would sell everything from fish, to jade and ladies’ and men’s goods. Customers would haggle over pricing on items, even those that fell off the back of trucks.
According to St. Clair Superior’s Executive Director Michael Fleming, the July markets at Tyler Village will build on the Night Market’s history while taking on a uniquely Cleveland twist. Stephanie Sheldon, founder of The Cleveland Flea, will bring a spice market. Bands will be on hand as will Tyler Village tenants including Indigo Imp Brewery and Gotta Groove.
“Our goal is to do something throughout the year to honor the heritage of Asia Town,” Fleming admits. “Summer is the time for these markets. It should be hot out. When the sun goes down, it makes sense to go outside.”
While the Night Markets will happen at Tyler Village in July, the program is a collaborative venture with the Campus District Development Corporation and may relocate to Rockwell, the Old Chinatown, in August.
The Tyler Village Night Market will happen on the street. “This is a very linear experience,” Fleming explains. “There’s something very symbolic about the fact that Tyler’s gates mimic the gates that open to many Asian neighborhoods.”