Fourteen Ways to Kick Off Night Market Cleveland 2017
Written By Rachel Hunt
Say hi to our new vendors
There are exciting new names joining us for our June event, including Lakewood Japanese gastro pub, izakaya-inspired Yuzu. They’re the masterminds behind wacky events like “The Great Catsby Dinner Party” and “Namaste and Rose”. Dave Bumba says that they’ll be dishing up their signature Korean beef bowl including bulgogi-style ground beef, seasoned with brown sugar, ginger root, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and green onion, topped by a Gochujang-based sriracha. “Our eccentric event ideas come from a variety of sources,” Bumba comments, “—and a lot of late night brainstorming with an adult beverage or two.”
Also new to NMCLE is XINJI: Noodle Bar whose delicious ramen and rice bowls we had the chance to sample during a pop-up event at Momocho. Shuxin Liu isn’t playing around with his noodle; he’s using it to bring another type of cuisine to the Lorain Avenue corridor this summer.
Play dress up
Oh La La, a Korean clothing boutique will set up shop for the first time at NMCLE while Cleveland centric clothing companies like Ape Made and So CLE Tees return. Tidal Cool, who specialize in custom temporary henna tattoos, men and women’s clothing, as well as resort wear, will be there to kick off the summer months in style.
Enter an eating competition with yourself
By far one of the most notable parts of any Night Market is the FOOD. We boast some of the best options in the city from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indian, Filipino and many other Asian and Pacific Islander infused eateries. AsiaTown staples like Siam Café, Li Wah, Emperor’s Palace, and Asia Food Co. return, as well as Indian Delight, Chapati, Thai Thai, Ice or Rice and many more. We bet you can’t eat your way through all 30 food vendors, but it won’t stop you from trying!
Get illuminated with creative libations
Fresh Brewed Teas and Watershed Distillery are completely revolutionizing our bar this summer! The counter has gotten a makeover with brand new drinks paired to go with the updated ambiance. Guaranteed to light up your night and put a smile on your face, Fresh Brewed Teas will be serving up innovative drunken boba in a light bulb shaped cup to match NMCLE’s motto. The alcohol infused teas are paired with colorful balls filled with passion fruit or strawberry juice among a variety of delicious flavors.
Ca phe “ta-da”, a traditional Vietnamese beverage with Watershed bourbon, coldbrew coffee and sweetened condensed milk, built up in layers will make its debut along with the Market Mango Mule, a fruity twist on a classic cocktail. Also mixing it up is our “Sake-To-Me” drink made with Watershed Four Peel Gin, Pope’s lemon-lavender simple syrup, and sparkling sake. The Dragon’s Tongue, a crowd favorite from years past returns with Watershed Bourbon Barrel Gin and Pope’s orange-habanero syrup flavoring its distinct taste profile.
Discover a new dance
The regal Japanese Sho-Jo-Ji dancers are back and this time they’ll be teaching the audience how to do it too. Once referred to as “little ambassadors from Japan” by the Cleveland Press, Beverly Kerecman, their co-director, has been performing the traditional costumed dances with her family since she was a first-generation daughter to immigrants from Japan. Catch them at 6:00 p.m. on the main stage and then meet them in person as they teach in our interactive performance area, weather permitting, after the show to learn a routine for yourself. For more information, visit www.jaclcleveland.org to keep up to date with Japanese community events.
Meet our spirit animal, Winston the therapy chicken
Free Range Skin Care is bringing their therapy rooster, Winston, out from the farm to say hello! This feathered little guy is super friendly as far as cocks go and the eggs his female friends lay are a key ingredient in the handcrafted skincare products his owner sells. It also happens to be The Year of the Rooster so look out for plaster molds cast in Winston’s likeness around St. Clair- Superior, painted by local artists and sponsored by area organizations.
Walk to the beat of a different drum
Yume Daiko performs at 7:00 p.m. on the main stage with twelve drummers in tow! Get ready for a loud, full throttle concert from Ryu No Sakebi’s Matthew Richards and company. Taiko is a type of traditional Japanese drumming based around rhythms and instrumentation using wadaiko drums. Richards taught and performed during the fifteen years he lived in Yasu, Japan. Once back in Cleveland, he wanted to continue to perform with others, including his wife and children. After the show, hear them explain the history and movements behind Taiko drumming during an interactive presentation at the intersection of Rockwell and E 21st Street, weather permitting.
Be surprised as dragons come to life
Tim Willis has been designing monster trucks and movable sculptures for practically his entire life. The self taught mechanic and engineer saved up thousands of dollars working at monster jams with his own creations, which he has reinvested into more than 19 larger than life creations that you can see at local festivals or prominently displayed on his front lawn. Don’t be fooled! One of Willis’ favorite tricks is surprising people by controlling his invention with a controller from feet away.
Delve into a tasty dessert
Whether doughnuts, chocolates, or ice cream is your thing, we’ve got you covered:
Fear’s Confections, Mason’s Creamery, The Vegan Doughnut Company and Whisk Me Away Bakery are just a few of the businesses making an offering to your sweet tooth on Friday.
Take a #selfie with new friends
With over 15,000 people expected to be in attendance for our first event of the season, there will be no end to the new faces you’ll see and people you’ll meet (even Tom Hanks dropped by last year)! Wander over to the Night Market Cleveland booth and grab a tee shirt or pin to show some love then strike a pose next to our illuminated Night Market sign, specially fabricated by designer Adam Groober. Don’t forget to add us on Instagram @nightmrktcle and use our hashtags #nightmarket and #nightmarketcle so we can take a look at the memories you make.
Learn more about Common Ground hosted by The Cleveland Foundation
On Sunday, July 30th thousands of people from Cuyahoga County will come together on Public Square to connect, communicate, and celebrate! Designed to be an open dialogue between activists, organizers, and community members, what happens next will be up to you. Check out their website to register or gather more information from one of our sponsors in person at Night Market!
Hear new local bands and DJ’s before anyone else
Toma Doe, a new Cleveland-based indie rock trio comprised totally of WOC, will start our contemporary programming on the main stage. Their music is punctuated by math rock guitar chords and vocal melodies inspired by South Indian carnatic music. They’ll start at 8:00 p.m. followed by Uptowne Buddha, parts brass band and jazz jam band, they’ll get you moving with their diverse melting pot of neo-soul and emerging sounds from the future.
Then at 9 p.m., a special homecoming performance by Fake Species whose members are spread far and wide this summer, with a Los Angeles native and a new NOLA transplant in the mix. Fake Species played our stage back in 2015 where they met Jim Wirt, a local producer who has worked on albums for Fiona Apple and Incubus. Crushtone, his co-owned recording studio is located just blocks away from Rockwell. It’s where Fake Species recorded their brand new songs.
Last but not least, our “resident” DJ p.stoops helps us go out in style with a set of his favorite bangers that will not disappoint. New hip hop, R&B, and world tunes are sure to make it into the mix. He’ll close out the evening from 10 – 11 p.m.
Go with the flow
Caught in the crosshairs of E 21st and Rockwell Ave. the Night Market crowd can sometimes be the determining factor as to which way to go. Let them gently push you towards your next adventure…
Keep the party going!
It’s not a secret any longer; AsiaTown really does come to life at night! At Galaxy KTV (1593 E 30th St, 216-203-2222) you can rent a themed room to sing karaoke with your closest friends in a luxurious setting, or visit a more traditional dive at Bo Loong (3922 St. Clair Ave NE, 216-391-3113) where you’ll perform in front of a big screen for a dining room full of customers.
And don’t forget—Night Market favorites take part in our AsiaTown Food Tours on the second Wednesday of each month. Visit our website to sign up for the July tour where you’ll take the Westside Shuffle to four brick and mortars, learning a lot about the neighborhood on the way!