Night Market Comes to Monterey Park

626 Night Market on Labor Day 2013
626 Night Market on Labor Day 2013
Bryan Cole

The city of Monterey Park has approved the Southland's first long-term, city-sponsored night market. KCM Agency, the event production and marketing force behind Kollaboration and K-town Night Market, has signed an agreement to host a six-hour public nighttime soiree at Barnes Park one Friday night each month.

In conjunction with the Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce, KCM also plans to operate the first public beer and wine garden in Monterey Park, with 3 percent of its profits going to the Monterey Park American Legion Post.

For the first event, on July 25, the organizers hope to present 15 to 25 food trucks and food booths. Five thousand attendees are expected to sample the semi-exotic Chinese and Vietnamese food, as well as food from other regions. Also, music programming is set to liven up the park's amphitheatre, where the beer garden will be located.

During the city hearings, Mayor Anthony Wong told the Chamber he has been desperately trying to provide some form of consistent night life for the residents. No doubt the locals are happy to have the opportunity to finally consume alcohol publicly, and hopefully everyone will be able to munch mystery offal on sticks in the style of Taiwan's popular ye shi.

Matthew Hui of Fluff Ice, which opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in Monterey Park, plans to participate and is highly supportive of the local night market. He's especially excited by the prospect of seeing more local vendors showcasing the city's Asian culinary highlights.

David Ko at De Cafe Baristas, Monterey Park's only craft coffee bar, has yet to be contacted by KCM or the city's Chamber of Commerce. But the cafe is, of course, very keen on any event bringing foot traffic to its neighborhood.

Unique to this particular Asian street market, beyond the ubiquitous stinky tofu fry-up, the spiraling fried-potato tornadoes, the lamb skewers and the boba milk tea, is the existence of an accompanying 2-year-old certified farmers market, which runs midway through the street festival. 

The first MPK Night Market will be on July 25, from 5 11 p.m. Admission to the market will be free; entrance fee to the concert, and the attached beer garden, is to be announced. No matter what, there will at least be plentiful, free parking.

(Editor's note: This post has had minor changes made to it since initial publication.)

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