The long-awaited Market Line has officially opened, adding 31 new vendors to Essex Market for a total of 71. With new booths from LES legends like Nom Wah, The Pickle Guys and Essex Pearl, this is now the largest market in New York, on par with enormous ones around the world. What’s more, about 50 percent of the vendors come from the Lower East Side, and only two are from outside New York. There aren’t any chains, and just under 80 percent of the stores are immigrant-, woman- or minority-owned businesses.
To celebrate the opening of these new chomping grounds, we’ve put together a roundup of the current vendors, from newfound startups to 100-year-old institutions.
The Pickle Guys
Continuing a Lower East Side tradition that dates back as far as 1910, The Pickle Guys is the last shop on Essex Street that cures its pickles in a barrel with old fashioned, Jewish techniques. William Soo, an owner, was born and raised in the LES before working at the legendary Guss’ Pickles. “If you grew up down here, whether you’re Jewish or not Jewish, you always remember walking down Essex Street; you had that smell of pickle juice and the barrels outside,” he said. Soo, along with co-owners Mike Chu and Alan Kaufman, will use their new location at Market Line as a creative test kitchen and will have jars on display so customers can see the entire pickling process for themselves.
By forging and maintaining direct relationships with fishmongers from their childhood, the founders of Essex Pearl are able to provide extremely fresh seafood, oftentimes in less than 24 hours from catch. The new location in the Market Line will be half seafood market, half restaurant, both with a focus on seasonality. Stephen Wong, who founded the market with his brother Freeman Wong, said a big goal for the new shop is to service the diverse LES community with exotic fish from around the world. “We want to bring in flavors that New Yorkers haven’t tasted before,” he said. “We want to bring the culture of everywhere around the world into New York City.”
The Tenement Museum
The Tenement Museum, started in 1988, is a local museum that tells the stories of the immigrant experience in New York. David Eng, chief marketing and communications officer for the museum, said it was a total surprise when the Market Line reached out to them. “I think they’re intent was always to connect the Market Line more closely to the neighborhood and the history of the neighborhood,” Eng said. The museum will have a permanent exhibit showcasing the history of immigrants and their food through objects and the museum’s digital storytelling platform, “Your Story Our Story.”
Ends Meat is a butcher shop based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, specializing in dry cured meats inspired by traditional European techniques. Owner John Ratliff has a love for old-world, fermented meats. He said he originally didn’t think he would fit in with Essex Market, but now he’s eager to bring salami, pancetta, dry-aged meats, freshly baked sourdough and much more to the LES.
Founded in 2011, this creamery brings their specialized, hand-crafted scoops to the market. Originally from Brooklyn, Ample Hills currently has 13 New York locations, including three seasonal ones. This location will have a shop-specific flavor that honors the history and flavor of the LES community.
Ippudo’s Kuro Obi is a quick-service ramen bar. The “tori paitan,” or chicken-based broth, is a Kuro Obi exclusive.
Starting in Greenpoint, then expanding throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, Cafe Grumpy has roasted their coffee in-house since 2009. Their location in the Market Line will host coffee brewing demos, classes and tastings to fully embrace the market vibe. “Our goal is to share our coffee with as many people as we can and make sure that if you come in grumpy, you leave happy,” said owners Caroline Bell and Chris Timbrell.
After concocting doughnuts based on his grandfather’s recipes each night in his Lower East Side apartment for delivery the next morning, Mark Isreal opened his first doughnut shop on Grand Street in 2000. Now the eggless doughnuts with handmade jams and toppings will have a subterranean store in the Market Line.
Twelve years ago, Feranando Ruiz decided NYC deserved an authentic Mexican tortilleria, so he opened Tortilleria Nixtamal. They use sustainable and quality ingredients to hand-make a simple, natural and delicious tortillas. Their location in Market Line will also serve Mexican food and specialties.
A 13th generation mushroom farmer, Tero Isokauppila founded Four Sigmatic, a company that sells mushroom-infused products to promote physical and mental health. The location in Market Line, dubbed the Shroom Room, will be Four Sigmatic’s first East Coast dedicated retail location. Staff members will help you create a customized shroom routine with a litany of products to help you live a more balanced life.
The chefs behind The Izakaya and Samurice are now teaming together to create Gouie NY, a sake bar concept that will feature loads of delicious, small-portion food. It will be aimed towards people coming out of dinner looking to drink and snack.
Grand Delancey Beer Hall
A crown jewel of the Market Line, Grand Delancey Beer Hall will focus on a heavy rotation of 50 draft beers. Michael Babin, co-founder and principal of the restaurant group that owns the beer hall, said they will make the extra effort to source the best products for beer “to ensure that they taste exactly as they would if you poured them straight from the tank at the brewery.” Of course, there’s no shortage of food at the Market Line to pair any beer with.
Originally a popup in the Queens Night Market, Nigel Sielegar and Wenny Purnomo created Moon Man as a passion project to provide sweet Indonesian and Southeast Asian snacks from their childhoods. This location will be their first permanent site. “Our hope is for Moon Man to represent simple traditions from Southeast Asia that are so rich in heritage, yet still underrepresented here in the neighborhood, and in New York City in general,” Sielegar said.
The legendary dimsum restaurant that has served the city since 1920 will have another location in the Market Line. The booth on Essex Street will be similar to their current outpost in Nolita, focusing on fast-casual and highlighting their greatest hits, aka dumplings.
Schaller & Weber
Jeremy Schaller is the third-generation owner and president of Schaller & Weber, which has been serving New York City as a butcher shop, deli and charcuterie since 1937. The Market Line will be the first new Schaller & Weber location in 83 years, and will offer meats, German specialty items and a full menu of sausage recipes and German beer.
Peoples Wine Shop and Bar
Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske, owners of Wildair and Contra, will open Peoples Wine Shop and Bar. The casual drop-in space will offer affordable, by-the-glass selections while continuing the food and wine philosophies of Wildair.
This will be the second location of the 18-year-old LES/Chinatown gem serving delicious and hearty Vietnamese soup. Look for it as a cheaper dining option that’s known for its modern interpretation of classic Vietnamese dishes.
Michael Petrovich grew up in the Lower East Side and created Que Chevere to honor his Puerto Rican family and heritage. “It’s very impactful to be able to help bring back Puerto Rican food to the LES in a place that is so near and dear to my heart,” Petrovich said. The shop will offer authentic dishes like pernil con arroz y gandules, and will donate a portion of all proceeds to Autism Speaks.
Rebecca’s Cake Pops
Rebecca Clavecilla-Eng made her first cake pop in 2012. After beginning as a hobby and an experiment in the kitchen, her adorable desserts gained popularity and her small business has been launched into local stardom.
For 65 years, Veselka has served the East Village with authentic Ukrainian food. Originally a candy store, it has evolved into an eatery that is famous for foods such as borscht, pierogi and potato pancakes. Owner Jason Birchard said the LES location will be a mini version of what they do on 9th Street, and the look will be very reminiscent of the original restaurant.
Rustic Table Shuk
Rustic Table Shuk will be the second collaboration for Jordan Hadani and Guy Weizmann. Together they founded Rustic Table, a Hell’s Kitchen eatery and bar that serves Mediterranean food made with fresh produce and ingredients. The new location will offer market-style Mediterranean street food.
Kevin Liang is the second-generation owner of S.E.A. Market, a Southeast Asian marketplace acting as a distributor providing over 2,000 Asian products to chefs and stores throughout the city. Its first retail store, in the Market Line, is just blocks away from the grocery store Kevin’s parents owned in Chinatown.
Substance Vitality Bar
Owner Mazen Karnaby uses Substance to educate New Yorkers about how certain ingredients affect their bodies. The shop serves juices, smoothies and bowls, all nutritionally calculated to make each customer feel better and healthier.