Month-long Marketplace Blooms in Madison Square

Madison Square Eats features the styles and flavors of restaurateurs and craftsman with a New York twist.
By Bryanna Hampton


Consumers fill Worth Square for Madison Square Eats. (Photo by Bryanna Hampton)

MANHATTAN – Amid the shouting of horns and racing pulse of Manhattan, the corner of Fifth Avenue and 25th beats with the sensate known as Madison Square Eats.

In the latest revitalization effort from Urban Space, Madison Square Eats features area specialty shops and restaurants. The outdoor marketplace opened May 6 in Worth Square adjacent to Madison Square Park in the Flatiron District and will continue through June 3. These makeshift stands provide an extension to fixed shops and a new home for online-based companies such as Engage Green.

“Markets and craft shows like this help spread our idea,” said Engage Green owner Leonor Mendoza, “Not to just people in New York, but also tourists.”

Nearly 30 participating businesses participate the full 11 a.m.-9 p.m. market day.

“It’s definitely an endurance challenge,” said Andy Laird, co-founder of Nunu Chocolates in Brooklyn. Laird has been covering the full-day shift.

“There are a lot of people to serve, but that’s part of what makes it go by really quick and is a lot of fun, too,” he said.

Madison Square Eats is produced by Urban Space, an organization aimed at developing specialty retail markets. Laird says Nunu

Engage Green owner Leonor Mendoza, right, shares the company's background with a customer. (Photo by Bryanna Hampton)

Chocolates participates in similar markets organized by Urban Space throughout the year at different Manhattan locations.

The Madison Square location provides a tough-to-miss stop for tourists, students, residents and employees looking for a quick lunch break. Umbrellas shade tables filled with consumers like Meredith Carroll and Lesley Pringle, who scored prized seats in the midday rush.

“This food is really good and really fresh,” said Pringle, visiting from New Jersey. Carroll and Pringle both visited Piccolo Café’s stand for a quick – and relatively inexpensive – lunch for $8 each.

“Everyone’s in a good mood because it’s spring,” said Laird during a recent day when rain fell intermittently. “There’s such great food and good camaraderie with all the different vendors.”

See a complete list of participating businesses at the event’s web page.

Reporter Bryanna Hampton can be reached at bryannahampton@gmail.com.

Meredith Carroll, left, and Lesley Pringle enjoy their eats from the Piccolo Cafe. (Photo by Bryanna Hampton)

Click here to see another side of the story:

Listen for more about Madison Square Eats from Liz Rees of Urban Space Management:

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