After a short hiatus, First Friday Night Market has returned home.
First Friday Night Market is a monthly vegan market featuring local vendors offering food, desserts, drinks and goods, as well as a beer garden and live music. Debuting in July 2018, it began as a partnership with North Park eatery Anthem Vegan; nonprofit Vegan in San Diego; and the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association.
The free event has been held the first Friday of every month in North Park at the parking lot of Anthem Vegan on El Cajon Blvd. But then Anthem unexpectedly shut its doors on March 31 — leaving the market without a home. (In mid-April, Anthem reopened nearby inside North Park bar Toronado. However, it no longer has a parking lot.)
Once Anthem’s move was announced, the market’s April 5 event was rescheduled for April 19 at a temporary location, The Dojo Café in City Heights. However, no event was held in May, making the future of the market unclear.
In comes The Village, a vegan restaurant concept that will take over Anthem’s closed storefront. Not much information is currently available about the soon-to-be North Park eatery, but The Village’s Instagram describes it as “Mexican food, sushi bar and Natural Delights Café all in one spot!”
The Village will be the second location of Natural Delights Café, a plant-based juice bar in Rancho San Diego. Though Anthem’s replacement is under construction and not slated to open until mid-summer, The Village will begin to host the First Friday Night Market, alongside Vegan in San Diego, starting June 7.
Just like previous events, the market highlights all-things-vegan to celebrate and promote the local vegan lifestyle. This month features 11 vendors including Harmless Eats, By Rosaline, Jai Fusion, StoneMonkey, Lady G’s Canteen, FaVe Tacos, Soul Baked, Mia Sorella, The Big Squeeze, Farm Animal Refuge, and Kelly’s Croutons.
There is no beer garden for the relaunch, but the market hopes to bring it back in July to celebrate its one-year anniversary. And in lieu of a DJ, the crowd will score the evening with a playlist of ‘90s-themed songs, collected from community requests on Facebook.
Guests are asked to bring reusable straws, utensils and containers for to-go orders on June 7. Street parking is available in the surrounding neighborhood, but carpooling, ridesharing and bike riding are encouraged.
First Friday Night Market
When: 6-10 p.m., first Friday of the month
Where: 2611 El Cajon Blvd., North Park