For first time, Fishtown to host Night Market

Beer, baked goods and other treats hit Fishtown’s streets to end the fifth season of Night Market.

Ramona Susan’s Bake Shop co-owner Betty Halpenny stands inside her store, which is participating in the Fishtown Night Market that will close the season Oct. 1. | Michael Sottile TTN
Ramona Susan’s Bake Shop co-owner Betty Halpenny stands inside her store, which is participating in the Fishtown Night Market that will close the season Oct. 1. | Michael Sottile TTN

The night of Oct. 1 will be an evening to eat, drink and stroll through the heart of Fishtown.

Nonprofit organization The Food Trust will end its fifth annual season of Night Market by bringing the street festival to Fishtown for the first time. Local businesses, live music and food trucks will take over Frankford Avenue between Girard and Columbia.

“At first glance when you look at the Night Market, it’s a food truck festival,” said Diana Minkus, Night Market manager at the Food Trust. “Food trucks are a big part of it, but it’s about food entrepreneurs across the board.”

The food, drink and live entertainment is anticipated to draw more than 25,000 people to Thursday’s grand finale in Fishtown, Minkus said.

“Once you pop open that window, it’s four hours non-stop,” said food truck owner Marti Lieberman, 26. “When someone asks me what it’s like, I say that you have to work it or you don’t know. It’s high-intensity and fast. You definitely see a change at around 8:30—the people that come to the window, they get a little tipsier with every customer.”

Lieberman founded mac ‘n’ cheese food truck Mac Mart in 2013. Her truck resembles Barbie’s vision of a restaurant on wheels—it’s bright pink and features a cartoon blonde woman in a black dress and bright green apron.

“It’s kind of like the ice cream shop of mac ‘n’ cheese,” Lieberman said.

Though Lieberman and the Mac Mart are veterans of the Night Market, she will not attend Fishtown on Thursday due to a previous catering commitment.

“I think the most positive part about [Night Market] is the amount of local participation we have,” Minkus said. “My favorite piece is our ability to highlight an amazing neighborhood in ways that you may not normally be able to experience it.”

Minkus said she would patrol neighborhoods slated for Night Market locations to scout local businesses and vendors to participate in the event.

Ramona Susan’s Bake Shop at 1255 Marlborough St. opened in July. The owners, two pastry chefs who met in 2011 while working together at Flying Monkey Bakery in Reading Terminal Market, will participate in the Night Market.

“Collectively, we’ve been baking for over 13 years,” said co-owner and baker Elly Koenig. “We were done with not being our own bosses. We needed each other to [open the shop].”

“This event is really important for us to get our name out, which is why we’re going to throw everything in that we can,” said co-owner and baker Betty Halpenny. “Both of us work other jobs right now to keep everything afloat.”

Koenig and Halpenny are on neighborly terms with some of their regular customers, interacting with them in the shop itself and through their delivery service, which operates through GrubHub. This includes taking requests for new baked goods to feature in the shop.

“Fishtown people love butter cake,” said Halpenny.

Ramona Susan’s offerings at the Night Market will include bags of cookies, brownies and the debut of a pumpkin cupcake with honey whiskey cream cheese icing.

“[The icing] is Elly’s favorite,” said Halpenny. “She fought me for it.”

The Fishtown Night Market will run Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is free.

Madeline Presland can be reached at

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.