Eastern Market to host a night market during the NFL Draft

Posted at 5:42 PM, Apr 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-17 17:53:55-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Only 8 days remain until the NFL Draft touches down in Detroit.

In an effort to give visitors an authentic taste of Detroit, Eastern Market will be hosting a night market on Friday, April 26th.

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"I don’t think a lot of people realize but we are within walking distance to downtown and we have a lot of unique family-owned businesses operating here in Eastern Market, food businesses, general retail businesses. There's a really unique feel to the neighborhood that we want to show off," said Katy Trudeau Eastern Market Partnership.

The night market will be held from 5 pm to 8 pm and feature dozens of vendors in Sheds 3 and 4. There will also be music and entertainment under Shed 2. Additionally, The Metro Black Business Alliance will host their "BLK Market" where visitors can buy food and goods and hear live music. That will be in Shed 5.

Eastern Market will continue its regular Saturday Market on April 27th featuring over 150 businesses and 200 market vendors. That will take place from 6 am to 4 pm.

Businesses stationed in Eastern Market are preparing for the influx of crowds.

"We’re loading up on beer, loading up on food, we’re loading up on employees. If you're looking for a job come to Bert's," said Rolanda Hudson who is the operations manager at Bert's Marketplace.

Bert's has been in operation for more than 50 years. The business has been in Eastern Market for the last 35 years. Hudson says it's a staple destination on Saturdays and during the Detroit Lions season.

"This place is packed. The inside is packed. The outside is packed. We got the jazz side. We got the Motown side, we got the grill going, we got ballroom dancing going," Hudson described.

Hudson says Bert's will be offering drink specials and they're ordering several different kinds of beer to offer during the draft.

Vintage Eastern Market, which has been in the area for a little more than 40 years, says they're open late Friday night to coincide with the night market.

"I didn’t think I'd ever say it but Detroit has become kind of a touristy city and to capitalize on those tourist dollars is crucial," said Martin Nickens who is the owner of Vintage Eastern Market.

Nickens says the vintage shop is made up of 27 small businesses that operate and sell under the storefront. Nickens says customers will be able to find plenty of Lions gear up for grabs as well as just about any trinket you can think of.

"What does it look like in here on a typical Saturday? Bananas! It’s a lot of people. We usually serve during peak season somewhere between 1500 and 2500 people a day," Nickens described. "It is a great representation of market culture in Detroit and it mirrors a lot of European cities."

During the draft, the shop also plans to offer 10% discounts on everything inside.

Nickens says he’s hopeful the draft will not only be a boost to local businesses but a better look into what the city has to offer.

"There's a misconception that going into Detroit is somehow wandering into a more crime-ridden area. I think folks are going to be surprised to find that Detroit is really a family-friendly place that you go and experience the big city culture even if you just live in the suburbs," said Nickens.

More information on the businesses located in Eastern Market and the draft weekend schedule can be found here.