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Night Market is No More in Harvard Square

Night Market Closing
Night Market, a street food restaurant on Winthrop Street, closed earlier this month.

Night Market, a Harvard Square eatery offering a variety of street food-inspired Asian dishes, closed its doors on April 19.

Night Market’s departure marks the latest store to leave the Square, following a string of closings including Crema Cafe, Chipotle, and LF among others in recent months. Several stores have been forced to vacate after their buildings were sold to new owners, while others have struggled with attracting customers in an age of online shopping.

Denise Jillson, the executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, said that Night Market had trouble drawing patrons in recent months, and cited broader trends in the restaurant industry.

“[The closing] probably has a lot to do with not having enough customers. That’s just the beginning and end of many stories in the world of restaurants these days. It’s a very competitive market,” Jillson said.

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Night Market was located in an underground space that opened onto Winthrop Street just off of JFK Street, one of the Square’s more heavily-trafficked routes.

Jillson noted that Night Market’s location was likely a factor in its decision to close.

“When you’re in a location like they are, which is a little bit outside of the heart of the Square, and there’s not a lot of signage... it makes it even more challenging,” she said.

Jillson added that Night Market’s managers had worked hard to draw customers even as they faced financial challenges.

“They did as much as they possibly could do. They tried very hard to increase their visibility and try exciting menus,” she said. “Sometimes it’s just not enough.”

Former Night Market employees did not respond to requests for comment, and the space already appears to have been vacated.

Avital Romoff ’20 said she was disappointed that she never had the opportunity to dine on Night Market’s street-inspired Asian fare.

“I was pretty upset because I had actually never gone to Night Market,” Romoff said. “A few of my friends told me it was one of the few places in the Square they really recommended. The day we were supposed to go I found out it had closed down.”

In a note on Night Market’s website, the Duck and Chicken Restaurant Group — which owned Night Market — encouraged patrons to visit the Parsnip Restaurant, its other establishment in the Square.

— Staff writer Ellen M. Burstein can be reached at ellen.burstein@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @ellenburstein.

— Staff writer Sydnie M. Cobb can be reached at sydnie.cobb@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @cobbsydnie.

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