The Kingston Night Market (KNM) is the go-to weekly pop-up expo if you’re in the corporate area on a Tuesday night. Held at 8 Hillcrest Avenue right off Hope Road, the same location as popular socialite restaurant Fromage. Starting at 5 p.m. and closing at 11 in the night, the courtyard comes alive with performances from upcoming musicians and bands.
A fun evening of entertainment awaits you at KNM. Patrons can enjoy a drink while taking in the melodious harmonies of the plethora of singers or bands who grace the weekly event. Or perhaps the acoustic renditions of some timeless reggae classics. The main pull of the market, however, is the courtyard booths with an extensive range of attractions on offer. From the best boutique handcrafted jewelry and accessory stores to fine art to the latest in Jamaican fashion trends. A wide variety is on display and available for purchase at the Night Market.
One can browse through the shops, have a little chat with the vendors about the creative process and the pieces they have on offer in a very laid back environment. Kingston Night Market creates a very informal customer-centric yet relaxed atmosphere where patrons can interact with the products and vendors without feeling pressured or bullied into buying.
A recent visit of mine to a staging of the Night Market brought me some wonderful new experiences:
An array of pieces from different artists ranging from oil and charcoal paintings to photographs, handcrafted wooden pieces. Some of the artists which caught the eye were Craig Phang Sang with his stunning black and white photographs. Beautiful large print images that would bring any home or office space to life. Another booth, K posts, specialized in colour landscape photos all taken in Jamaica, picturesque and fit to grace any wall. She also had special custom postcards. There were shops with souvenirs crafted from wood, beautiful calabash works, special ornaments to adorn furniture whether at the workplace or at home.
The literary arts were even represented as one author’s booth displayed her new work, ‘Celebrating Me’ a children’s book was well received on the night.
There were many fashion and accessory booths on show; stocking from dresses, to sandals to purses. Fabhijabeez booth had African print scarf-wraps which seem to be a summer hair fashion essential for the ladies. Available in a variety of colours, patterns and even materials. There were also many options of turbans and headbands. Flutur Butterfly Beauties was one of the jewellery shops at the expo. The designer Latanya, had a slew of pieces on display, all unique and handcrafted. From stylish beaded bracelets of varying sizes for both genders to single pendant necklaces, to layered and statement pieces were available. Affordably priced and also made to order to meet the size needs of customers this booth was definitely worth the look.
The KNM theme of variety extended to the culinary department and there was a myriad of options to delight the taste buds. The Copperwood Pork booth filled the air with the delicious aroma of grilled pork while nearby the offerings of Halaal on the Grill enticed customers with their Tacos, burgers and burritos. There was something to satisfy the dietary desires of all, even the pickiest eater or the health fanatic. Did I hear someone ask if it’s gluten-free? The booth Eats by K, had gluten-free cupcakes to appease the sweet tooth while still maintaining that summer body. There was also authentic Rastafarian ital food available to feed not just the body but the soul.
There is also a stocked courtyard bar if you fancy a drink and for those with a more refined palate can slip away to the Oak wine bar and cocktail lounge on the premises. Also, the renowned Fromage restaurant is open for business if patrons would like to order something to eat and dine on the balcony overlooking the performances in the courtyard.
Kingston Night Market provides a great opportunity for exposure to small entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, craftsmen and culinary enterprises. They can introduce their products to the market, network with others in their field and build their reputation. It’s a worthwhile venture to be a part of the KNM pop-up expo.
One of the strongest pulls of the Kingston Night Market is that it is very family oriented. Speaking to some of the regular attendees who were parents, the main draw of KNM to them was that it was “a friendly space” that the kids could also enjoy. I had the privilege to be there at the special kid’s night that was held on July 2nd and believe me families were out in their numbers. Children of all ages were there enjoying the music and performances while their parents socialized with each other or browsed the booths.
But you don’t have to be married with kids to enjoy the night out. There were plenty of young couples and groups of friends having fun just looking around and listening to music. KNM makes for a simplistic date night, there is a dining area in the courtyard where patrons can sit and enjoy the cuisines on offer under the stars.
All in all the Kingston Night Market experience is a welcoming, relaxed evening vibe. One can have a nice midweek escape after work with friends, a date or family, enjoy some good food and music. Maybe do a little shopping if you see something that catches your eye. All in all it's well worth a visit, you never know you just might find your new favourite band, spot that piece of art you never knew you needed and before you know it you’re a regular at one of the fastest growing pop-ups in Jamaica.