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San Francisco’s sunset night market draws huge crowd

The market—brainchild of Supervisor Joel Engardio—shut down Irving Street between 20th and 23rd avenues with 80 vendors. | Source: Joel Umanzor/The Standard

Thousands of people gathered Friday night at the much-anticipated Sunset Night Market.

The market, which is the brainchild of Supervisor Joel Engardio, shut down Irving Street between 20th and 23rd avenues with 80 vendors ranging from Asian foods to a performance stage and family-friendly areas for games.

Engardio, joined by Mayor London Breed and celebrity chef Martin Yan, kicked off the night market at the performance stage, crediting a trip to Taiwan with his husband, Lionel Hsu, as the inspiration for the night market.

"Lionel’s family lives in Taipei, which has some of the world’s most famous night markets," Engardio said. "We go to those night markets every year. And I always thought the Sunset deserves its own night market. Now we have one."

Vendors lined the middle of the street, which left plenty of room on the sidewalks for attendees to venture into the storefronts along Irving Street.

Engardio said the focus of the pilot program is to create joy in the neighborhood.

"A night market celebrates all the fun things in life. A night market brings people together, makes streets safer and gives small businesses a boost—all the things we need right now in San Francisco," he said. "We are not destined to the 'doom loop' on the news. We can overcome it."

This is the first time the night market has run in the Sunset.

Joel Umanzor can be reached at jumanzor@sfstandard.com