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Beer, Wine Garden OK’d for MPK Night Markets

Monterey Park officials have approved the city’s first-ever beer and wine garden at a city park as part of the new MPK Night Market approved last month by the city council.

Art, music and food sales are also planned for the new monthly nighttime entertainment program, which kicks off July 24 at Barnes Park. Including the beer and wine garden, however, required the city to amend its policy on the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at city parks, which the council did with the provision that permits for such the activity approved by the council.

Prior the approval of the Night Market, however, Councilman Mitchell Ing at the June 4 council meeting voiced concern that the activity could create parking problems and be a disturbance to nearby residents.

“I just want to make sure that the city is ready for that crowd,” he said. “The new element with this is we haven’t seen the selling of alcohol [at a city park] before.”

The Monterey Park Farmers Market takes place at 318 Ramona Ave. every Friday between 4p.m. and 8p.m. (Monterey Park Farmers Market) [1]

The Monterey Park Farmers Market takes place at 318 Ramona Ave. every Friday between 4p.m. and 8p.m. (Monterey Park Farmers Market)

“Be mindful that if you’re going to have a large crowd you’re going to have to be a good neighbor,” Ing told Steve Kim, a representative of Kollaboration, which is working with the Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce to put on the events.

Monterey Park Police Chief Jim Smith, however, assured the council there would be no need for additional street closures beyond those that are already closed to accommodate the weekly famers market. In addition, according to city staff, 300 notices detailing the event were delivered to residents living within 500 feet of the park.

Kim said since this is the first time the Night Markets will be held they can’t be sure how profitable the events will be, but added his marketing company has every intention to “give back to the community.”

As part of an agreement, American Legion Post 397 will receive 3% of each alcoholic beverage sale or a maximum of $1000, according to Gabriel Suarez, who said their post is dedicated to helping veterans and that funds raised will go toward a new roof for their facility.

After the second year, Monterey Park will receive 25% of all money raised over $6,000 at each event. Kim guaranteed the city that its “books will be open” for the city to audit.

Admission to the MPK Night Markets will be free and open to the public and are scheduled to take place every third Friday of the month at Barns Park, near the Amphitheater.

Similar to local night markets in Arcadia, Pasadena and Koreatown, organizers of the Night Market say there will be live entertainment, food booths, “eclectic” food trucks, games, local business and art vendors, and the weekly neighborhood farmers market will be incorporated into the activities.

“The city council previously suggested that the Chamber put together a signature event for the city to bring new life and an injection of youth,” said Rafael Salazar of the Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce.

The MPK Night Market will be open from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., except for on July 25 when an official after-party will take place at the American Legion Post 397, located across the street from the park.

The wine and beer garden will be in a fenced off area near the Amphitheater, where the performances will take place.