Crowds Pack West Side Market for Reopening

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CLEVELAND-- Crowds Pack the West Side Market.

“I’ve been waiting for this day since it caught on fire,” says Joyce Toney a vendor at the West Side Market.  “I’ve been down here every day since it happened.”

And she’s not alone.  Crowds clamored to get inside when the doors opened at 7 a.m. on Monday.

Business was booming on West 25th at the historic West Side Market.

The market known for its food-flare from around the world was forced to shut down after a fire broke out on January 30.  Fire investigators believe the fire began in a meat vendor’s area.

The exact cause has not been determined.  It may have been electrical.

The market has been cleared on all health inspections including electrical.

Restoration crews spent day and night scrubbing and sanitizing the place from top to bottom and brick by brick.  “We were in here cleaning and it was just 4 walls but now that customers are back, it’s a market again,” says Tim Jeziorski a vendor who’s more than happy to get back to business.

Many vendors agreed, the place is cleaner now than it’s ever been.

Harvey Richardson grew up in Cleveland, but has lived in Pennsylvania for the past few years.  He made a trip back to the West Side Market today to mark the special occasion.  “The meats are terrific – best tastin’ I’ve ever had.  Can’t never stop coming back here.”

There will be a special “Cash Mob” this Saturday at the market.  It’s kind of like a “flash mob,” except you basically show up at 7 a.m. with $20 in your pocket and you spend it on whatever you want.  Then you hang out and meet new people.  It’s a win-win scenario.  The vendors know that you’re supporting them, and you get $20 worth of food.

In 2012, the West Side Market had more than 1 million people stop by and enjoy foods from around the world.

*Click HERE to read more about the West Side Market fire.