Despite the cold weather, hundreds of people came out to the 909 Night Market at the Fairplex in Pomona last weekend for savory Los Angeles-style foods and sweets. The night market was canceled on Saturday due to the rain but thrived on Sunday.
The two bouncy houses in front of the entrance set the lively tone for the night market. A live banda made up of all women played rancheras while people danced on their way to grab food from vendors like Mica’s Soul Kitchen, Mr. Fries Man, Mariscos 4 Vientos, Pupuseria on Wheels, Coyote Elote, and more.
Sweet Chilitos quickly attracted visitors with a sweet tooth. Owner Celina Flores said their best-selling candies, like their chamoy, lime and chili-coated Gushers, sold out at the market.
Flores said Sweet Chilitos has participated at the 909 Night Market since their business started in 2019. Flores and her husband run their business full-time through their Instagram @sweetchilitos and by attending markets.
“This is what we do full time,” Flores said. “Every week (on Mondays), we’ll post where we’ll be for the week and where everybody can find us. This week we’re in Pomona and we just travel throughout the (Inland Empire).”
Flores said because the night market was canceled on Saturday, vendors received credit to use toward another event.
“That’s the thing, you prep for it, you get employees to work for you that day, you get your product and a lot of us were okay if we used our product throughout the week but some people, they can’t,” Flores said. “They buy food, they buy meat and they can’t reuse it, so it’s hard with the weather. It really affected us.”
She said regardless of the chaos due to the rain, Sunday’s turnout was amazing.
URBN Market Fusion brought modern Asian-American food for the first time at the 909 Night Market. Owner Justin Mabunay said URBN Market Fusion is known for taking sushi flavors and putting them on a burger. Their menu offered poke nachos, burgers and hot dogs.
“A lot of people think our food is a little different,” Mabunay said. “People aren’t used to it, they aren’t familiar with all the ingredients (in it). So it’s a struggle, but when they try it, it’s good.”
Mabunay said their best-selling item of the night was anything with dragon roll-like toppings, such as the dragon poke nachos and ‘dragon dawgs.’
“This is definitely a different demographic than we’re used to in the Temecula area,” Mabunay said. “So I think we have to adjust our menus to fit tastes a little more, but I liked the turnout. There were so many people, but everyone’s going for tacos and stuff like that. We got to adjust to that next time, but we had fun and we did alright.”
Keola Kaniho, visitor at the Market and student at Pomona College, said he and his friends enjoyed some mulitas, agua de fresa, churros, tacos and margaritas. His favorite snack of the night was the Hawaiian cones topped with ice cream from Hawaiian Honey Cones.
David Rodriguez, visitor at the Market and student at Pomona College, said his favorite food of the night was from Angel’s Tijuana Tacos.
Rodriguez said he learned about the 909 Night Market after seeing a mouth-watering Instagram reel of food from Angel’s Tijuana Tacos.
“I loved seeing all the Latino people coming out,” Rodriguez said. “We like to see mi gente, mi raza.”
Mariana Rodriguez, visitor at the Market and student at Pomona College, said she also came for Angel’s Tacos but found the Market’s tattoo shop on wheels intriguing. She said she plans to make a stop for a spontaneous tattoo before the night ends.
For more information, visit 909nm.com or @909nightmarket on Instagram. Entrance to the event was free, but parking costs $15.
Anabel Martinez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anabel Martinez is a senior digital media major with a concentration in film and television, and a journalism minor. She serves as the managing editor overseeing all of the Campus Times sections and was previously editor-in-chief in Spring 2022.