Friday sees the opening of over two dozen shipping containers across a large brownfield in the heart of Prague—a market devoted to art, food, and entertainment that is also one of the first cashless venues in Europe.
Launched by urban-planning non-profit reSITE, Aero films, and the Penta Real Estate group, Manifesto Market will feature retail start-ups in a food festival atmosphere. Leading food purveyors, chefs, and restaurants will serve a limited menu of high-quality street food and a beer garden will tap local microbrews.
Organizers say the commercial revenue will sustain a cultural program of screenings, concerts, exhibitions, dance, workshops, and classes.
The market area, located on Na Florenci street (between the Florenc Bus Station and Masarykovo nádraží), has been described by the founders of the initiative as “a no-go zone” which they hope to revive and vitalize as “a testing ground for new ideas on an otherwise-wasted urban space.”
It will be situated on part of an area slated for permanent redevelopment designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.
“We can bring a new life to this forgotten spot, stimulate local businesses, provide an innovative venue for local culture and diversify the experience for tourists. We are doing it together with a diverse palette of collaborators and we know it won’t last forever – this is part of the charm of this venture,” says Martin Barry, chairman of reSITE who initiated the idea.
The market should remain open at least through Christmas and then again early next spring, for a total of two years.
Visitors can expect twenty-seven containers housing familiar foodie names like Angelato, Bistro 8, and doubleshot while lesser-known pop-ups include CHLØBÍČEK, offering an ultra-modern take on the traditional Czech open-face sandwich and CK Knödelrei a unique kitchen transforming classic Czech dishes into street food.
The venue will be open 7 days a week, 8 am to midnight; no coins and banknotes will be accepted at Manifesto which will be the first ever market in the country to test a fully cashless model, accepting only cards or a mobile payment app.
The opening fills a void left by the permanent closure of popular summer hang-out Nakladové Nádraží Žižkov; similar Prague venues including Kasárna Karlín, a former military barracks, now a lively culture space in its second year, have proven successful.
This Friday’s opening party is free to the public and kicks off at 6pm with a live DJ set.