The future for street vendors: Open air market or brick and mortar?

Michelle Perales serves up a plate of birria tacos at the Alameda Night Market. Photo by Benjamin Gottlieb.

The fate of LA’s street markets often rests in the hands of a few elected officials who, with a phone call or stroke of a pen, can decide whether or not they stay open. 

Popping up here and there makes it tough to build a business and to establish a cultural space in neighborhoods. But moving indoors can be expensive for mom-and-pop operations, which are often run by immigrants unprepared to deal with city and county rules.

KCRW goes to the new Alameda Night Market to hear from vendors about their challenges with city rules plus health and business codes.