West-Side-MarketI love the West Side Market.

Whenever I am hosting an out of town visitor, I make sure to take them for a quintessential Cleveland experience.

This Cleveland landmark is a treasure that has allowed local vendors to cultivate relationships and serve the city for over 100 years.

It is an experience like no other. The atmosphere is exhilarating. The range of local products, from pierogies to sausages to ethnic pastries is endless.

If you’ve never been, you have to go. You’ll be blown away by the architecture and atmosphere of this open-air market. You’ll be hooked!

In fact, I like the West Side Market so much that I insisted on filming there for my reality show, “Misny Makes Them Pay.”

You can imagine my devastation when I learned the West Side Market suffered a fire on Jan. 30 and has temporarily shut its doors.

Thankfully, no lives were lost and the historic building sustained no structural harm.

But The West Side Market’s spirit is in its people, the vendors who have sold their wares for generations.  The heavy smoke damage put more than 100 vendors out of work and even worse, damaged their inventory and materials. These small business owners have lost their source of income and tragically, some of them may never recover.

The West Side Market is expected to up and running within a couple weeks.  Ohio City Incorporated wants to give the vendors a much-needed boost.  They’re planning a “Cash Mob” event tentatively for Saturday, March 2, or the first Saturday after the market reopens.

The rules are simple: show up anytime that day and plan on spending at least $20.

I can tell you from experience, you can spend $20 within 20 minutes at the West Side Market without even trying.

My West Side Market shopping routine is tried and true. First, I always make sure to bring several friends, including some newcomers. Once we get there, we separate, each person is assigned a specific purchase be it coffee or pastry or sandwiches. Then we rendezvous on the upper tier and feast on delicacies while overlooking the market’s hubbub.

After we’re finished we continue on with our methodical shopping, each person leaving with several bags in hand.

Cleveland, I encourage you to join me on Saturday, March 2, and please spread the word to all of your friends.

If for some reason you cannot join the Cash Mob, you can still help the affected vendors by making a donation through The Michael D. Symon Foundation, Inc. for West Side Market Vendor Relief at at

I’ll see you on Saturday, March 2 and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that supporting a great Cleveland cause never tasted so good!

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