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Adams Morgan's Mercadito Latino Closing

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A vendor slices mango at a stall at the open-air Latino market in Adams Morgan, which is expected to close after today after the city revoked the market's lease for Unity Park.
Armando Trull
A vendor slices mango at a stall at the open-air Latino market in Adams Morgan, which is expected to close after today after the city revoked the market's lease for Unity Park.

Today may be the last day to sample Latino food at an open-air market in D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood, and the decision made by District officials to close the market is prompting protest. freddy venze

Unity Park -- a small, triangle-shaped patch of green -- sits between Columbia Road NW and Champlain Street NW. For the past three years, if you came here on the weekends, you could sample pupusas or empanadas at the Mercadito Latino market.

But today will be the last day for the only open-air Latino market in D.C. The vendors have lost their free lease from the District after complaints from brick and mortar restaurants in Adams Morgan that the small food stands were taking away customers, and operating without proper licenses or paying taxes. 

The District’s Office of Latino Affairs revoked the lease but has promised to find other options for the vendors. Dozens of affected food stall owners plan to protest later today over what they see as a scheme to run them out of town by wealthier and more politically connected businesses in Adams Morgan.

Brick and Mortar restaurants say the food stall vendors have not been held to the same regulatory standards and therefor have an unfair competitive advantage. They also allege that city ordinances do not allow food to be sold in the park.

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