Tanam, which is the best restaurant in Bow Market and one of the best in all of Boston, is owned and operated by two queer women of color (and when I say “operated”, I mean that very literally: these two women are the only employees and they run the whole thing entirely on their own). The chef/owner presents each dish herself, frequently describing to the diners exactly how her Filipino mother and grandmother taught her how to make it, as well as all the hoops she jumps through to get authentic ingredients. It’s only the second Filipino restaurant in all of greater Boston, and it’s only possible because the Bow Market business model allows them to run a restaurant without paying exorbitantly more money for their own brick-and-mortar spot. They started out as a pop-up venture, and didn’t have the capital to open up anywhere else. I’d love to hear you explain how these women are highly problematic.Bow Market may work for you, but, to me and a number of folks I'm in community with, Bow Market's events are highly problematic. It would be incorrect to say that they are built into the fabric of "the community." They are built into the fabric of the White dominant culture in this area.
Keeping it short, the entire Bow Market complex is geared toward the White, professional class - even the "ethnic" restaurants are primarily "fusion" (read: adulterated/altered for White-acceptable flavors/spices). After the initial soft opening, I have not gone back and I see that the stores of interests for White non-professionals or people of color (of all classes) have departed.
I appreciate the design and the active reuse of the facility and think that it's novel that they reused a former storage/garage site, but, these kinds of markets consisting of a rotating cast of stall owners are so common to most of the rest of the world, that, what's more surprising is just how novel White Americans seem to think they are.