Food with a view! Smorgasburg market gets second home in DUMBO

There’ll be even more Brooklyn Flea to enjoy as Jonathan Butler (left) and Eric Demby open a third location for their popular market on the Williamsburg waterfront at N. Seventh Street and Kent Avenue. You can get your vintage shopping on starting this Sunday.
Photo by Meredith Deliso

BY NATALIE O’NEILL

A Williamsburg food fest-turned-international culinary hot spot is getting a second waterfront home, where a sweeping view of the Brooklyn Bridge will be on the menu.

The gastro-centric marketplace Smorgasburg — where farmers meet foodies on Saturdays at N. Sixth Street — is expanding to DUMBO’s Tobacco Warehouse on Sundays for twice the scenic outdoor grub.

Organizer Eric Demby said the expansion comes at the request of eager food vendors, who hope to make some extra dough and get more exposure from the bridge and Manhattan skyline-boasting location.

“It’s such a beautiful spot — there’s just something magical about the Brooklyn Bridge,” Demby said.

The Sunday food fest — which will keep the market’s punny name despite DUMBOs unfortunate lack of a “burg” suffix — will feature roughly 75 vendors, making it three-fourths the size of its flagship location.

Demby said the new market, which will run Sept. 9–Nov. 18, will feature mouth-watering grub from vendors such as “a chili guy I’m excited about” and a team of bakery owners who “frost-to-order black and white cookies” but, alas, no beer, at least for now.

It’s not the first time Demby — who also operates the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene and Williamsburg — set up shop in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

In 2009, the vintage clothes and funky antiques market launched under the Brooklyn Bridge until construction forced it out the following year.

The Tobacco Warehouse hasn’t always been such an easy place to gather, either. The historic brick building was wrapped up in a land-use lawsuit, filed by neighbors who claimed the federal government lied to privatize the site and turn it into an arts center, making it trickier to host public events on the land. A judge sided with neighbors last year, but an agreement hashed out with the government to provide additional park land opened the door to the site’s use.

Demby now says he expects the Smorgasburg’s new site to attract families, tourists, and Brownstone Brooklyn foodies — but that the vibe will likely develop more, well, organically.

“It’s like having a baby: You can’t know its identity until it’s actually there,” Demby said. “All you can do is watch it grow and hope for the best.”

Smorgasburg at Tobacco Warehouse [26 New Dock St. at Water Street in DUMBO, www.brooklynflea.com/smorgasburg] Every Sunday through Nov. 18. Free.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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