Flea Market Meets Food Fair
“The main purpose of Smorgasburg has always been stuffing your face with well-sourced artisanal food,” says Smorgasburg co-founder Jonathan Butler. Not quite a farm market, not quite a flea market, the popular Brooklyn-based culinary and craft fair Smorgasburg is heading upriver this summer to the site of the former Hutton Brickyard, on the Hudson just north of the Rondout Creek in Kingston.
The last remaining structure of the Hudson Valley’s booming brick industry will host the weekly outdoor foodoriented flea market, featuring around 75 food, beverage and craft vendors. Smorgasburg’s original launch date of June 4 had to be moved to Saturday, August 6, because of delays in site preparation.
Smorgasburg will offer a variety of prepared foods and handcrafted goods and products Saturdays through October. “There’ll be a few items that might pop up at a farmers’ market—like jars of honey or hot sauce—but we’re not having, like, tables of lettuce or apples,” Butler explains, adding that freshly fried, grilled and prepared food will make up the majority of menus.
At least half the vendors are expected to be food-related, including a handful of eateries from the New York City area (and a couple of Butler’s favorite Asian food trucks, including Ramen Burger and Lumpia Shack). Local vendors onsite will include Sawkill Farm (Red Hook); Outdated, a hybrid antique and coffee shop (Kingston); and Raven & Boar, a butchery/charcuterie (East Chatham).
Butler and his partner/Smorgasburg co-founder, Eric Demby, sample products from each vendor to verify their quality. Butler says he and his daughter spent three days driving around the Hudson Valley during her spring break, sampling and tasting products from prospective vendors.
Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg reportedly draws more than 10,000 visitors each day. The 70-acre Hutton Brickyard was operated by several brickmaking companies from 1865 to 1980, producing and distributing brick throughout the Hudson Valley and New York City. With prime frontage on the river, the site currently is owned by a California-based real estate investment company and has been the focus of several proposed redevelopment projects over the past 30 years.