By Meredith Deliso
The Brooklyn Flea is going from Williamsburgh to Williamsburg.
The popular market opens a new outdoor location on the waterfront this weekend, with even more vintage goods and artisanal foods.
The winter location at One Hanson Place, in the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, will close for the season, while the Williamsburg location will open on Sundays from April 3 to Nov. 20. The flagship Fort Greene location, outside of Bishop Loughlin HS, will operate Saturdays as usual starting April 2, and continue through Nov. 19.
Since starting three years ago in Fort Greene, the market has quickly grown in popularity and locations, with a second outdoor market under the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO two summers ago and a holiday market every winter. Last summer, the One Hanson market operated along with the Bishop Loughlin, though Flea organizers were dying to get outdoors with both locations.
“On nice days [at One Hanson], you could tell people wanted to be outside,” said organizer Eric Demby, who runs the Flea with Brownstoner founder Jonathan Butler.
The Williamsburg spot is a certain coup for the duo, which has been looking to get into the neighborhood for the past couple of years. Demby and Butler had previously looked at the Planet Thai spot before being invited by Douglaston Development, the developers of the Edge Condos, to set up in their waterfront lot for the next few years until development begins on a third Edge tower.
The waterfront location will be almost identical in size to the Bishop Loughlin spot, with about 140 vendors, some of them familiar faces. New vendors include menswear from Fine and Dandy; Williamsburg’s Neal Mello/Cyd Mullen with vintage furniture and knicknacks from; Longtime Chelsea Garage dealer Christina Welch; Prospect Heights vintage and florist shop Park Delicatessen; punk record shop Slipped Disc; the Brooklyn Library Shop, which will set up a reading room with more than 1,500 of their artist sketchbooks; This ’n’ That Jam; and Clinton Hill donut shop Dough.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Bettina Gronning (pictured), pastry chef of the seven-month-old bakery, which will offer such popular flavors as passion fruit, blood orange, dolce de leche and the classic glazed at the Williamsburg Flea. “This place just took off like gangbusters. We’re having to install new equipment for the amount of production we will be doing. We’re getting in gear.”
Similar vendors or not, each Flea location has had its own distinct character, with the Bishop Loughlin location known as much for its food as its vintage goods, and One Hanson Place a design and decoration destination that’s drawn the likes of Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway and Anna Wintour. Only time will tell what Williamsburg will bring.
“You can’t force it,” said Butler. “We’re hoping this will organically evolve to have its own character that reflects the neighborhood.”
Williamsburg Brooklyn Flea (East River between N. Sixth and N. Seventh streets in Williamsburg, no phone), open Sundays from 10 am-5 pm from April 3 to Nov. 20; and Fort Greene Brooklyn Flea (176 Lafayette Ave. between Clermont and Vanderbilt avenues in Fort Greene, no phone), open Saturdays from 10 am-5 pm from April 2 to Nov. 9. For info, visit www.brooklynflea.com.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini