What’s the latest rage in Brooklyn, NY? Food Halls! Huge, open floor plan dining halls catering to every possible taste, and the break-out hit Smorgasburg owes its success to the Brooklyn Flea, which opened as a stand alone flea market in 2008. “It was almost a flip of a coin back in 2008 whether we were going to include food,” says Brooklyn Flea co-founder Jonathan Butler, “luckily, we decided to. It was just as Brooklyn was starting to come into its own as a place for food.” The idea for opening their own signature eatery, Smorgasburg, developed from there.
Butler and his partner, Eric Demby, emboldened by their initial success and the popularity of food vending at the Brooklyn Flea, expanded their flea market business to include a second location in Williamsburg. This led to the opening of Smorgasburg in 2012.
“This was a testing ground,” says Butler, “I think aspiring food entrepreneurs saw this as a stepping stone. We saw it as a small business incubator.” Recently named to New York’s Top 5 Buzziest Food Courts (in the New York Post), Smorgasburg has found its niche.