If you’ve spent the past few months anticipating the arrival of Smorgasburg, an open-air flea and food market at the former Hutton Brickyards in Kingston, you’ll have to wait just a bit longer. Initially planned to debut on Saturday, June 4, Smorgasburg’s owners are now saying it won’t hit town for another two months.
“It’s true,” said Jonathan Butler, who co-founded Smorgasburg with Eric Demby in May 2011 as an offshoot of their popular Brooklyn Flea. “We told vendors last week we are having to push the opening to Aug. 6 because the site preparation is taking longer than originally anticipated.”
The move to Kingston was announced in February, with a Smorgasburg Upstate Instagram (@smorg_upstate) posting regular photos from the site during the cleanup. In an e-mail to the Kingston Times this week, Butler confirmed that the delay was solely related to those cleanup efforts.
“Just physical site,” Butler wrote. “Approvals proceeding as planned/hoped.”
In February, Butler said that after years of consideration, the time was right to come to Kingston.
“We’ve been thinking about expanding to the Hudson Valley seriously for a couple of years,” he said. “Both Eric and I have been going up there with some regularity for the past decade so we feel very connected to it and are excited to become part of the ecosystem up there. The impetus for pulling the trigger now was being approached by the new owner of the [Hutton] Brickyards and falling in love with the property and the location.”
Hutton Brickyards is currently owned by MWest Holdings, LLC, a real estate investment and property management company based in Sherman Oaks, Calif. In a February press release, MWest President Karl Slovin said everyone involved was committed to honoring the integrity of the property while making it viable for the future.
“We are so excited and proud to be the stewards of such an important property and to have a chance to use it to celebrate the region’s agricultural roots and burgeoning food scene,” said MWest President Karl Slovin. “Our goal is to carefully bring the Hutton Brickyards back to life with proven taste makers who love the history and urban archeology of the site as much as we do. This is the first step in what we hope will be a long-term partnership with the community to make this site a rich cultural destination of choice for locals and tourists alike.”
Prior to the launch of the upstate Smorgasburg, Hutton Brickyards will undergo a cleanup, including the reconstruction of some of the historic buildings on the property. The public hasn’t officially had access to the property in over three decades.
“As an environmentalist and avid Hudson River kayaker, I’ve admired the beauty and faded grandeur of the Hutton Brickyards site for years,” said Kingston Mayor Steve Noble earlier this year in a press release. “I’m thrilled that this historic site, an industrial engine for the city for much of the 20th Century, will be preserved and reborn as a hub of economic and cultural activity for the 21st Century. My administration is committed to fostering small business growth in Kingston and I see Smorgasburg as an integral part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
The delay could also give local vendors further opportunity to consider becoming a part of Smorgasburg, as the application process remains open. In February, Butler said around 30 food and 30 craft vendors was their ideal target.
“We effectively are bringing the Brooklyn Flea since close to half the vendors will be selling things like handmade, vintage and antiques,” Butler said in February. “I’m describing it as a ‘food forward’ market with plenty of stuff to wear or decorate your home. We’ve always had food at the Brooklyn Flea so we figured why not have flea merchandise at Smorgasburg? We think the Smorgasburg name will travel better than Brooklyn Flea as well; it’s catchier and less geographically specific.”
Smorgasburg will now open at the Hutton Brickyards at 100 North Street in Kingston on Saturday, Aug. 6, and will run every Saturday through the end of October. Operating hours are planned for 11 a.m. through 8 p.m.