Smorgasburg Founders Opening Beer Hall, 'Foodie Hub'

Brooklyn's foodie empire expands

Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby, the founders of the five-year-old Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg, the outdoor weekend food market, are expanding their dominion over Brooklyn’s artisanal food scene into the brick-and-mortar world by opening a beer hall in a warehouse in Crown Heights.

According to a profile in the New York Times, the duo’s 9,000-square-foot, Smorgasburg-branded beer hall will feature products from the market’s vendors. It will also be attached to an adjacent, 150,000-square-foot project in the former Studebaker Service Station, which Butler is renovating with the help of a $25 million investment from Goldman Sachs.

The ground floor of Butler’s new operation in the Studebaker Station will also be the home of a new “food incubator” with kitchens and educational spaces to create what Butler calls “a real foodie hub.” Construction is scheduled to begin in a few weeks.

The announcement comes after news that Smorgasburg would be partnering with Whole Foods to put pop-up markets and vendors in some of the chain's stores, but Butler and Demby say they aren’t worried about getting too corporate.

Related Stories
Brooklyn Brewery Finishes Huge ExpansionBrooklyn Fare Opening in Manhattan This SummerA Wine-Based Celebration at a New Brooklyn RestaurantAn Underground Food Group Starts a Bao-Crazed Revolution in Brooklyn

“I don’t think people begrudge you trying to make a buck,” Butler told the Times’ Liz Robbins. “Luckily, everything we’ve done is a win-win thing.”