Just one season after Smorgasburg debuted near Soho, the popular outdoor food market is pulling out of Manhattan once again, a year ahead of its scheduled departure. Co-founder Eric Demby tells Eater that the challenges of bringing in everything to make the site functional seven days a week — power, water, and sewer — killed Smorg Square.
Smorgasburg took over the corner of Varick and Canal Streets to peddle its viral food wares this summer and fall, with the intent to provide a yearround space with seating for 120 with a full bar and outdoor deck. Instead, it was pretty similar to the Brooklyn versions, with about 20 vendors in a parking lot.
Demby says that while they had wanted — and needed for profitability — to make it a daily site, the costs and time to bring in the supplies needed became too high. The Department of Health would only allow it to be a three-day site without power, water, and sewer brought in, but Smorgasburg couldn’t secure those things in a costly and timely manner, according to Demby. So after a year of trying, the group decided to just pull out.
The viral novelty foods, carefully curated bites, and long lines of the popular tourist experience can still be found come March 31 when it reopens its Brooklyn locations, as well as now in Industry City.