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Williamsburg Residents Are Railing Against Smorgasburg Yet Again

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Plus, Red Hook could lose its only grocery store — and more intel

Visitors to food festival Smorgasburg look at a rack of colorful doughnuts
Some residents are complaining about Williamsburg’s Smorgasburg yet again
Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Williamsburg is hating on Smorgasburg yet again

Williamsburg’s wildly-popular yet loved-to-be-hated food festival Smorgasburg is getting some pushback from local residents yet again, the Brooklyn Paper reports. Some members of the local community board say the food festival monopolizes East River State Park, where the festival takes place each year from April through October. Residents opposed to the festival — which attracts thousands of visitors each year — say the outdoor food festivities should end in July or August so locals can access more of the waterfront park during the summer months.

Officials at the state parks department, which oversees the management of the park, say that they’ve only received a tiny amount of complaints and stress that most locals are in favor of the event. However this isn’t the first instance of backlash against Smorgasburg — locals have railed against it since it was started by Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler in 2011. Back in 2013, some Williamsburg residents complained about the noise and trash created by the event. In 2017, the founders moved the Brooklyn Flea waterfront market, which was adjacent to Smorgaburg, after residents complained about the two events taking up too much space in the park. Despite critics, the festival continues to attract tens of thousands of attendees each year, and since its founding in 2011, it has expanded to two other locations in NYC, plus outposts in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Japan, and Brazil.

In other news:

— Red Hook could lose its only grocery store this summer if supermarket chain Fairway doesn’t find a buyer for its stores outside of Manhattan as the chain goes through bankruptcy proceedings.

— Popular Korea Town barbecue joint Jongro BBQ is adding yet another floor to its West 32nd Street location. The Korean barbecue spot now has three floors in the building.

Factory Tamal — one of a handful of Mexican restaurants in the city working to make tamales more mainstream in NYC — is opening an East Village location.

— Pierre Thiam, the chef behind Harlem’s fast-casual pan-African restaurant Teranga is chatting with the owner of Katz’s Deli Jake Dell about the meaning of comfort food at Museum of the City of New York this Thursday.

— Just what we need right now: