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Brooklyn Flea Bringing Food Vendors, Beer Garden to Seaport for Summer

By Irene Plagianos | April 17, 2013 10:36am | Updated on April 17, 2013 12:06pm

SOUTH STREET SEAPORT —The Brooklyn Flea is setting up shop across the East River this summer, bringing a selection of tasty bites — and booze — to the Sandy-ravaged South Street Seaport.

“We want to create a great atmosphere with great food that will bring people back into the neighborhood,” Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg co-founder Jonathan Butler told Community Board 1 members Tuesday.

The flea is slated to open a 40-table, 497-seat outdoor beer garden and food court on Front Street, between Beekman and Fulton streets, starting Memorial Day weekend.

A rotating selection of five to eight food vendors will serve up food like hot dogs, lobster and shrimp rolls, fruit smoothies and barbecue sandwiches — though Butler and his partner Eric Demby declined to say which eateries from the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg lineup will be part of the Seaport team.

They’ll also operate a second, elevated “Smorgasbar” on Fulton Street, which will be built on top of two large shipping containers.

Food service will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week, with the bars closing down at 9:30 p.m. Weekends will have longer hours, with food booths open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and bars shutting down at 10:30 p.m.

The Howard Hughes Corporation, which owns the Seaport’s Pier 17 and surrounding properties, approached the Flea founders with the idea for some kind of a food market to help reinvigorate the area, a representative for the company said Tuesday.

The company, which is slated to start construction on its multi-million dollar overhaul of Pier 17 this fall, said it had a number of other events in the works for the Seaport this summer that it plans to detail later in May.

The Flea food market and bars will run through October.

“We think this will be wonderful for our hard-hit neighborhood,” said CB1 Seaport committee chairman John Fratta, before the committee gave its unanimous support for the Flea's seasonal liquor license bid. "Looking forward to it."