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South Slope Bar Opening Flea Market to Build Community, Promote Artists

 Mary's Bar is opening a flea market in an empty lot on 22nd Street off Fifth Avenue in the South Slope.
Mary's Bar Opening Flea Market in Empty Lot
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PARK SLOPE — Mary's Bar on Fifth Avenue at 22nd Street is such a neighborhood hangout that people sometimes stop in just to tell the bartenders about their latest workout, without ever buying a drink.

Now owner Sylvia Holden wants to expand on that family atmosphere by opening a flea market in an empty lot next door to Mary's.

Holden had considered building a beer garden on the 2,500 square-foot concrete patch, and she still may, but she thought a market where local artists could hawk handmade jewelry and vintage clothing would do more for the local community.

"I thought, what could I do that the neighborhood would embrace?," Holden said. "It's not enough to be a bar... You have to be [doing] more than just taking money. You have to be about the community around you."

The market, called Barnyard Flea, opens on May 16.

Vendors will include textile artist Jenny Herbert, bow tie maker Thaddaeus Timothy and jewelry designers Siamese Twins. Permanent Records, which moved last year from Greenpoint to 20th Street and Fifth Avenue, will sell vinyl records.

There will also be food for sale from Johnny Lupiani's Awesome Barbecue and Grandpa Val's BBQ.

Holden, a designer who will sell some of her own creations at the market, said she wants Barnyard Flea to offer artists something beyond just a booth for selling. She plans to use the bar and the market's website to promote the vendors and their work.

"We are working really closely with the vendors to help them build their brands," said Holden's fiancé Davin Che, who designed the flea market's website and was building trashcan holders for the market on Wednesday afternoon.

"The vendors are really excited because it's not as intimidating [as other flea markets]. It's a little more community-based and accepting."