Nearly 10,000 people showed up on August 6 for the eagerly anticipated grand opening of Smorgasburg Upstate in Kingston. The weekly open-air food and flea market is located on 10 acres of the former Hutton Brickyards on the Hudson River waterfront.
The outdoor pavilion was packed with more than 70 vendors, featuring restaurants, artisan food purveyors, and craft brewers alongside a selection of handmade design, vintage clothing and antiques. Local food favorites including Santa Fe Uptown and Jane’s Ice Cream of Kingston, Terrapin Restaurant of Rhinebeck, The People’s Pub of Chatham, and Noble Pies of Warwick were all in attendance, as well as Brooklyn-based Smorgasburg staple, Ramen Burger.
The founders of Smorgasburg said they have been thinking about doing something in the Hudson Valley for a few years. “Bringing our movable feast to Upstate New York is the natural evolution for a company that’s been celebrating and promoting local food businesses for the past decade,” said Jonathan Butler who, along with Eric Demby, founded the Brooklyn Flea in 2008 and Smorgasburg in 2011.
Kingston Mayor Steven Noble applauded the team effort to get Smorgasburg Upstate up and running. “There was a vision to return this property into something new, something creative,” said Noble. “I know that we still have some kinks to work out, but we got people here, and that’s the most important thing.”
Sandy Mehl of Port Ewen, who dined on a wood-fired pizza topped with mushroom and basil from Itsa Pizza Truck, loved the spirit of the event. “The energy here today is like a cyclone; it’s very impressive.”
Many food vendors sold out early due to the number of attendees. Rubiner’s Cheesemongers & Grocers sold out of their artisanal grilled cheeses by 1:30 pm. Cafe Manager Brian Heck sent an SOS to “send more cheese” from their home base in Massachusetts, and was back to serving delighted customers only a short while later.
“Today was beyond our expectations,” said Karl Slovin, The Hutton Brickyards owner and President of MWest Holdings. “It’s exciting to bring this amazing piece of land and history to life. We wanted to do something on the site that talks to what is happening in the Hudson Valley, and that’s this amazing food movement.”
Smorgasburg Upstate will take place every Saturday—rain or shine—through Oct. 29 from 11 am-6 pm. For more information, visit http://upstate.smorgasburg.com/.