Smorgasburg is out, but New Yorkers will now have Smorg To Go.
Starting on Monday, July 20th, Smorg To Go will be a takeout-only version of the popular open-air market. A rotating cast of vendors—10 different ones are slated for the first and second weeks—will be open every day between 11:30am-8pm on the Williamsburg waterfront. It will be located at 51 North Sixth Street (at Kent Avenue), which is less than a block away from Smorgasburg’s flagship location. The biggest difference? All orders will be placed online (the website smorgtogo.com goes live on opening day).
“This is a bridge to 2021,” says Eric Demby, co-founder of Smorgasburg. “I don't think there's going to be a Smorgasburg in 2020. The hope is that this cool little thing chugs along.”
Before the current crisis hit, Smorgasburg had plans to open a market at the World Trade Center on Thursdays and Fridays as well as in Williamsburg on Saturdays. The more than 100 vendors would typically attract over 20,000 people on any given weekend.
The setup for this takeout model will help ensure people don’t gather in large groups, but the Smorgasburg team also picked a location where people can enjoy their food outdoors (Marsha P. Johnson State Park is a few steps from this location of Smorg To Go).
“People are craving an experience that doesn't feel so manufactured or uncomfortable,” says Demby. “Maybe this has a chance to feel natural, so people can have some sort of shared experience.”
A mix of returning and new vendors are set to kickoff the first two weeks. Here’s the full list from Smorg To Go:
- Berg's Pastrami
- Burger Supreme
- Excell Kingston Eatery
- #Gogi (Geo Si Gi)
- The Good Batch
- Mai Bpen Rai
- Mao's Bao
- Vaquero Elotes
- The Whole Bowl
- Bon Chovie
- C Bao
- Duck Season
- Groundlings Pizza
- Monk’s Food
- Petisco Brazuca
- Ring Ding Bar
- Rooster Boy
- Vayalo! Cocina
- Yakitori Tatsu
Smorg To Go is also partnering with Rethink Food NYC, which has helped restaurants—from mom-and-pop operations to fine-dining kitchens—across the city to rehire some of its employees. The restaurants receive funding to pay their cooks as they prepare meals that have are donated to frontline workers, community centers and New Yorkers living in areas dealing with food insecurity.
Demby has plans to grow Smorg To Go to other sites in the city, with multiple locations open each day. He adds that the unpredictability of the health crisis makes this model more sustainable for the market’s vendors because “we didn’t feel comfortable being subjected to the whims of the virus.”
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