BURG GONE WILD
Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler reinvent how Brooklyn eats.
Manhattan has Broadway, but in Brooklyn from April to October, Smorgasburg takes center stage. Each weekend, the open-air food market on the Williamsburg waterfront has 20,000-30,000 visitors and 100 vendors, with cuisine as varied as it is entertaining. “People do things like torch their meringue: They really put on a show,” says Smorgasburg co-founder Eric Demby. Smorgasburg, brought to life in 2011 by Demby and Jonathan Butler, is an offshoot of Brooklyn Flea, a huge food fair/flea market the duo started in 2008. “I’m proud that we created a showcase of the borough,” Demby says. Other events include Berg’n (see sidebar), Smorgasburg LA, concessions for Central Park SummerStage, a three-day event called Smorgasburg Osaka in Japan and outdoor film screenings via “Movies With a View,” in Brooklyn Bridge Park. “We’re always talking and thinking,” Demby says.
Jonathan Butler (left) and Eric Demby