Greenpointers surely remember the ill-fated Brooklyn Night Bazaar, the proposed 100,000- square-foot market that was to feature over 100 booths of local merchandise, a beer and wine garden, food court and stage for music this past summer.
Last March, when lawyer Aaron Broudo announced these plans for a vacant lot, on the waterfront, at 27 West Street, he was greeted by harsh criticism from many in the community who feared the large-scale event would wreak havoc on the residential neighborhood. Despite raising over $8,000 dollars in seed money, as a result of the backlash, Broudo put a halt to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, which would have run every Friday and Saturday night from June through September. “Time was running out. All my permits were in process, but considering the amount of community opposition it just seemed like it’d be a very hard sell to get through the community board,” he told the Gazette, immediately following his decision. Despite these setbacks, he vowed not to give up on the idea, and that the Brooklyn Night Bazaar would find a home by summer 2012.
Now, Broudo is getting the chance to try out it out for a single night, just not in the neighborhood he originally envisioned it. On Sunday, October 9th, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar will be held at Dekalb Market at 138 Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn, from 5 p.m. to midnight. “The October 9th bazaar will be a test case for the concept,” he said. “We hope it’s well received and can be used as a springboard for a more permanent night bazaar this coming summer.”
In the month and a half since making the deal with Dekalb Market, Broudo has arranged to bring in over 65 independent merchants and food vendors like Luke’s Lobster and The Shaved Ice Shop. Local businesses will dominate, with Sixpoint, Great Brewers and the Brooklyn Winery serving beverages. For entertainment, there will be live music by YACHT, Monogold, and Trouble Andrew, as well as a light and sculpture installation by artist Jason Krugman. The event will be free, except for the ticketed performance area ($12 for general admission).
Dekalb Market, which is comprised of salvaged shipping containers that house eateries and merchants, is a space designed to accommodate an event of this scale. “Dekalb Market is perfect because it already has 20 or so great permanent shops that will be staying open for the event plus great infrastructure like electricity and tents that have made producing the event that much easier,” said Broudo. “[Their] cargo containers, the industrial look, [and] the large tented area with picnic benches makes for a great ready-made environment to house the Bazaar.” He is not starting from scratch as in the Greenpoint proposal, which was a chief concern for many Greenpoint residents.
Broudo learned from his experience last March, and went into this project with realistic expectations. The space within Dekalb Market is about half the size of the waterfront site in Greenpoint, so the scale of the event is much smaller. Instead of 150 vendors, there will be closer to 65. While heavily criticized for not keeping Greenpoint residents in mind, this time Broudo has tried to correct that. “Originally we had proposed to have the Bazaar close at 2a.m. but will slide that back to midnight. In order to avoid irritating neighbors, we will be shutting off the live music at 9 p.m. and pointing the stage away from residences,” he said.
Only time will tell what’s next for the Brooklyn Night Bazaar after this inaugural event. Perhaps it will find a permanent home at Dekalb Market, or maybe even try to migrate back to its proposed destination on West Street. But one thing’s for sure, the process will be different. “We are still open to the concept in Greenpoint, though not at the scale that was proposed before,” Broudo said. “We would need to start smaller and work closely with the local community to see what would be acceptable in terms of event hours, size, and noise limits.”