Greenpoint Gazette

A New Church, A New Food Fest, and Chelsea Market Might be on Board Too


Can’t get enough of Smorgasburg? A new food festival is set to take over North Brooklyn to compensate for the foodies who miss out on the feasting on Saturday, and are looking for something on Sunday.

Several neighborhood organizations have collaborated to create the Williamsburg Food Festival, with the developers of Chelsea Market showing an interest in seeing their food vendors included in the festival as well.

The event will be hosted by the San Damiano Mission, a newly reorganized Franciscan Church that was formerly home to the Holy Family Church, and is located on North 15th Street.

The event will take place in the 7,000 square foot courtyard of the Church, which is located on the property adjacent to the Church.

The impetus behind the festival was the change in ministry at the Church. The Conventual Franciscan Friars took over in February this year, and Friar Nick Spano, who heads the congregation at the San Damiano Mission wanted to host an event to welcome the community regardless of their religious affiliation or the lack thereof.

The church is already playing host to a Bikram Yoga session and a Flea market during the weekends.

The food festival, which kicks off August 23, will be the latest addition to that growing list.

Joseph Solano, head of the local Solano Family Foundation, took the lead on organizing the festival along with the Church and other community partners, including the organization his brother, Rob Solano heads, Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH).

Vendors at the event will include Joe’s Cajun Chicken – a pop-up shop that will feature Cajun fried chicken, shrimp, catfish, and Jambalaya and an empanada vendor creating specialty empanadas on the spot.

“If this turns out to be something the community gets behind then it could potentially be a bi-monthly or weekly event,” said Joseph Solano. “The main point is really to have people become more familiar with the Church, and to help the Church with its fundraising efforts. We chose the area because there is so much foot traffic there what with the beer garden and Beacon’s Closet close that we hope people will come check us out.”

The Williamsburg Food Festival, Sun, Aug. 23, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., 83 North 15th Street, for more information on the newly organized church visit


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