Chelsea Flea returns this weekend with new Smorgasburg vendors

September 8, 2020

A previous view of Chelsea Flea. Map data © 2020 Google

After closing in December and being unable to reopen this spring due to the pandemic, the beloved Chelsea Flea is returning this weekend. The outdoor flea market will have more than 40 antique and vintage dealers (some old favorites, some new), as well as a new partnership with Smorgasburg that will bring some great food options.

The Chelsea Flea has been around sine 1976, but this past winter, it became part of the larger Brooklyn Flea network, which also oversees Smorgasburg. As 6sqft explained at the time, Brooklyn Flea co-founders Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler reached a lease agreement in January for the parking lot that accommodates the market. The lot’s landlord, Manhattan Parking Group, did not renew the lease of former owner Alan Boss, who at one time also ran the popular Antiques Garage on West 25th Street and the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market.

At the time, Demby told Gothamist, “Our focus is to find as many of the vendors who were selling in Chelsea over the years so we can give them the opportunity to come back. We’re trying to cast as wide a net as possible. We want those folks to remain at the core of the market.”

Only time will tell if the new incarnation of Chelsea Flea will have the same spirit as the original. As one of the oldest flea markets in the city, it was known for attracting antique collectors and celebrities, most famously Andy Warhol.

Last week, Demby told Time Out NY, “By creating a safe outdoor shopping environment, we hope to help our city slowly churn back to life by reviving one of its true treasures in the Chelsea Flea. We know people are making their homes/offices cozier, missing that real-life spark of discovery, and of course craving connection, and the Flea kind of checks all those boxes.”

There will be six-foot spacing between booths, wider customer aisles, suggested routes of circulation, and a mask requirement for everyone inside the market.

Chelsea Flea is located at 29 West 25th Street, between 6th Avenue and Broadway. Hours will be Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 5pm. The specific Smorgasburg vendors have not yet been announced.


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