A flea goes to Washington.
The founders of Brooklyn Flea are opening an outpost in the nation’s capital this September, mixing some of the borough’s vibe with D.C.’s flavor.
“For the vendors and the public, it’s a real amenity,” said Eric Demby, one of the brains behind Brooklyn’s wildly popular open-air market in Fort Greene. “It’s been good for people. That’s the kind of thing we want to share.”
The Washington D.C. location, called District Flea, will run on six Saturdays starting Sept. 14. Demby hopes to draw around 100 vendors to the market, close to what they get at their Brooklyn locations each weekend.
And it will focus on the same type of goods — artisan crafts, vintage clothing and unique local foods.
District Flea will be blocks away from the 9:30 Club — one of the country’s most popular hot spots — and adjacent to an ongoing Brooklyn-like redevelopment project called Atlantic Plumbing, which is turning an abandoned plumbing factory into a pair of mixed-use buildings with subsidized studio space for area artists.
“It’s in a neighborhood that’s evolving,” said Demby. “I feel an energy there and I feel like it can be captured.”
Demby, with his partner Jonathan Butler, have been expanding the enterprise they launched in 2008. They opened another market in Philadelphia earlier this year, and run pop-up locations around New York aside from the mainstays in Fort Greene and Williamsburg.
“We want each location to be special and integrated into the community,” said Demby. “It’s a neat little cross-section of what’s happening around town.”
The vendors at District Flea will be culled from the Washington area, not imported from Brooklyn. Since launching a website earlier this week, Demby said they’ve received about 30 applications for vendors.
One of them is Dino Paxenos, who runs Modern 50, a salvaged furniture website based in Maryland. Paxenos has made the trip to Brooklyn Flea numerous times, mostly to shop, but also to sell.
“I love going to the ones in New York,” he said. “D.C. needs something like that.”
Demby won’t rule out a further spreading of the fleas, but considers the two new locations as a way to test the waters.
“There’s an excitement starting new somewhere,” he said. “Not that the thrill in Brooklyn is gone.”
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