Flea and farmers markets have become commonplace in the city, but the newly opened Queens Urban Mkt in Long Island City has its sights set a bit higher than a typical shopping venue.
The market, which opened this summer on Northern Boulevard, is more a hodgepodge of several things. Part incubator, part education center and part foodie paradise, the Urban Mkt is looking to create a completely different shopping experience.
“We’re creating almost a community center,” said Cassie Jones the market director for Queens Urban Mkt. “We have pop-up restaurants like any other market but we also offer yoga, classes and other events.
“One of the more unique elements that we’re trying is bringing in local vendors — mostly from Queens or the other boroughs — and create an opportunity for these vendors to teach a class about their craft.”
While the logistics of bringing craft classes are being hammered out, Jones hopes the space will, at the very least, be a lightning rod for collaboration and inspiration.
“We almost want it to be like an incubator,” she said. “The vendors we’re working with want to collaborate not only with you but also with each other. It’s a market that’s also a connector.”
These vendors include: Ice & Vice, Pear Tree Pantry, Mighty Meaty, Singlecut Beersmiths, Coffeed, Mel’s Melting Pot, Grateful Bread and Chai Mookie.
Restaurants are also invited to create pop-up shops where chefs can serve food that doesn’t appear on their regular menu but adequately represents the type of food you can find at their eateries.
Just last week, Astoria Ale House chef and pit-master John Zervoulakos served up short rib tacos, Greek sausage-flavored with orange peel and Texas smoked-brisket barbecue.
Jones has been working closely with Katherine Gregory of the neighboring Entrepreneur Space food incubator, the Queens County Market and Long Island City Food and Flea, each of which has garnered popularity over time.
“We’re making this a Queens-based effort to make Long Island City and the entire borough a top destination for tourists and residents living in other parts of the city,” Jones said.
When: Friday and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 37-18 Northern Blvd., Long Island City
Contact: (203) 247-9824