Operators of the Williamsburg Market abruptly shut the doors of the food market last week, while notifying vendors the night before that they had ceased business due to financial issues.
The food market opened for business at 103 North Third St. on Nov. 10 of last year, replacing the void left by the well-attended North Third Street Market that permanently closed due to the pandemic.
After four months in operation, vendors were notified via email on Monday night that they would no longer be able to operate out of the premises — with many arriving at the Market on Tuesday morning to find padlocks on the doors of the establishment.
Williamsburg Market was home to some newer eateries — as well as some outposts of beloved Brooklyn establishments. All vendors were allowed to enter the premises this week to pack up their equipment but for those without brick and mortar stores to rely on, the abrupt closure left them particularly blindsided.
“On Monday night at around 11.50 p.m. we received a legal notice via email stating that ownership had changed, and the next morning there were locks on the door,” one vendor told Brooklyn Paper, noting that they had only spoke to the attorneys who assumed the lease and that there has been zero contact from WB Market Operator LLC.
“It was very abrupt with no notice even though they probably knew for a little bit what’s going to happen,” they said, adding that this is a reflection of the “poor management from the very beginning of the operation.”
“We’re mostly worried for all the staff. Our number one goal is to be able to get operating somewhere else as soon as possible to keep our staff employed. It’s my goal as a vendor to find work for all the employees that now might not have work,” they said.
Lawyers representing WB Market Operator LLC confirmed to Brooklyn Paper that they filed a deed of assignment for the benefit of creditors on Monday.
“We truly enjoyed serving the Williamsburg community and were deeply saddened to have to unexpectedly close the Williamsburg Market,” a statement issued on behalf of the operators said.
“Unfortunately, we are unable to comment further due to the ongoing court proceeding with respect to the insolvency of the operator of the Market, WB Market Operator LLC.”
The extent of the financial woes of WB Market Operator LLC was not made immediately clear but lawyers handling the case confirmed that the process of liquidating of assets is underway.
Other vendors took to social media to notify customers of the closure and their plans for the future.
“This morning, we woke up to pad locks on our doors. Myself and the other vendors at the Williamsburg Market were unexpectedly told that we are no longer able to operate on the property,” Paper Plate wrote on its Instagram.
“What does this mean for Paper Plate? Don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere. Just view this as a small bump in the road,” the post read, noting that they will be operating at Brooklyn’s beloved weekly outdoor food market, Smorgasburg, which returns this weekend.
Other vendors impacted include Harlem Seafood Soul, Urbanbelly, Temakase Hand Roll Bar, Mexology, Alidoro Italian Sandwich Shop, BKLYN Wild, Effin Egg, Oh-K Dog, and Newlight Breadworks.