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LA’s Biggest Weekly Food Gathering Smorgasburg Temporarily Halts Operations

The state recommended canceling or postponing public events with more than 250 people

A crowd gathers and waits to order food at Smorgasburg in Downtown Los Angeles.
Smorgasburg LA

Downtown LA’s popular weekly market Smorgasburg announced it will temporarily cease operations until the end of March, effective immediately. The market’s decision comes after California Governor Gavin Newsom and the state’s Department of Public Health issued recommendations to help stop the spread of novel coronavirus. This includes canceling or postponing public events that have more than 250 people, or events that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person.

California’s Department of Public Health went a step further and stated yesterday that “gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than ten people.”

This guidance includes gatherings such as Smorgasburg, concerts, conferences, and professional, college, and school sporting events. The entire Smorgasburg organization will suspend all of its activities in LA and the New York City area, including its indoor and outdoor markets at the World Trade Center, Prospect Park, Williamsburg, along with the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg Winter Market.

Just yesterday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health also made recommendations for local residents and visitors, and what that could mean for those dining out.

Smorgasburg sent Eater LA the following statement:

“In light of the Governor’s coronavirus announcement late last night, effective immediately, Smorgasburg LA is being put on hiatus “at least through the end of March.” This hiatus will also apply to all of our indoor and outdoor markets in New York, Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea.

We remain hopeful that during this dormant period the health situation will come under some level of control, and that if (and when!) we are able to return, people will feel comfortable returning to Smorgasburg to gather with our community as we begin to find the new normal.

This is not an easy decision, as hundreds of small businesses rely heavily on our markets to survive. We join with the many others nationwide in making the difficult but clearly correct choice to follow the recommended guidelines as a way of mitigating the spread of the virus. We will make a determination in the coming days and weeks about a reopening date based on guidance from health officials and our elected representatives.

Our markets have always been about sharing, bringing people together, and connecting in a free and open public space. We are confident that this strong spirit will persevere, and we look forward to seeing you on the other side.”


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