District Flea may be out, but Union Kitchen is in for Atlantic Plumbing site

News came down Wednesday that District Flea, the Brooklyn-based high-end flea market that launched at the intersection of Ninth Street and Florida Avenue NW last summer, will close up shop and not finish out the season after opening to the public in April.

But other plans are in the works for the site, which is owned by The JBG Cos. and is the future home to the Atlantic Plumbing residential and retail development.

Union Kitchen, the culinary business incubator and commercial kitchen in Northeast D.C., plans to utilize the property for several events this summer, according to Jonas Singer, co-founder of Union Kitchen.

The kitchen at 1110 Congress St. NE had been looking for a new outdoor venue after it lost access to the lot down the block where it has hosted “The Lot at Union Kitchen” events. That lot at the corner of Third and L streets NE will serve as a staging area for the redevelopment of the Uline Arena.

The first “ Lot at Atlantic Plumbing” event will be held May 31, when the incubator will host a “canines and cocktails happy hour” from 5-7 p.m. in conjunction with Metro Mutts and a concert featuring several local bands from 7-10 p.m.

“We’re hoping to do things maybe every four to six weeks,” Singer said. There could be an opportunity to use it for smaller events as well, such as creating a pop-up for Union Kitchen member District Donut on the upcoming D.C. Donut Crawl that’s planned for June 7.

District Flea, which was expected to be held nearly every Saturday from April to October, notified vendors Tuesday that the market would go on indefinite hiatus because “the volume of vendors didn’t support our ambitious business model for a weekly market,” as the Washington City Paper first reported.

Eric Demby, a representative of Brooklyn Flea, said it would be “premature” to comment on whether District Flea would return in another iteration at the Atlantic Plumbing site.

“We at the Flea still believe in D.C. as a great, cool city,” Demby told me in an email. “But how things will play out in the near term just isn’t clear at this time.”

For its part, JBG is still looking to keep the site active.

“JBG is committed to continually activating the space with a series of events,” said JBG spokesman Matthew Blocher.

Atlantic Plumbing is a 310-unit residential development that is expected to open in 2015.


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