From the outside, the first St. Louis Swap Meet looked like a score. Some 5,000 souls swarmed the placid Marine Villa neighborhood on Sunday, May 17. Trekking to the eastern end of Cherokee Street, they found 91 vendors who had set up booths in the old Lemp Brewery's gravel parking. There they milled among new and used goods, and even some produce.
|Photo by Nicholas Phillips|
|Resale merch at the St. Louis Swap Meet|
The metro area's newest flea market couldn't contain the bustle. Shoppers spooled onto adjacent Antique Row, where more than a dozen red-brick shops sell vintage merchandise in the shade of zelkova and oak trees. Most dealers are closed on Sundays, but some opened their doors that afternoon and saw a bump in traffic. The Mud House, a cafe/restaurant five blocks west, was open too. Its line grew out to the sidewalk. Co-owner Jeremy Miller later said it as one of the highest-grossing Sundays in his cafe's six-year history.
"The St. Louis Swap Meet was a great success," Miller's wife and co-owner, Casey, wrote a few days later on the Cherokee Antique Row Facebook page. But then she clarified: "Please know that the majority of the businesses on the street are not opposing the market."
"Haters gonna hate," she continued. "The rest of us will continue to do business in harmony with everybody else."
"My thoughts exactly," Jovanka Hammond, co-owner of Hammond's Antiques & Books, replied on Miller's post. She lamented unnamed "mischief-makers" with a "negative" agenda who "misinformed" people.
"We all have a lot to lose if we don't wake up," Hammond wrote. "In a more perfect world, my choice would be to keep this private rather than public, but the line has to be drawn somewhere."
Haters? Mischief makers? Over a flea market?More »