Franklin Flea returns, with more food

The parking lot at Eighth and Market Streets will be home to Franklin Flea.

Franklin Flea - the flea market that set up inside the old Strawbridge & Clothier store during the Christmas shopping season - is coming back.

This time, the Flea will operate outside on six Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting April 19, on the surface parking lot at the southwest corner of Eighth and Market Streets. That's the site of the proposed Market8 casino.

Franklin Flea's home after May 24 will be announced next month.

Creator Mark Vevle says he wants a bigger food presence this time.

In addition to the Flea's rotating selection of cooked and pre-packaged food vendors such as Hot Diggity!, Hello Home Shoppe, Merlino’s Roast Pork, Lil’ Pop Shop, Milk + Sugar, Hank’s Hot Sauce, and Elixr Coffee, among others, Vevle is snagging restaurants to operate what he calls a special booth known as Franklin Stove.

Franklin Stove will feature a street-food dish by a different restaurant each week. Vevle said he had snagged the services of High Street on Market and Cheu Noodle Bar and would announce the other four restaurants before opening day.

It's actually a return to the Flea's roots. It started outside, in Northern Liberties, as the Philly branch of the Brooklyn Flea. When organizers pulled the plug in October, Vevle - who was Brooklyn Flea's on-site manager - set up Franklin Flea.

(Talk about "fight or flea," eh?)

The Flea also has vendors selling antiques, vintage and repurposed furniture, collectibles and some vintage clothing, jewelry, and handmade goods.

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