Friday, July 30, 2010

Flea Markets are Illegal?

Fried Bologna, a new vintage shop located in North East Minneapolis, was already visited by the "party police" a.k.a. City of Minneapolis Inspectors. Why? Because they were trying to put together a flea market with 15 other vendors as well as their neighbors, Shuga Records. According to a post on their Facebook page, a representative came over to the store and said the flea markets are not allowed in Minneapolis(??):

"Our first thought after finding out, was that we would continue with the flea market because we had so many vendors and we did not want to let you down. We were willing to pay a fine to keep this one flea market going. Today we were informed that if we were to continue with the flea market our store and Shuga Records would be banned from any city events for a year."


and "There is a 100 year old law that says 2nd hand dealers can not be within 1000 feet of each other."


We exchanged a few emails with our pal Vanessa Messersmith at Blacklist Vintage who said:

I feel frustrated for this neighborhood and also know how hard it is to stay in business. I guess someone complained to the city...

Who would complain to the City about a flea market? Not cool, people. Not cool. Fried Bologna is seeking out an indoor space in the neighborhood to throw the flea market on Sunday so it doesn't have to be canceled. Any ideas?

SubmItted by @marrina.


  1. What about the Bottineau Park Gym? Pretty big space.

  2. I bet one of the elderly inhabitants of NE called the cops? Someone who's jealous? Or someone who wasn't accepted to vend at the flea market?

    Too bad they just can't throw up a tent over the parking lot at Shuga with a closed door and say it is a private event.

  3. I am appalled at the lengths that the police in NE Mpls will go to in preventing artistic community endeavors... Maybe you need to send money to NEMA first so it's commercially acceptable?

  4. Giving money to NEMAA wouldn't help the situation. NEMAA spends their money to print the tens of thousands of NE artist directories for AAW (and the convention and visitors bureau) and to promote arts in NE in general, put on the Fall Fine Arts Show, etc. They can't, however, control the city and make it okay for people to break laws (even if the laws are stupid).

    The Flea market peeps SHOULD have contacted the city before planning and promoting such an event. Anyone with any logic would have assumed you need some sort of permit. I do wonder if there is some sort of loophole they could find with Shuga's parking lot though...even a controlled entrance to the lot...maybe not even a tent (that's expensive) but some barriers around the perimeter and someone sitting at the gate handing out fliers of vendor lists with their websites or something. Since it's enclosed in a certain way, Shuga could technically declare it a contained environment on their property. Not sure if that would fly, but it could be a loophole to explore. Sometimes it's just as simple as something like that, but the city wouldn't offer it up as a solution (because they are bitches).

  5. Could they find some space in the Johnson Street parking lot or with the NE Farmers Market space?

  6. Grainbelt studios?