MAYS LANDING -
"Weather, beer, entertainment, food and buying whatever," said Michael Cohen of Galloway Twp.
Thousands flocked to Mercato Market for the grand opening on Saturday.
"There's a big turnout here," said Atlantic City resident Lauren Stroud.
"I love coming to flea markets," said Sam Vera of Pleasantville.
The Atlantic City Race Course parking lot was filled with a variety of vendors and live entertainment.
According to Mercato Market co-owner Dina Guzzardo, "We've got 300–400 vendors with the most amazing shopping that you've ever seen in this area; great deals, awesome deals and food, oh my god.”
Eddie Berner, former lead guitarist of the ‘80s band Flock of Seagulls turned chef, performed for the grand opening, "The ability to have a bunch of different live acts on the weekends is going to draw more people to come here as well as all the great things they have going on at the market."
"You always need something fun in the area there's not a lot of attractions around," said Atlantic City resident Maryana Harmon.
Owners of the Mercato Market say the grand opening was right on track.
"We're incredibly excited. It's unbelievable that it's really an empty space doing nothing for maybe thirty years is now alive and buzzing and there's so much energy here it's unbelievable," described Mercato Market co-owner Dirk DaCosta.
The market is conveniently located behind the Hamilton Mall. Owners hope the proximity will be a mutually beneficial opportunity.
"This area, South Jersey, need something to stimulate the local economy. We think that it will bring a lot of people from outside the local are into the are and generate some additional spin off business for other businesses outside of the market,” explained DaCosta.
With American flea markets in steady decline, south jersey residents were enthused to see an outdoor market open in Atlantic County.
Mercato Market's hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends from May – December at Atlantic City Race Course, 4501 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing.
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