The 77 Flea Market, also known as La Pulga, will remain closed until further notice as owners work on transitioning the reopening in the safest way possible, according to the family who owns and operates the market.
“As a family-owned business we are diligently discussing solutions to best serve our community in the safest way possible,” Juani Gomez-Parra, a member of the family, said. “The safety of our patrons and vendors is our utmost concern, and we are working on a transition to reopening with that in mind.”
Gomez-Parra said they will announce the opening date as soon as they finalize the protocols in accordance with state and local regulations.
During a press conference last week, Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. said places where there is a lot of close contact among customers and workers would not be able to open until they come up with a safe plan. He said the flea market is one of them since the stands are close to each other.
“Before [the flea market] opens they’re going to have to think it thoroughly and find a different way of accommodating the stands so there can be enough distance,” he said in Spanish answering a reporter’s question.
“If they want to open they have to come up with a way to have enough space and think they will. I always tell business owners who call us asking ‘what do I have to do to open?’ that they have to think what it is they can do to open safely. We cannot tell them they can do this or that because they’re the ones who have to let us know what they want to do to follow the protocols and be able to open.”
Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez announced in March that the flea market would be closing as a response to COVID-19 for the first time since they opened its doors back in 1981.
“They decided that closing would be the best thing to do for our community and have notified vendors that any prepayments would be credited to the next open date,” Mendez said.