Balducci’s, next to Zabar’s probably New York’s best known gourmet food shop, has closed its local stores at West 66th Street and at the corner of 14th Street and Eighth Avenue. The Times eulogizes, though one interviewee says, “Do you really need chipotle raspberry finishing sauce?… People don’t need all this stuff. It’s a lesson.” Six Balducci’s stores in other locations have been sold to an investor group, and D.C.’s lone Balducci’s will close at the end of June.
On the other hand, Dubai is getting its first Balducci’s in September.
We noticed, when the old Sixth Avenue location relocated to the bank building on 14th Street, that the prices also moved up; sometimes the price tags on high-end items in the vitrines were turned away from the customers, as if to discourage the budget-conscious. The quality was always choice, but in the age of Whole Foods and Fresh Direct, it would seem most shoppers who wanted to scale up a little had enough other options, and there just aren’t enough discerning rich left in New York to keep the stores open.
Some mourn the departure of “a New York food icon”; a Grub Street commenter said, “Greedy bastards priced themselves out of the market. Don’t shed any tears for these gonif pigs.”
Balducci’s most recent tweet, from April 24: “This weekend – fire up the grill! PRIME NY Strip Steaks $9.99 (reg 25.99), Tomato Mozzarella Salad, & bi-color/white corn.”
Photo (cc) Dop Deep.