The stretch of Sixth Avenue between 8th Street and 11th Street has been witnessing a lot of shutterings recently. First the Qdoba went out of business, followed by the long-standing Bagel Buffet, and now Jefferson Market grocery store has turned off its lights.
The gourmet grocery was founded in 1929 and was a Greenwich Village institution until 2003, when Citarella moved into the old Balducci’s space and asserted its culinary prominence over the neighborhood. Old World charm can only go so far, and Jefferson Market was forced to close temporarily in 2008. At the time, it seemed like it was gone forever, but it reopened several months later, this time under new management by Red Apple Group, which also owns the Gristedes grocery store chain. Devoted shoppers attest that the product quality went down over time, and now the store has closed again.
A sign taped to the front door notes, tersely, “store close,” while another encourages shoppers to visit nearby Gristedes locations. A look through the glass windows (above) reveals a lot of empty shelves.
“We’re considering possibly reopening it as a Gristedes,” said John A. Catsimatidis, chairman of Red Apple Group, when asked if the Jefferson Market was gone forever. “It closed because of the way the store was run and it took too much labor. The numbers just didn’t work.”
Catsimatidis didn’t give any hints as to when this Gristedes takeover would occur, mentioning only that discussions are “on the table right now.” In any event, it’s a sad occurrence for Greenwich Village as another landmark food shop bites the dust.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 24, 2011