After 15-foot waves from Hurricane Sandy destroyed parts of Fairway in Red Hook, the only thing left was an old coffee roaster. But the tourist hub and (seriously super) supermarket will reopen on Van Brunt Street on March 1. The store broke the news on Twitter, and store officials said the restoration cost nearly $10 million. For small-business owners in Red Hook, Fairway’s rebirth could mean a resurgence of tourists, as well as the return of one-stop shopping in the neighborhood.
“Fairway is our number one traffic driver in Red Hook,” Susan Povich, co-owner of the Red Hook Lobster Pound, said this morning. “It’s one of our greatest assets.” Like other businesses in the neighborhood, the Pound has yet to open after sustaining severe storm damages. But she’s been eyeing the same day Fairway has for a reopening.
“I’m going to go full hog and try to at least be somewhat open on March 1,” she said and promised that at the bare minimum they would be selling lobster rolls.
— Fairway Market (@FairwayMarket) February 5, 2013
Steve Tarpin of Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies said, “I think it’ll have a tremendous impact. We’ve lost about 80 percent of the tourists that would come into Red Hook when Fairway closed.” Though Steve’s is primarily a wholesale bakery — with amazing chocolate-covered Swingles — the overflow factor for businesses like his is crucial.
For Sixpoint Brewery, Fairway’s reopening means folks can buy its brand just a few blocks away since there isn’t a to-go shop at the brewery on Van Dyke Street. “People ask us, ‘Where can we find your beer here?’ and we say, Go to Fairway,” Jeff Gorlechen from Sixpoint said.
Povich said businesses in Red Hook are meeting privately with Fairway this afternoon about how to market around their re-launch. “I’d love to set up a lobster boil in the parking lot,” she said. “And as a resident, I’m very excited. My kids have lived on pizza and Chinese food for three months.”