Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jefferson Market Closed

Yesterday's note in the window of imperiled Jefferson Market says "We are not going out of business."



And today the store is temporarily closed for restructuring:



This comes after news in the New York Times, The Villager, and oddly enough, Al Jazeera, that the store's demise was imminent.



A sometimes lunch destination, over the weeks, I've watched the shelves at Jefferson Market deplete and the stocks at the deli counter diminish, such that my usual, and my usual backup are no longer available. Consequently, it's been a ghost town. If people can't find what they want, they go elsewhere.



The store opened in 1929 and did well until 2003, when Citarella opened, then Whole Foods in 2005, and Trader Joe's in 2006. The triple whammy hit them hard. To the Times, Owner Louis Montuori said they'd made some bad management choices: “We were running it like a mom-and-pop when we shouldn’t have been."

It's deeply regrettable that, in this town today, running a business like a mom-and-pop, taking care of staff, giving personal treatment to customers, etc., is considered bad management.



Hopefully, the new sign in their window today is a good sign, and that the restructuring will save this old neighborhood place.

I remember when I first started going there, I was startled by how consistently the customers politely held the door for me, going in or out. I was shocked, really. I enjoyed getting into their holding-the-door culture, and would often good-naturedly fight with customers over who would hold the door for whom, laughing in a refreshing way that made me feel connected momentarily to another stranger in the world.

You don't get that much anymore.

14 comments:

sb said...

.another one bites the dust.

Tara said...

I hope someone will come along and help them out. Lord knows there are plenty of celebrities and insanely wealthy people around here, even despite the economy being in the toilet. Hopefully someone/some people with the means will reach out and try to save it. It's such a part of the West Village, and they have been good neighbors to us, those with the ability to help them, should.

sb said...

tara, if Sex & The City had featured the Jefferson Market, it would be booming.
*cough*

Anonymous said...

^^^SATC did feature Jefferson Park across the street. Miranda and Steve got mariied there. They had the reception right there too.

Lenny Waller said...

The Jefferson Market is part of our history. I found it to be much friendlier then Balducci's.
The Butcher Shop was the greatest.
Old World Butchers. They were such experts. And were always happy to impart you with knowledge or advice.
Wishing them the best,
Lenny Waller NYC

Tara said...

sb, I don't doubt it. They'd be standing in line for hours to get deli meat there if they had filmed in the butcher line or something. That is mind boggling on so many levels....

Anonymous said...

i went by on monday 10/20 the sign is gone now everthing is out of the window al the food up front was gone . i don't know if they will be able to reopen . it is sad here is a true villafe family
business that was around before i was born . all the high rents are chasing businesses and families out of the area .just check out 8th street there are many empty stores we lost alot of the shoe businsses also they are looking to rent out the salvation army store . there were many familes that lived here for generations have moved out because they cannot aford to live here any more

G M S said...

I had a very bad experience with Jefferson Market last Thanksgiving. Ordered and paid for a Turducken, only to find, after trying to cook it for nearly 10 hours, that it was a FAKE. Just a turkey stuffed with chunks of cut up chicken. Thus it kept throwing the thermometer gauge off and kept my guests and I waiting for 3 hours to eat.

When I contacted the owner, Louis, he assured me of a refund. Which never came.

Good riddance.

William said...

Jefferson Market is being taken over by Gristedes.
I saw the trucks and a man also confessed.

Anonymous said...

That is so sad Gristedes is taking them over.

Anonymous said...

The owner of gristedes does now own the new Jefferson market. They have hired all new employees there and are being trained in gristedes stores. I do hear it won't exactly be a gristedes as it will be more high end gourmet.

RICHIE said...

I would like to thank ALL the great customers who shopped in Jefferson. It was a pleasure getting to know you & your families for the 29 years I worked there. I feel that a great many of you became a friend. The Montuori family should also be thanked for always treating the people that worked there as part of their family. Thanks, RICHIE

Jeremiah Moss said...

richie, thanks for writing in. 29 years is a long time. i hope gristede's treated you well.

Discount Corp. said...

I do know that Jefferson Market used to purchase low quality turkeys and sell them as Bell and Evans at an exorbitant price. That is only one example of price gouging and unethical practices that were commonplace in their organization.