Friday, February 13, 2009

Jeffertede's Market Opens

Jefferson Market, long closed and almost reopened rather mysteriously after agonizing weeks of slowly emptying shelves and sorrowful signage, announced its Grand Opening for today, Friday the 13th, at 8:00 AM.

Not a good day for friggatriskaidekaphobiacs--though it's fortuitous if you're Italian, for whom "13" is a lucky number. But is Jefferson Market still run by Italians?



Last night, the place was decked out for the pre-opening private party. Lots of well-heeled, white-haired men in dark suits gathered inside to sip champagne and munch hors d'oeuvres served from silver trays.

This did not look like the old Montuori family market. It felt a bit more like "Forbes' #215 Richest American" Catsimatidis style.

Indeed, as a tipster first tipped here last month, Jefferson Market has been taken over by the Gristede's supermarket chain. A follow-up conversation with an employee confirmed that Gristede's bought the place (there was also some odd info about stolen money and people being chased by the Mob, but I can't otherwise confirm those intriguing details) and The Villager assures the Montuori family will still be co-owners.

So it's sort of the same, but also very different. Keeping the Jefferson Market name is a nice gesture, but maybe something along the lines of "Jeffertede's" would be more accurate. This is no mom-and-pop shop anymore.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Roger Friedman (the douchey Fix gossip columnist) bought the fdog-and-pony show, hook, line and sinker. "Won't somebody think about the celebrities?!"
----
…Last fall I told you the famous Jefferson Market in Greenwich Village was in danger of not making its 90th birthday this year. Good news: today the market reopens after a three month break, complete with a fab new renovation and its famous rotisserie chickens. The new owner is John Catsimatidis of the Red Apple and Gristede chains. John — who has mayoral aspirations — realized that too many celebs and regular folk depended on the Jefferson for its legendary butcher and conviviality. He stepped up to the plate and did a remarkable job. More good news: Former owner Louis Montuori is staying on as a paid consultant and many of the former employees are coming home. It’s a happy ending to what could have been a sad story…

Bowery Boogie said...

I can't believe Gristedes has its greasy meat-hooks into the Jefferson Market. Gristedes might trump Duane Reade as the most miserable shopping experience.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photo of La Marionetta! Its owner was Mario (also known as "Baby"). I was told that his mother had a restaurant, Angelina's, down Greenwich toward 6th. Is Angelina's still around?

Grand St. said...

To the last "anon"-

I remember eating at Angelina's with my father a bunch of times. You'd take three steps down from the street to enter, and Angelina herself would greet you. It was like visiting someone's house.

I can also remember eating pizza at La Marionetta before catching a movie at the Greenwich Twin across the street. Unaware of a family connection between the restaurants.

Angelina's was located at 41 Greenwich (near Charles). There's a restaurant there today called ... "41 Greenwich."

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure keeping the name is a 'nice gesture'. It's more like a way of hiding the fact that it's a Gristede's (and all that comes with that - like short-dated food).

This seems to be a new trend with Gristede's For example: Their 'Grocer John's on 14th Street - which they, at first, tried to call 'Trader John's', seemingly thinking that it's only the name that was the reason there are long lines at the register all day long at Trader Joe's, instead of the fact that Trader Joe's offers fresher food, better value, and a cleaner store. Btu people aren't fooled - Grocer John's is empty.

Gristede's/Sloan's has a long standing reputation for dirty stores, overpriced, and short-dated (and even expired) food. Doing the same thing, with a different name isn't going to fool people.

Anonymous said...

A trip to the "new" Jefferson Market left me depressed...it is NOT "my Jefferson!" Better they had let it die a sad, but noble, death. Racks of soda bottles where Peligrino once reigned...packaged fish and meats? Ugh! Doubt the "celebrities" or other devoted customers will spend much (or any) time here!

Anonymous said...

I shopped for certain things in Jeff Market over the years. I was in the Village today and noticed that they had "re-opened." However, I could not actually figure out how to get into the store. And the place looked more like a grocery store than anything else. And there were some of the staples that I enjoyed that I did not see at all: tuna salad, seafood salad and a pasta salad that I just loved.

I decided to buy 1/2 nova salmon. I thought the young man behind the counter sliced the salmon. When I arrived home, I opened the salmon to discover salmon with (pieces of brown) and as thick a liverworst! And it did not smell good.

The old Jeff market (like the old Balducci's) would never serve anything to a discerning customer like that--which makes one all the more appreciate those real mom and pop gourmet stores in NY where you can get real nova.

It is sad what is happening in New York--and I really miss the old Balduccis and Jeff Market. Either one of them, in their day, is head and shoulders above Citerella's and Whole Foods hands down.

I called and spoke to Bob (store official) and he gave me some dumb answer that the nova was "pre-cut." In that case, I could have purchased pre-cut nova in a package.

I will never step foot in their again. I will go to real nova places on the upper westside of lower eastside.

Grand St. said...

As of this week or last, Jeffertede's is kaput.