After 49 years in business, the Chelsea Court Meat Market will be closing its doors on Saturday, April 18.
Just one year ago, Chelsea Now reported that the butcher shop, run by Anthony Sigismondi on 9th Ave. and 20th St., was doing well, "still making cut in changing 'hood."
Reporter Charlotte Cowles described the shop aptly, writing that it "appears out of place, like a black-and-white photograph in a Technicolor movie." Inside, like many of the old butcher shops still surviving, there is sawdust on the floor, a collection of shiny knives hanging from a rack, and it smells like a real meat shop--refrigerated and a bit bloody. The affable butcher, in his blood-smeared coat, sports a thick mustache and Brooklyn accent. He knows his regulars by name and by the cut of their meat.
In the Chelsea Now article, long-time patrons describe the shop as "Much better than Whole Foods" and "one of the last bastions of decency in Chelsea." But the neighborhood has continued to change dramatically. The Meat Market is directly across the avenue from the fast-climbing Chelsea Enclave, a condo marketed for its luxury and exclusivity. Many of the stores along this stretch are closing--an antiques shop just shuttered here and the former laundromat is about to become a restaurant called Tipsy Parson.
Said one Chelsea native and Meat Market customer, "I feel like we’ve been invaded by the outer-space people... I feel like a stranger here. On 14th St. they’ve put flowerpots in the middle of the street. This isn’t Paris!"
Sigismondi's lease is up and he's decided to leave the neighborhood. As he says in his goodbye signage, while butchering has been his "way of life, the time has come for me to thank everyone and move on!"
The loss of the Chelsea Court Meat Market will be a blow to its neighbors who find familiarity there, and a disappointment to anyone who values mom-and-pops in the city.
More NYC Butcher Shops:
Pino's Meat Market
Albanese Meats & Poultry
Schaller & Weber