Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chelsea Court Meat Market

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
Kurowycky Meats

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. I see Anthony every day and he is the true epitome of friendly neighborhood butcher. He waves hello from his van. He stops to talk to neighbors. This is a real loss for the community.

EV Grieve said...

I really hate this.

PS
Tipsy Parson?

jon yang said...

The biggest takeaway from all of this is New York's scale of economics.

Drag 6th Ave in Chelsea, where you used to have six storefronts, now you have a one. The 'cover charge', the economic point of entry has become to high for small business, the middle class, and genuine diversity. This applies to all of these posts.

BaHa said...

Tipsy parson is alcohol-soaked sponge cake. Rather appropriate, but not in a good way.

MissDay said...

where'd everyday chatter go?

Jeremiah Moss said...

just taking a chatter break. i'll get back to it soon.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who senses just a touch of homophobia in the "decency" and "outer-space people" remarks? Considering the ways the demographics of Chelsea have changed...

Anonymous said...

Yes, anon..you are "the only one."

coldasICE said...

hahah. yes more like yuppiephobia. don't be so sensitive...

Friend From 20th Street said...

This is my local butcher. So incredibly sad, he was always so helpful and had the best cuts! He will be missed...

Blane said...

My husband notes that this morning, May 11th 2009, Ira Afromsky of Knickerbocker Meat in the Bronx announces in the window of the old Chelsea Court Meat Market that he will open for business in the next two weeks.

Jeremiah Moss said...

thanks blane. i hope the new butcher is half as decent as the last.

Anonymous said...

New lease holders opened on Tuesday. At first blush, prices are up and quality is down.

Anonymous said...

We stopped by and talked to the new owner - Knickerbocker Meat Market. The place is very clean - a bit retro- and the side part of the store that used to closed and blocked off is now open. He is selling prime beef so the prices may be a bit higher than the previous place for certain items but actually I think the prices are very reasonable for prime. I bought a steak and it was amazing - could cut with a butter knife! I am going back again to try some other cuts.

Anonymous said...

You should drop in. Anthony is now a hired hand there. I hope it goes beyond a great PR move.
CD

Anonymous said...

It will never compare to when Anthony his Brother and Nephew were there ... what a great family business

Big B said...

The new butcher is FAR FAR better than the old one. The old guy may have been a neighborhood institution but his shop was dirty and scary and mediocre quality. The new place has very high quality meat. He sells more prime cuts than you can find at Whole Foods or Garden of Eden (where did all the prime meat go???) and supplies some to Peter Luger. Nice guys too, will cut you a deal if you seem to be from the hood. SO much better. Also, this is a butcher shop from the Bronx. Not like the old guy was replaced by a Starbucks.

Eben Abbaan said...

I made a video of our trip to Pino's Prime Meat:

http://vimeo.com/6637249