Two Korean delis have closed their doors after serving Upper West Siders for decades, part of a sad trend in the neighborhood and the city.
Golden Boy Mart on Broadway between 98th and 99th Streets (above) closed recently after more than 30 years in the neighborhood. Sam Laroche, the owner of Petqua down the block, said the owners of Golden Boy simply couldn’t make rent. Golden Boy, like a lot of Korean delis in the city, stocked a stunning array of goods, from Latin and Asian specialties to staples. “They literally have every condiment and sauce known to man and as I am a big fan and collector of such items I am a huge fan,” wrote one fan. Thanks to West Side Rag reader Anya for the tip.
And Great Farm, a Korean deli at the corner of 68th Street and Columbus Avenue (left) that had also been around for decades, has just shut its doors and cleared out the store. Like Golden Boy, the store was stocked with tons of different kinds of foods, along with a full buffet with everything from mac and cheese to sesame chicken. It will be missed.
Small delis run by families (often Korean) have been a staple of New York City living for the past 40 years or so, but despite the phenomenal work ethic of the people who run them they are going away in a hurry. Upper West Side delis have been closing, or just scraping by in recent years. In 1995, there were 2,500 Korean grocers; by 2005 that number had fallen to 2,000, and the decline has continued since then, the New York Times recently reported. Where will we go to get taco sauce, beer and ice cream at 11:30 now? Duane Reade? Boo.
Leonora Desar contributed reporting. Top photo by Leonora, bottom photo by Avi.