Despite a push by politicians to keep Food City on 94th street and Columbus Avenue open, the market has closed and one of the owners tells us there’s little chance that it will move or reopen. Food City is a lifeline for many middle-class, poor, and elderly residents in the neighborhood, and we’ve heard from many of them that they’re devastated that it won’t be there anymore.
Councilwoman Gale Brewer had said a few days ago that she was working on keeping the store open. LeFrak Organization owns the building, and has said that it wanted to work with the city to improve the space, but it’s plans were somewhat vague (backstory here). We’ve reached out to LeFrak and will update this post if we hear back.
Barbara, one of our frequent tipsters on this story, sent the following note today:
“This has an enormous effect on people who formerly shopped there. My friends and I have tried D’Agostino, where I never shopped before, because that is the closest, and on a level path. But differences in prices can be shocking. Ex: Green grapes 3.99 a pound, that are 1.29 on Broadway—and not the freshest.
Funky old Associated, about 98th/Amsterdam, would work except that it is a long way back, and much uphill, for heavy items like milk, canned goods, chicken. We have always done some selective shopping at Whole Foods and the beloved Mani Market, but neither will do for big basics shopping.
And this is in good weather. Imagine winter. You would think Lefrak and other owners would put their heads together and realize that a supermarket right there is a big draw for people renting or buying.”
As the store emptied out, a writer from Epicurious said she kept stopping by to see what was still available: “Recipe Starters” from Progresso apparently weren’t selling well. Also: “There were single bottles of bad sauces and single boxes of scary cookies and a few clusters of products overpriced even at 50 percent off.”