Fairway Set to Start Closing 125th Street Location As Soon As Today

Fairway was able to sell most of its stores — including the flagship store at 74th and Broadway — as it dealt with debt issues earlier this year.

But the store on 125th Street and 12th Avenue did not find a buyer, and court documents show that Fairway expects to begin store-closing proceedings “on or after” Friday, June 26. It opened in 1995.

“It is expected to close no later than June 30, a filing with the state Department of Labor shows,” Crain’s reported. “The store has about 165 unionized employees.”

In a strange twist, the company that bought the 74th Street location, Village Super Market, bought the parking lot at 125th but not the store itself, Crain’s noted.

“Village Super Market agreed to buy the parking lot but not the store, which made it harder for another buyer to step forward, and none did. The location houses Fairway‘s corporate headquarters.”

NEWS | 46 comments | permalink
    1. Emily says:

      I was at Fairway 125th last weekend and they will remain open under new ownership/name called “Harlem Market”. The employee said everything for the most part will remain the same minus the Fairway branded items.

      • attyatlarge says:

        Despite what the employee said, the court filing states that the store is closing. Further there has been no “new ownership”. Any change in ownership would require bankruptcy court proceedings to assign the lease and that has not happened. There were no bidders on this store at the bankruptcy court auction.

    2. wombatNYC says:

      That’s really a shame – The 125th street store is much more comfortable to shop in then 76th st. As the neighborhood continues to develop the need for a supermarket in that space is important.

    3. Ellen says:

      A parking lot has no union.

    4. Stu says:

      If the parking lot is developed, then the market — whatever it is branded — will fail. While some people do Uber/Taxi over to go shopping, and a few bus or walk, the main draw of the market is for those who have cars and can park in the lot and do a big shop. In that case, what they should do is develop the market into an “Eataly” or “Essex Market” food-court type market, where you have many different food “store” options, with an indoor seating area, and, of course, areas to sit by sidewalk and the park across the street.

      • wombatNYC says:

        It would also be nice if people had the courtesy to clean up after they eat in that park across the street. I’m amazed at the amount of rubbish and food scrapes that are left behind after a summer weekend. Nobody gives S**t

        • UwsGuy says:

          You are correct. I run there most mornings and am always disgusted by the thoughtless people who have left behind their garbage for Parks employees to clean up. “This is why we can’t have nice things!”
          (This morning I was doubly disappointed: used fireworks were strewn around everywhere, too.)

    5. why do so many intelligent people think expansion is there answer? Is it more money? Opening so many stores on Long Island where people have cars and choices certainly must have led to this bankruptcy and the needs of so many city dwellers void of an exceptional store.

    6. Eric K. Washington says:

      Such sad news! I did the historic signage across the street for West Harlem Piers Park, which married perfectly with Fairway Harlem as a destination. A big loss for the immediate and extended community.

    7. Bryan says:

      If this is true, it is strange that they had begun the “Harlem Market” rebranding there recently. Why bother if you were just going to close?

    8. bronx boy says:

      Why won’t Village Super Market just buy the Harlem site after the store closes? It looks like they bought the parking lot as a blocking move, nobody else would want the store without the parking. They can now buy the store site for much less than they would have had to pay otherwise.

    9. B.B. says:

      If there is to be another market at this space, likely will come after Fairway is gone and property sold.

      It was made clear by Amazon and others their reasons for not buying Fairway at 125th, Red Hook and a few other locations was the unions. Since local NYC law mandates any new owner of supermarket keep all employees (union or not) for several months, that throws a huge wrench into potential plans.

    10. B.B. says:

      Buying the parking lot makes a whole lot of sense real estate wise.

      First and foremost the lot is just that; empty space with development potential with no pesky tenants. It is a blank slate if you will.

      Two owner of parking lot has substantial influence over adjacent lot. IIRC there is substantial unused air rights (FAR) for both properties. But combined it is greater.

      Standard real estate play in New York city for ages has been… if you want to control what happens to your building, buy the lots on either side.

      • Boris says:

        What kind of air rights are there if both properties are under the West Side Highway?

        • B.B. says:

          Only part of the parking lot is under Westside highway, rest is just that, open space used for parking. In fact there is more open space than there is under highway.

          Fairway market building itself is not under any portion of Westside highway unless am mistaken.

    11. your_neighbor says:

      Old news, I know lots of people didn’t want to believe it but they clearly announced that they were just taking over the parking lot back in February.
      Parking lot can either be built upon or can be used as a base for home delivery trucks. Not so good for the people who work there but a smart move by the new owners. Very unlike the dumb move by Fairway owners who believed that they should expand until they go bust.

    12. Mark Moore says:

      I loved that store and went there one last time a few weeks ago. Very sad.

    13. Louise says:

      My theory is that Columbia will buy the parking lot and demolish the store for either a new Columbia building with parking or develop the whole site with no parking.

      Closing that store is a real shame. it’s so needed in the neighborhood plus parking so you can load up your car.

    14. Joyce F says:

      The bankruptcy judge did debt holders and the community a disservice by allowing the parking lot to be sold separately. Officially, there are no grocery stores now in Manhattan that I know of where you can conveniently and affordable take your car to buy groceries – Costco doesn’t count. Love 125th Fairway and another sad moment in NYC. So sorry to see you go –

      • js says:

        So sad to see Uptown Fairway go.

        BTW There is a Key Food in Riverdale (235th Street location) with a parking lot.

      • Su says:

        Why doesn’t Costco count?

        • MaryC says:

          Because you need a paid membership.
          Because many of us don’t need 6 jars of mayo 🤣

          • dannyb says:

            just a pointer re: Costco. You do NOT need a membership to buy from their pharmacy, both at the store and mail order. Also, booze might be in the same category of not needing membership.
            In New Jersey you can also purchase gasoline without membership.

    15. Chef J says:

      I’m so sad about this. I have shopped there regularly since they opened and my clients loved the unique and delicious food I would get from there. With Dean and Deluca gone, this continues erasing the parts of New York that made it New York. Maybe people 100 years ago felt the same about their mainstays…I had a feeling when the family sold and the expansions began that it was the beginning of the end. They got rid of many of the key players that made Fairway what it was.

      The outlying stores were empty and Harlem was mostly InstaCart shoppers. Many of the employees have been there for years, they weren’t happy with the new management but at least they still had jobs.

    16. Harold R says:

      The buyer could lease or sell it to Columbia Univrsity complex already built in the neiborhood Store itself presents issues with Westside Highway

    17. Deborah says:

      I find this so sad. I luckily own a car and the convenience of driving up to 125th Street from the Upper West Side made shopping very easy. Plus it was a much saner store to shop in than the one closer to me on 74th Street. Sad to see this go.

    18. Jay Ellar says:

      In the early 2000’s when I became a budding home chef, that location of Fairway was the place where I would go and get inspired about new produce, meats and cheeses. Loved their cold room. It was also the first supermarket where my now-11-year-old son first rode on a shopping cart eating the cookies that you could pick with the tongs on the way to the cheese counter.

    19. Karen says:

      Sold off the parking lot with a view of the park and water. Wonder why

    20. Janice says:

      Really sorry to hear this. I loved that store.

    21. Stute says:

      Is it closed???

    22. Jonathan says:

      I just went today. There are “STORE CLOSING” signs everywhere, but the shelves are stocked and there are no sales. A cashier I spoke to said they’re actually closing in two weeks.

    23. Susan Cohen says:

      the ones who bought the parking lot do not live in NY and do not understand the needs of those of us who relied on this store ,
      the old employees were outstanding, and thisis
      about not caring about local people having quality of life.This is what we learned about self improvement during Corona.

      • Boris says:

        Why should the new owner of the parking lot care enough about your needs to take on the challenge of also owning a supermarket at that location? Maybe you and all the other neighborhood people that have been affected should have bought both properties and operated it as a co-op. It’s very easy to tell other people what to do with their money. Your tune would change if you had skin in the game.

        • Wturner says:

          That’s not a very helpful comment. We are a community here in Harlem, and if you’re part of it, then rather than tell people who are heartbroken about this that they should have bought the spaces and turned it into a co-op, you can have some compassion and educate the community on options like that. I’m not sure how many people have access to these kinds of deals, much less have any ability to organize and put forth capital to create a co-op in Manhattan. We can also complain since we live in this neighborhood, and we can voice our displeasure with the rampant gentrification and greed, especially the very greed that led to this situation. I will miss Fairway, and I think it should be another grocery store. If it doesn’t, that’s too bad.

    24. Ardith says:

      I am also so disappointed. I’ve been using this store for years, and was just there this past week. As others have said, it was much more comfortable to shop in than the 74th St store. Thanks to js for the info about the Key Food in Riverdale.

    25. Jeanne C. says:

      What can be done to keep the Harlem location open??? We need fresh foods and organic options at affordable prices JUST like the other neighborhoods. Why was the Harlem deal the only one of the 5 to fall through?

      • B.B. says:

        Find a some rich investor or investors to buy the place and fund ongoing store. Otherwise that 125th Fairway is history.

        Stand alone independent supermarkets cannot survive any longer. Business is just that competitive nowadays, especially with online.

        It is odd that no one wanted the two of the largest and popular (by most accounts) Fairway markets; Red Hook and Harlem.

    26. Thelma Walker-Wallace says:

      I am so disappointed. I counted on this location to purchase good quality produce.

    27. A.B. says:

      Very sad. I hope this is not prescient of the upcoming future of the UWS and New York in general. Uptown Fairway represented New York’s finally coming out of its near bankruptcy in the 70’s and crime of the 80’s. It took many years for New York to become a desirable place to live again.
      I remember when it first opened many asked, “Who would go up there?” Opening it was visionary. Though I never really liked Fairway, mainly for the attitudes, I will miss it.

      • TomD says:

        Very sad to see this just today on a walk by the river. I hope its replaced with another good grocery store. I love the look of that area under the bridge. But its bad location for restaurants or if they’re thinking high end housing on the river. The water treatment plant under Riverbank Park often makes the area smell like sewage.

    28. LInda Lewis says:

      There is also a Stop & Shop with parking at 234th St. & Broadway. I will miss the Harlem Fairway for its fresh produce and the cold room. It was a great market . I’d go there often.

    29. AMW says:

      How is a grocery store allowed to close during a pandemic?