‘Brooklyn Fare’ Supermarket to Replace Western Beef; Linda Rosenthal Worries About Food Prices


Another Brooklyn Fare location. Photo by j-No.

The Western Beef supermarket at 62nd Street and West End Avenue is expected to close on Wednesday, and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal tells us it will be replaced by a market called Brooklyn Fare.

Brooklyn Fare started in Brooklyn, but has since expanded into Manhattan, with stores in Hudson Yards and the West Village. The store website says it tries to provide “fresh, delicious groceries and prepared foods at approachable prices, with the perks and services of an old-school neighborhood grocer.”

Rosenthal says the landlord assured her that the new market would have similar prices to Western Beef. But she has concerns about some of the prices she sees on the store’s website. “When comparing Brooklyn Fare and Western Beef’s prices online, I noticed that while many items were similarly priced, there were a few notable exceptions, especially with higher prices at Brooklyn Fare in the produce, meat and dairy departments. While a $2 or $5 difference may be nominal to some, such an increase on essential items will have a profound financial impact on my constituents,” she wrote in a letter to the landlord.

Rosenthal also raised worries about the market’s renovations plans, which could last more than six months. In addition, she wants to make sure they take grocery orders by phone. “Many West Siders, including those living in Amsterdam Houses and Amsterdam Houses Addition do not have access to Wi-Fi and will be unable to order groceries online from Brooklyn Fare,” she wrote.

Brooklyn Fare did not immediately respond to our request for comment, but we’ll update this if they do.

FOOD, NEWS | 58 comments | permalink
    1. LivableCity says:

      Thank you Assemblymember Rosenthal for remembering our neighbors who need to shop by phone. Old school but really essential in these times! Here’s hoping the staff at Brooklyn Fare step up and do the right thing in their new neighborhood by making these accommodations for the less able or less privileged of their new community. A well managed new market should do well in that location. The residential density has grown hugely in recent years.

    2. Juan says:

      1. Wi-fi should be made easily available to all New Yorkers. It is 2021. This is a crisis across our country that needs to be solved.

      2. We live in a capitalist society. We cannot tell businesses how much to charge. Supply and demand. I feel bad for those for whom this is a problem but I am not comfortable demanding that a business charge certain prices. There are programs to help subsidize prices for those who cannot afford it – approach it from that angle. And make sure that these programs are run efficiently.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        reply to Juan:

        Assemblyperson Linda Rosenthal has every right to lobby for an affordable supermarket on that site, and she speaks for a large section of her constituents, including low income and elderly. Someone has to look out for their interests, and i’m glad she’s doing it. She’s doing her job.

        if you want a higher priced market, you are free to write letters to the landlord and tenant requesting such.

        it’s interesting that at the same time you seem to be requesting ANOTHER govt service: free Wi Fi. of course that would be subsidized.

        • Boris says:

          I call BS. It’s not her job to ‘lobby’ a landlord on behalf of her constituents in terms of whom he should rent to. That’s not lobbying – that’s undue political pressure intended to let the landlord know she won’t be his ally in the future unless he plays her game.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            reply to Boris:

            apparently you don’t understand how democracies work, or perhaps you don’t LIKE how democracies work.

            Landlords and the rich have power through their money. In case you haven’t noticed, the landlord and large real estate interests have quite a bit of power in this city.

            Poor and working people have to exercise their power and interests in other ways. they do it through mass organizations (unions, community groups) and through their ability to elect reps who will look out for their interests.

            You are welcome to support candidates who will work against the poor and middle class and for the rich and landlords. I’ll opt for candidates who support poor and working people, like Linda Rosenthal, thank you. I won’t be alone.

            • Ian Alterman says:

              Thank you for your amazingly cogent and intelligent responses. And yes, it’s amazing how many people don’t realize how democracies actually work. We saw the apotheosis of that on display in DC this week.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              reply to Ian Alterman:

              you’re welcome, Ian, and thank YOU for your hard work and advocacy for the homeless and other marginalized people in this community. And for your postings, and for doing so under your own name. i don’t like the idea of people who go around putting down the homeless and the poor… and doing so anonymously. Not a good trend, nor a badge of honor.

            • SubwaySurfing says:

              This actually NOT how democracy is supposed work. There is nothing in this story the suggests that this Landlord – or any Landlord – used any influence they may or may actually not have to get away with leasing this space to a new market operator. If fact, there are all kinds of regulations, zoning rules, land use rules, occupancy restrictions and other laws that must be followed by both Landlord and tenant. All of which were passed by either local, state and/or federal legislatures. Absent any violation or circumvention of any of those statutes and regulations, then the People – through their duly elected representatives – got their say on this and it is actually NOT the business of this Assembly Member or any other legislator to interfere. Otherwise, they should propose a new law dictating how the space should be used, bring it up for debate and get it passed by the applicable public body. Because THAT is how democracy works.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              reply to SubwaySurfing:

              the legislative process is PART OF how democracies work. But another key part is constituent services. Local representatives regularly express opinions with both government and private actors. For example, if a private homeless contractor was mistreating its charges, wouldn’t you want the local rep(s) to speak out and look into the situation?

              That the area in the 60s could become an “affordable grocery dessert” is a public concern, but it is not legislative. Representing those constituents who are most in need — seniors and low income — Linda Rosenthal is pursuing all possible remedies.

              The rich and powerful usually hire lawyers to represent their interests. The poor and working class rely more on elected representatives. Location of an affordable supermarket is an issue that affects 1,000s. In attempting to deny Rosenthal the right to intervene, you would be robbing these 1000s of an important voice and resource.

    3. Frank Grimes says:

      so·cial·ism
      /ˈsōSHəˌlizəm/
      noun
      a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

      I weep for this countrys future…..

      • Vegan says:

        Free market still exists in the form of vegetable stand. They don’t accept your food stamp but your coins are acceptable.

        • Anon says:

          The farmers market at 66th and Broadway on Thursdays and Saturdays does accept EBT (“food stamps”) and even gives you a bonus for using them there.

    4. Mark Moore says:

      But are they going to keep the Coinstar machine? I’ve got a dish full of coins that I’d usually take to that Western Beef.

    5. Otis says:

      The space belongs to The Brodsky Organization. It is their choice to rent the space to whichever business they want to.

      It is not up to Linda Rosenthal to dictate to any landlord what to do with their space. She has zero authority to do so.

      I bet The Brodsky Organization threw Rosenthal’s letter to them in the garbage.

      • woodcider says:

        Assemblymember Rosenthal speaks to the concerns of her constituency. Without her input would the needs of the people be expressed? It’s not like the new grocer is going to go around conducting surveys. If anything Rosenthal is giving the business a heads up on what to expect financially. She’s doing the job we elected her to.

        • Boris says:

          No, that’s not her job. What if the neighborhood has changed so much that there is now a clientele that wants a more upscale (and expensive) supermarket? Their needs are valid, too. Maybe they want an upgrade to their neighborhood’s businesses considering how much they’ve invested in it.

          I agree with the other poster who said that Brodsky probably tossed her letter in the garbage.

        • Rachel Cooke says:

          Rosenthal needs to worry about how unsafe the streets are stop meddling in private business.

      • Iris says:

        Don’t be so sure the Brodsky organization threw the letter in the garbage. The next time they come before the City Planning Commission as every single developer must do to build a new building in this city he would face stiff opposition and delays in any new project. These city officials carry weight on these projects.

        • Boris says:

          Linda Rosenthal is not a city official. She’s a State Assemblymember without the jurisdiction you refer to.

          Do you really think that the City would obstruct and delay Brodsky’s development plans because of which supermarket Brodsky leased its space to? It’s good to think these things through and be realistic.

    6. woody says:

      Western beef was a mess. Sold rotten produce and refused to refund to you. Maybe with a new supermarket, the area will change? In with the new, out with the old.

    7. woodcider says:

      Hellman’s Mayonnaise
      Western Beef – $5.99 – Often on sale for around $3.99
      Brooklyn Fare – $7.99

      Forbiddingly there is no sale circular on Brooklyn Fare’s website.
      I guess I’m going all the way Uptown now.

      • Target should pay me for this ads. says:

        That’s why we have Target on 62nd street now.
        Hellman’s mayo is always $3.89.

        • Say-Moi says:

          Many of the people living near Western Beef are elderly and will find it extremely challenging to walk uphill for 15 minutes in the freezing cold to reach Target! Very limited transportation on the Far West Side unfortunately.

      • nycityny says:

        Not sure what size you’re talking about, but for the 30 oz jar:

        Target – $3.89
        Walmart.com – $3.77

        Nobody has to pay Manhattan supermarket prices for lots of items. And Target is at 61st & Broadway, not too far from Western Beef/Brooklyn Fare at 62nd & West End.

      • starbuck says:

        Just wanted to let you know they do have a weekly circular with sales on the website.

    8. J. L. Rivers says:

      Brooklyn anything is a brand these days.

    9. 72RSD says:

      It’s getting uncomfortable to see my elected representative basically harassing a business in the press. Based on speculation, no less!

      For what it’s worth, if she wants a shorter renovation time she could push to change building codes and reduce red tape that make even a basic bathroom renovation into a six months.

    10. marci says:

      doesn’t anybody realize there is no super market in the 80’s or 90’s around Broadway Where is your support

      • Carlos says:

        Key Food at 86 and Amsterdam says hi. It isn’t glamorous but it is fine with decent prices.

        • rteplow says:

          Another vote for Key Foods on Amsterdam. It’s not bad, and has a decent meat section.

          • SubwaySurfing says:

            Whole Foods on 98th and Columbus. Trader Joes on 93d and Columbus. Both always mobbed. Mani Market on 94th and Columbus too. A brand new supermarket opened on 90th and Amsterdam 2 years ago. It CLOSED less than 6 months later because it didn’t get enough business. The Food Emporium on 90th and Broadway also closed. They couldn’t compete with Fresh Direct. In other words, they couldn’t compete with the businesses that most of the people in the neighborhood wanted instead. That’s how free enterprise works. Simple economic principles of supply and demand.

    11. WestEndAl says:

      Western Beef evidently couldn’t cut it at the WEA location; there’s no guarantee that the new outfit will make a go of things either. The neighborhood (not some politician) will decide. (Too bad we;re not getting an Aldi; that’d be a sure winner.)

    12. Citygirl says:

      You get what you pay for. Less expensive produce is lesser quality produce. It’s just that simple. If you cannot afford higher quality produce, then don’t buy it. That’s what I did for most of my life until I started earning enough to begin buying higher quality. Everyone cannot afford the same things in life. It’s really quite simple to understand.
      For those who truly need assistance there are so many programs available. These programs should only be for those who truly need the assistance. Better management and oversight of these programs is needed. It would result in having even more available for those who truly need it.

    13. Steven Barall says:

      Linda Rosenthal is simply trying everything she can to help her constituents. Why not make those suggestions? That’s what we should be demanding of all of our elected officials. Rosenthal is an unusually good advocate which is why she gets so much attention and so many votes.

      Besides, if I owned that supermarket and an elected official especially someone with the reputation of Linda Rosenthal wanted to give me suggestions on how I could better serve my community of customers I would be grateful and I would take her seriously. There’s nothing bad happening here folks. Send donations to New York City Food Bank.

    14. David Gordon says:

      Assemblywoman Rosenthal should focus her energy on getting free wi-fi for all residents including those in the Amsterdam Houses. That would facilitate commerce,educational opportunity, and do more to reduce economic equality than her brow beating a private company into reducing their prices.

      • Affordable prices for something even more basic than WiFi (FOOD, for example) is quite important to many.

        For example, I myself have no WiFi, yet I still can be found in various food stores, repeatedly buying food as if there’s a tomorrow.

        Actually, it’s become quite an expensive habit, certainly of late… woodcider’s point ($7.99 for mayo?!) certainly makes that point clear.

    15. John Hagemeyer says:

      There is a Morton-Williams 2 blocks from this new store. Pretty sure they try to compete for lowest prices.

    16. Gretchen says:

      Maybe it’s time for the UWS to start its first member-run food market co-op like the hugely successful and popular one in Park Slope, Brooklyn. This would give the neighborhood a wide variety of fresh produce, organic products and healthier choices for affordable, low prices. It would also help bring the community together for everyone’s benefit. Are you listening, Linda?

    17. Mike says:

      Someone needs to explain how a politician has any influence over a tenant’s prices by browbeating the tenant’s landlord. Why isn’t she addressing her concerns to the tenant directly? Why wouldn’t she also direct similar concerns to the Morton Williams that opened not long ago just a few blocks away with an outrageous pricing model?

    18. elmera goldberg says:

      No! Why the change? I am a regular WB customer and value the prices as much as the wide variety of goods they carry. NOT GOOD NEWS!

    19. ? says:

      Since when does a landlord decide what a tenant charges?

      Next maybe she’ll ask the landlord the hours of operation or what the hiring process will be

    20. Glen says:

      I work near Brooklyn Fare on W37 between 9th/10th, it is a clean, well stocked store but *expensive.* Clearly its current clientele living in the new glass towers of Hudson Yards have no trouble paying $8.00(+) for a jar of mayo, but other locals have alternatives if its prices are out of the question (Ideal Supermarket on 30th/9th). No such “safety valve” exists on the far UWS.

      • charles becker says:

        Linda Rosenthal has concerns for people in the projects. She never has concerns for people in the middle class who are over taxed to pay for the subsidized rents given to the people living in the Amsterdam Houses etc.

        Maybe she prefers the former supermarket space stays empty.

        • high-end gastronomy says:

          Other than giving away food stamps or expired food donations from Trader Joe’s and so on, employment opportunity is the best way to help community.
          Former CBS facility in 57th street far west end could house companies. Local people can work there early or late shift easily than anyone commuting from other area. Then workers can proudly afford high-end fresh groceries like Brooklyn Fair.

    21. Zanarkand says:

      What does she expect the company to do? They want to make renovations to stay in line with the brand image and experience. Western Beef isn’t exactly a sparkling place to shop but it gets the job done. The new company is more than just getting the job done. They are trying to attract a bigger shopper base. This is pure business and smart business.

    22. w59ther says:

      HOLY CRAP! So many of you in this thread are so shameful.

      I am thankful to Linda Rosenthal for being concerned for the REAL working class NYer’s who live in our neighborhood who rely on affordable groceries, such as those supplied by WB.

      THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE UNCONCERNED WITH PRICES BEING RAISED ARE THE SAME ONES CRYING ABOUT CRIME GOING UP IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. Do you not see the connection here? If people can’t afford groceries near their home, what do you think they are going to have to start doing?

      Citygirl said “if If you cannot afford higher quality produce, then don’t buy it”

      REALLY?

      GROSS.

      • charles hoffman says:

        Rosenthal has a Utopian sense of “it’s everyone else’s responsibility”

        She fosters a sense of victimhood

    23. Elizabeth says:

      Don’t forget about Pioneer on Columbus Avenue and 73rd Street,

    24. Whataboutfreemarkets? says:

      Is Linda offering to subsidize the Retailer’s rent in exchanged for lowering prices? The landlord could have rented the space to Cartier if they wanted. They are under zero obligation to provide the community with a supermarket.

      If the city is concerned about food deserts, allow supermarkets to be built on NYC HPD sites and don’t charge rent to the operators in exchanged for fixed prices. Problem solved.

      Also – if residents don’t have wifi, add wifi to the Amsterdam Houses. That is probably the most shocking information in this story.

    25. Recycle says:

      Where is the dumpster that supermarket throw perished food? Supermarket is regulated so they are not allowed to sell expired foods.

    26. Jay says:

      Brooklyn Fare certainly has a good selection of ice cream, much much better than “Fairway”.

      It’s prices are probably a bit higher than Western Beef, but it’s a long time since I was in the WB in the Meat Packing District. It’s now an Apple store.

      However Brooklyn Fare (on the west side of Manhattan) is not in Hudson Yards. It’s on 37th street between 9th and 10th backed into the cut for the train tracks. Hudson Yards is too the south a few blocks.

      How about instead of asking Brooklyn Fare for comment the West Rag take a walk down 9th to 37th and hang an right?

    27. Jordan says:

      Brooklyn trash. Western Beef will be missed. It’s a real shame.

    28. Noah says:

      There was a Brooklyn Fare by my old office in the West Village. I resisted it for a while because, well, Brooklyn. But the prices were pretty good and selection nice too – I was surprised!

    29. Ron says:

      I was a longtime customer at Brooklyn Fare’s original location on Schermerhorn & Hoyt St in downtown BK and can attest to a high quality of groceries and customer service. The prices werent the absolute cheapest but better bang for your buck and healthier options than other nearby markets. Also prefer supporting a NY businses than a Whole Foods.

    30. Larry says:

      Brooklyn Fare is an extremely expensive store.