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What's With Jefferson Market?

I stopped in yesterday for the first time in several weeks and I was shocked to see the empty shelves and the very few customers. Hardly any cheeses in the cheese bins, only a few items on the hot dog and bacon shelves. There were only a few customers and the place had the feel of a store in the process of closing down. That would be a shame...

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  1. I noticed the same thing last week and asked--was told that lots of people were "on vacation." Oh oh.

    1. This has actually been going on for several months now, but it becomes more noticeable as more time passes and the shelves become emptier and emptier. The employees make various excuses, but something is definitely going on, and it is not good. It looks like they can't pay their suppliers so the merchandise is not being delivered. I'll be sorry to see them go.

      1. They had a malfunction with the refrigeration on the cheese display. It happened for the third or so time, so there's a level of frustration felt by the manager, but they're doing fine. They still have a healthy cross-section of old patrons, (like myself), who will do anything not to go to the posher alternatives. It's an old model, but a working one for the moment. The deli still does a decent business, as does the butcher. At least the local firemen won't buy their steaks anywhere else!

        3 Replies
        1. re: sing me a bar

          That is good to hear, but it was more than the cheese display. I stopped into get some Niman Ranch bacon, but there was not only no Niman Ranch bacon, three of the four shelves that usually have bacon, hot dogs and the like were bare, and the one shelf that had items only had a few. There were far fewer selections in the prepared food cases, and there were very few customers (in contrast to Citarella's, which was bustling).

          I very much hope they can survive and prosper, but it seemed yesterday like they are winding down.

          1. re: sing me a bar

            I wish I could believe it is only a malfunction, but it's also the shelves of basic grocery items and condiments, etc. that are not being restocked.

            1. re: rrems

              We order from them where I work and they have been buying our groceries elsewhere and delivering them to us.....that doesn't sound like a refrigeration problem to me

          2. I was in there today, after not having been there for most of the summer. I, too, was alarmed at how bare the shelves were, and how depressing it felt in there. I certainly did get the impression that it is on its last legs.
            I have been patronizing Jefferson since the days when it was across 6th Avenue, and had not yet even expanded in that space. I will be crushed if it closes.

            1. Yes, stopped in today and I nearly cried. The checkout girls know nothing. The store is half empty. I was hoping it's going to be renovated (needs it), but they'd say something. This is just awful.

              1. Can't say I'm surprised. I ordered a Turducken from them last Thanksgiving. Took forever to cook and when I sliced it open, I discovered why: it wasn't an actual turducken. The butcher had just stuffed it with chunks of chicken and duck and stuffing, rather than layers of fully deboned birds.

                I called to complain after Thanksgiving and the owner assured me he would refund my money. Never happened.

                1. I went in last Saturday, 9/6 and it really depressed me. I moved to Brooklyn from the West Village several years ago, but I'd been going to JM for nearly 20 years pretty regularly. Always thought they straddled the line between gourmet and regular groceries pretty well, and the butchers were just great. Especially appreciated them after Balducci's was sold and began its quick decline. They have signs in the window now, stating that they're having a rough patch, but they plan to be better than ever. While I really hope so, it doesn't look good. It felt like a grocery store in East Berlin or Prague during the Cold War. The selection, including the meats, were pretty thin and the staff threadbare (and not informed). One of my favorite markets on a steep decline: it made me feel O-L-D.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jkopie

                    They're restocking and spiffing the place up. It was a very slow summer for them, but they're still a Village perennial. I buy everything I can there because Citerella leaves me cold, except for the fish counter.

                    1. re: sing me a bar

                      I walked by the store last Monday (9/8), and there were large notices in the window saying that they were going through a rough period and hoped to ride it out. They said it is their intention to stay the course and they asked their loyal customers to keep coming in, if only to say hello. The messages were signed by the president of Jefferson Market.

                      Very unfortunately, it seems like a downward spiral. You may want to patronize them but they are out so many things, so it is difficult.

                      I think everyone wants to see them survive and prosper, but the omens are very bad, IMHO...

                  2. Some info in NYMag today about why they can't restock:

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Lucia

                      There's still something missing from this story. It has little if anything to do with a "slow summer". As I noted in my first post above, the shelves were already not being restocked in the spring. It's just a lot more noticeable now after 3 months of no restocking.

                      1. re: rrems

                        I'm still hearing they intend to spiff the place up at some point soon. I'm buying EVERYTHING there in hopes of staving off their demise. They GOTTA survive! If they close, I'm bailing. It would be proof that the Village is becoming only a memory.

                        1. re: sing me a bar

                          A few days ago walked by to check - to see darkened storefront and a handwritten sign that Con Ed had unexpectedly turned off electricity and so they had to close...no indication of what is next. I actually came here now to find out if anyone knew. There's a story or a novel in it....

                      2. re: Lucia

                        Here's a bit more to the story...
                        I don't think Jefferson Market is going to make it in the long run.

                        1. re: Ora

                          Thanks for the update. It's not my neighborhood anymore, but I always enjoyed shopping there, and have stopped in from time to time.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            Welcome. I hate see what's happening right now with the few independent shops left--sad.

                            1. re: Ora

                              Tonight on NBC news there is a special report on the Village, about how it changes, and the commerical had Jefferson featured. So may be there will be some information about it.

                              1. re: kobetobiko

                                If they truly are closing and start clearing it out, look for me chained to the front gate in protest. This is part of Villagers' history and Citarella is nowhere near as good as JM used to be. They just need some new blood and for the owner to stop whistling by the graveyard and posting signs saying they'll be back in 3 weeks. (That was at least 1 1/2 months ago...)

                                1. re: sing me a bar

                                  I'll be right there with you, sing me.
                                  I know in my head that it won't be re-opening, but I just can't believe it.
                                  I also agree that Citarella is no Jefferson Market, and I might add, neither was Balducci's when it was in Citarella's space. For quality and service(especially service), Jefferson was in a class of its own.