Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Four months after Red Hook’s Fairway Market was forced to close by Superstorm Sandy, the foodie emporium is readying for a grand reopening and ribbon cutting this Friday morning, March 1.
The popular supermarket, a business anchor in Red Hook, was devastated by Hurricane Sandy and has been renovating from floor to ceiling over the last four months.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will keynote the program, which begins at 9:30 a.m. at the store, which is located at 480-500 Van Brunt St.
Also joining in the ceremony will be Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and other elected officials and local dignitaries, as well as Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan, Fairway Market executives, dozens of local business owners (many offering demonstrations), and hundreds of residents. Entertainment will be provided by 103.5 KTU's Matt Bosso, the Brooklyn Dodger Symphony Band and others.
“Fairway Market is more than just a store; it is the quintessential grocery experience with something for everyone—from our foodies and artisan advocates to even Brooklyn’s own Miss America, Mallory Hagan,” said BP Markowitz.
“Since Hurricane Sandy, Fairway’s absence in Red Hook left Brooklynites with an emptiness in their daily routines—and their refrigerators,” he added. “I can personally attest that no week was quite the same without my wife and I taking our ritual trip to Fairway; of course Jamie would head straight to the fruit and vegetables aisle and I dash straight for the prepared foods counter and the great variety of smoked salmon a.k.a. lox.”
Markowitz also expressed gratitude to the entire Red Hook community for its fortitude, declaring, “Bravo to Fairway’s first family, the Glickbergs, and to Tom Hoover—a man who I proudly ‘look up’ to—as well as Mayor Bloomberg, the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation and Executive Director David Meade, and to the entire Red Hook community for their amazing strength in the aftermath of Sandy’s devastation.”
Fairway Market’s Red Hook store first opened in 2006 in a sprawling brick and wrought iron Civil War-era building on the Brooklyn waterfront and quickly became a mainstay of the neighborhood, drawing tens of thousands of shoppers a week down Van Brunt Street, the neighborhood's main commercial thoroughfare. Its closing meant the loss of a big part of the customer base for many businesses including restaurants, bars, vintage shops and bodegas that serve the Red Hook neighborhood.
The opening marks the completion of the renovation of the 39,000-sq.-ft. store, which was completely gutted in the aftermath of the super storm.
“We’re still ‘like no other market’ only even better,” said Howie Glickberg, Vice Chairman of Development and grandson of the founder of Fairway Market.
David Meade, Executive Director at Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC), said the March event is about “more than the reopening of Fairway; it symbolizes the rebuilding of Red Hook.
“The dedication and spirit of the local business community as they continue to rebuild their businesses is an inspiration,” said Meade. “Fairway and Red Hook businesses collaborate in many ways: the local restaurants cook with the store’s ingredients; the local food producers stock the store’s shelves.”
As part of a continuing effort to help the community Fairway Market is teaming with ReStore Red Hook. Customers are being asked to donate to www.restoreredhook.org, which goes straight to small businesses damaged by Sandy, and then Fairway Market will match all contributions up to $20,000.
“Fairway has been sorely missed in every possible sense, from the ability to purchase a gallon of milk, to the thousands of people who visit Red Hook every week en route to Fairway,” said Monica Byrne, Co-founder and Advisory Board member of ReStore Red Hook and chef of Home/Made Wine Bar. “Fairway's impact on the community cannot be overstated; as we have learned in the past few months, it is profound.”
Charles Santoro, Fairway Market Chairman and co-founder and Managing Partner of Sterling Investment Partners, majority owner of the company, said that hundreds of Red Hook employees, the majority of whom live in the neighborhood, have been kept on staff, some working on the store’s clean-up while many others were placed temporarily in other Fairway Market locations. And with transportation still an issue, the company has been providing free shuttle service to and from Red Hook for these employees.