Despite a few setbacks (including Chapter 11 bankruptcy and a subsequent exit and company reformation), Fairway Market is set to open its long-awaited new Brooklyn store next month.
The 40,000 square foot unit is located at 2400 Ralph Avenue in the Bergen Beach section of the borough. The former Waldbaum’s supermarket (which closed last November as part of A&P’s market exit) will be Fairway’s second Brooklyn store (its Red Hook unit opened in 2006) and 15th overall.
Fairway Market announced it would open the store, located in the Georgetown Shopping Center, more than a year ago, but those plans were delayed when the upscale merchant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last May. Fairway emerged from bankruptcy about six weeks later with approximately $50 million in cash, a substantial lowering of its debt (by $140 million) and a reduction of its annual debt service obligations by up to $8 million.
Fairway was founded by Nathan Glickberg in 1933 and was operated as a family-run business before a controlling interest in the retailer was acquired by private equity firm Sterling Investment Partners in 2007. In April 2013, Fairway launched a public offering and never made a profit in the three years prior to filing for bankruptcy.
Jack Murphy, CEO of the urban retailer, told financial analysts before the bankruptcy filing: “This (Brooklyn) location will be the prototype for our new store model. It will have a smaller footprint and lower cost structure than our existing stores.”
More recently, when the new store, which was originally slated to open later this month, was under construction, the former Earth Fare chief executive said, “We are thrilled to become a part of the Georgetown community in Brooklyn and offer the neighborhood a shopping experience that is enjoyable and has something for everyone. In addition, this new store opening will create 250-plus jobs for the community.”
Fairway reportedly signed a 20-year lease for its new Brooklyn unit. The landlord is Astoria Holding Corp.