Additional Images from Gristedes Blaze in Brooklyn Heights

 The fire broke out just before 6:00 this evening.  No injuries were immediately reported, though the toll taken on the vermin population has yet to be assessed.

It is not clear what caused the fire, though to this correspondent's nose, electricity seems to have been the culprit. 


Photos by Marc Hermann. 

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  • http://creativeblizzard.comcomingsoon hicksstreet

    The good news: That smell at Gristedes has been eliminated. The bad: umm thinking….

  • Ernie G

    I will bet my life savings that the electrical malfunction was caused by a rat that chewed through the wires. Someone please let Wholefoods or Citerella’s know of some newly available space in BH please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bornhere

    Gristede’s was convenient for some, I’m sure; but what a horrible store. That no one was physically hurt is a gift; that maybe a clean, well-run grocery store might replace that disaster is another gift.

  • Tim N.

    Place is trashed? Joke’s on us… they’ll be open again in an hour.

  • anon

    I was walking home after a late night at work, and Henry St was closed off as of 11:30pm. Store is all boarded up, and I’d guess it’ll probably be weeks before they re-open. I do have to repeat the sentiments of “good riddance.” The fact that Catsimatidis fancies himself as the next Mike Bloomberg doesn’t help. Neither does that lawsuit from a few years ago where Gristedes was found to be paying African deliverymen $2 an hour.

  • SS

    with our luck, the 3rd world keyfood will take over.
    its amazing that with so much more $ to b made from quality product and a good experience that these crappy chains wont make the move make it better and make more money. people will pay for better expereince/product/etc./

  • Poulenc

    In the meantime, there’s Peas & Pickles (Or is it Pickles & Peas?) right next door and mercifully unharmed.

    Not a deluxe shopping experience, to be sure, and for some religioso-noncompetion-clause reason doesnt stock pet supplies–a big pain when one needs litter NOW), but cheaper than G. was and decent for basics.

  • Sarah

    I just hope that it won’t be replaced with a GIANT Busy Chef-Oven-Blue Pig monstrosity. I have my fingers crossed for a Food Emporium or, dare I say, Balducci’s?!

  • Luke C

    The joke will really be on us if it reopens as Gristede’s again with the same poor management. If we do hear that Gristede’s intends to remain then we should sign a petition of grievances with a threat to boycott the store. In fact we should have done that a long time ago; a far more constructive approach than celebrating its destruction.

    As for Peas & Pickles, I wish they would expand take over that space! They actually recognize and appreciate their regular customers and have always responded to my requests for particular products.

  • bkbs

    I heard last night that the store had been sold to Shoprite within the last few months. I don’t know whether that makes sense, given the recent changes they’ve made within the store and the expansion of products they’ve started to carry recently.

  • Sarah

    Peas and Pickles is wonderful, I agree! I have found that some of the best produce though, is on Atlantic right next to Sahadi’s. A bit of a walk, but Peas and Pickles in DUMBO has good fruit as well.

  • Tim N.

    I’d settle for a Dags. I’ve never quite gotten over losing the one off Love Lane.

    I was at the blaze yesterday (was parking the car and waiting for the time to turn over, saw the smoke turn from wisps to billows and then walked over there to see black smoke pouring from the place) and all I could think was, why doesn’t this surprise me? Supermarket fires are not all that uncommon, and there’s something about dumpy ones that just seems to make you think you know how it’s going to end.

    And how dumpy? As SS said above, Key Food would be an upgrade (though Busy Chef would be a downgrade).

  • Poulenc

    Part of the problem with Gristedes was that it was both too little (of best quality stuff) and too much (aisle after aisle of chaotically misarranged merchandise that required blocks of walking to get, say, from paper towels to ketchup, which was not with other condiments, etc….). And of course there was that smell…..

    Still, if you lived nearby (and I do) it was a Good Thing…..

  • nancy

    No to Peas and Pickles. have bought too many outdated items there to ever walk in again. (Ice Cream that was all ice no cream and 1 year late expiration). They are a tremendous rip off!! I am sick of us thinking we have to pay through the nose to have good food. I miss Dag’s!!!

  • GHB

    I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but their produce and meats looked fresher in recent weeks. Thankfully, nobody was hurt!

  • John B

    Let me give you whiners a primer:

    Produce: Greenmarket at Borough Hall; Perelandra; occasionally at Peas and Pickles (the loss of the bug zoo, now replaced by an abhorrent wine bar at Cranberry and Henry, was really a huge loss)

    Meat: Clark Street

    Fish: Court Street

    NON PERISHABLE GROCERIES: Whatever has the best prices. Period. Get your accultured noses over the smells of Key Food and Sloan’s (Gristede’s). Dags is gone because Heights dingleberries like you respond to price over quality, and shop at that dismal Gourmet place in the ugly high-rise condo on Montague.

    Grow up and if you’re such gourmands, shop the way people did in the old days. They’re called errandS for a reason.

  • Sarah

    John, you should really slow down on the coffee. This is a place made especially for gripes and complaints.
    Take a deep breath and realize that for a lot of us, price is a very big issue. The above place you’ve mentioned aren’t necessarily better, they’re just (as in the case of Court Street Meats) unnecessarily expensive.

  • Cranberryer

    They were wiping down the soot on the outside wall, I guess so they can re-open it once the windows are repaired. I guess they’l run a fire sale soon.

  • Poulenc

    One doesn’t mind paying more if one is GETTING more. There’s no reason to pay a premium for paper towels, or, for that matter, Haagen Daz ice cream when both can be had for less elsewhere. Last week Gristedes was selling the latter for $5+ per pint (!); at Peas and Pickles the same items were $4.79.

    A “gourmet” store is one thing; a supermarket, something else. One doesn’t necessarily expect to find top-of-the-line items at the latter, but at least one should find an extensive selection of reasonably priced staples.

    What BH REALLY needs is a food CULURE, which is to say, a commitment to good eating that would support a wider range of ethnically diverse restaurants and stores at various price levels.

    The Smith Street food renaissance reflects the resourcefulness of usually young(er) people of, usually, limited cash flow, who nevertheless hunger (pun intended) for better eating.

    It’s all a matter of real estate, of course, but, as they say, production follows demand (when it’s not inventing it)….

  • nabeguy

    Given that it was Gristede’s that burned, I’m not surpised by the derision in some of the comments on this thread. However, if you’ve ever lived through a fire, as I have (in a bookstore no less), you’d realize how devastating an impact it has on things. Fortunately, no one was injured, but there are a lot of people now out of work, as well as a burned-out shell on a prime BH block. As much as some of you rag on the place (as I readily admit to doing myself), it did serve a purpose for many residents, if only for it’s convenience. Being a north ender, I don’t relish the idea of having to walk all the way to Montague Street to wait in what will surely now be longer lines at Key Food and GOE just to pick up 1/2 way decent groceries or a quart of milk that doesn’t cost as much as a gallon of gas.

  • Poulenc

    Here, here, nabeguy!

  • since47

    Thank you, nabebuy and ditto Poulenc. It’s amazing how quickly we lose sight of things on this site.

  • Poulenc

    Thank YOU, since47….

  • samantha t

    John, some of us have demanding jobs (to live in Brooklyn Heights!) and simply don’t have the time for more than one-stop shopping.

  • Tim N.

    Thank you, John. I didn’t really know how to shop until I read the blog… bless you, my friend, for guiding my path.

    (Um, that’s sarcasm, folks.)

  • Bob

    I’m relieved that no one was hurt, and hope the workers don’t lose their jobs, but honestly, this was the most disgusting, poorly managed supermarket I have ever seen.

  • Someone has to ask

    From where will Busy Chef get its food, now that Gristede’s is gone?

  • nabeguy

    Let’s all just hope that out of the ashes rises a phoenix…on special at $2.99 a pound in aisle 3.

  • Jonas Von Groucheau

    No doubt some of the inventory will be on those shelves with it reopens.

    As for Busy Chef where will they get their rolls?

  • GHB

    Thanks Nabeguy. It may not be a great market, but I loved the convenience of running in on my way out of the subway to grab milk or bananas. Now I’ll have to get that stuff in the city before I come home…