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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  • No One Of Consequence

    I’d say from the looks of things that they’ll re-open in a matter of days. The deli will probably be closed for a bit, but I think the rest of the store will be open soon.

  • Andrew Porter

    Yummm…smoked meat…smoked corn…smoked rats. Owell. They’re busy replacing the glass in the windows. How much you wanna bet they don’t bother to clean the soot off the brick above the entrance — they’re that kind of store.

    The smell in Gristede’s that everyone remarked on is/was from the employee bathroom, the entrance to which is just to the right of the produce section as you go in. I don’t even want to think about what it must have looked like. If you have problems with the store’s sanitary practices, complain to 311.

  • 25 years in the Heights

    That supermarket has always been a dismal, disorganized mess, even before Gristedes took it over. The produce section made the most meager bodega look lavish by comparison…I agree with all those on this blog who say ‘good riddance’, although sadly, I think it’ll be up and running in days – selling smoke-sullied, rancid products that survived the fire. There’s no excuse for poor management. They have the opportunity to sell the same products to the same clientele as Key Food or D’Ag’s, which are (or were) only blocks away. The only difference between Gristedes and the others is a lack of skill ,talent or interest. Like everything else in this neighborhood, having a ‘captive audience’ breeds laziness and mediocre services (ever been to the Eastern Athletic Club?)

  • bornhere

    I shop at Key Food or GOE, although I have bought the random whatevers at Gristede’s over the years. But has anyone who shops (shopped?) there regularly ever spoken with a manager about the place? The times I have been in there I’ve been amazed at how disorganized and, uh, rustic (dirty, neglected, etc) it seemed. Without invoking anything other than common sense, why don’t people complain to management or shop elsewhere? Gristede’s has staying power only because people continue to go there. Even poor D’Ag’s, after the ill-conceived modernization, started to fail because Danny, their great manager left, and everything else went downhill. People stopped shopping there and that was that. More or less.

  • since47

    I don’t know if Danny’s leaving was the reason D’Ag’s closed. I’m sure they could have found another wonderful manager. The store was trying too many different approaches to selling (I’m not sure why that even happened), but none of them worked. They re-arranged and downsized so many categories in the store that people were getting confused as to who D’Ags thought their clientele really was. Towards the end, they added tons of prepared foods (just throw them in the microwave!) to their already-languishing cold salads, choices suited more for the busy exec than the mom with kids in tow trying to shop for a night’s meal or the week. And shortly before they shut their doors, they had this ridiculous coffee bar set-up by the door. They should have left well enough alone. To have D’Ag’s close and not put in another supermarket? Yes, granted you had to walk all the way up to Montague Street to find a real drugstore – how about that space in the NW corner of the St. George – what’s happening with that? But not to have another supermarket? Did someone really think that because the north Heights had Gristede’s, and the mid and south Heights had Key that nothing more was necessary? The Heights can certainly handle three supermarkets – or at least two good ones.

  • mitch c.

    Gristedes supermarket at 101 Henry St. in Brooklyn Heights caught fire. We need a good supermarket in Brooklyn Heights New York. Your last location was in a hidden spot. We all loved it, but it was not very convenient. This is across from a busy train station and we (Brooklyn Heights Owners and tenants) would love a great supermarket and business to move into this location. Thanks.

    copy and paste this to the link if you agree.

  • nazimova

    as for the re-opening don’t all kid yourselves !! It will be Gristedes and it will be this month ..AND it will be the same..People keep shopping there so they have no reason to make a change do they?

  • bornhere

    But, wait!! Everything’s gonna be all right!! I just sent en e-mail (to the addresses on the Gristedes Web site) of complaint about the store, added that not a whole lot of people were saddened by the possible loss of the location, and I got this answer:

    Thank you, as a customer we truly appreciate your comments. Please accept our apologies for the manner our store was run in the past and the staff that you have found to be inept.

    We will do what needs to be done to get the store back in shape, and change the staff to be more caring of our customers needs.

    In the future if you feel there is a problem please call me on my cell phone, 24/7- 917-709-9662. I will handle your problem at that time so others won’t endure what you have.

    Gristedes has been in business for over 100 years, and I might add has done right by millions of customers in New York city, and will do right by our Brooklyn customers.

    Thank you again for taking the time to email us.


    Hy Yamuder
    Senior Director of Operations
    Assistant to CEO

    So, kiddies, call Hy on his cell –24/7, no less– and tell him everything. Maybe there should be a BH luncheon to which Hy is invited and served a medley of mystery foods purchased at Gristedes.

  • Luke C

    Bornhere – thanks for taking that action and posting their reply! I intend to post that letter along with tear-off phone number strips in the Gristede’s exit when they re-open!

    Ours was far from the worst grocery store in NYC, let’s stop the hyperbole on that score. 25-years-in-the-heights nailed it when he said it was the laziness bred of having a captive audience that made it a bad place to shop. The fact that Peas & Pickles has survived for years next to a chain with greater purchasing power should have galled the Gristede’s owners into action long ago. There’s not so much extra profit to be made overnight to keep them afloat against a well-run chain store. They stayed just enough ahead of Gristede’s in cleanliness, price and service to survive. Unfortunately, a well-run chain would probably close them down in a year.

  • nabeguy

    Let’s not overlook the fact that in order for Peas and Pickles to maintain market share it has to stay open 24 hours a day. I don’t quite know how many people are out buying bread at 3 in the morning, but every dime probably goes to the rent, so they can at least stay competitive.

  • Poulenc

    Yes, let’s be realistic: shopping at Gristedes, though far from ideal, wasn’t a hardship.

    The most pressing issues, about which a jingle to Mr. Yamuder would be appropriate, are:

    freshness of perishable merchandise
    store sanitation, which includes elimination of unwanted odors
    better staff training.

  • Poulenc

    …and may I please add that to me the most immediate thing Gristedes should do is clean the fire soot from the building’s exterior. I believe in the “broken window” theory: one neglect invites others….

  • ex worker

    l would like to thank all of you for trash the staff @ Gristedes ,also my family & some of my co worker thank u 2 yes i said it i did work their for over 3 years ,mow because of your comment a lot of us are gonna lose their job, i do agree with you about a lot of your complans but i also find unfair to some of us who really cared about you & try to service u the best they can, now beacuse of your no mercy comments Gristedes is gonna come down on all of us w no exciption .

  • Tara

    I almost lost a family memeber and friends in that fire. I live and Florida. I am shocked and appalled that you people are so uncouth.
    These guys lost their jobs and others almost their lives. You are shallow and pretentious if it was big news and somebody died you with your vicious slander would be the first to show up with flowers and crocodile tears. From what I understand You people are a pain in the ass to deal with AND are never satisfied. Hypocrites and spoiled whiners. You don’t deserve Gristede’s as it was.

  • Jonas Von Groucheau

    You people?

  • bornhere

    Tara: Nobody deserves Gristede’s as it was; it should also be pointed out that several posts expressed gratitude that no one was hurt. And, if “ex worker” is real … you’ll most likely be back there working with your colleagues — I doubt that there is going to be some across-the-board firing based on this blog or random complaints received by Hy. And I really resent the “pretentious and shallow” comment. Pretentious, maybe; but not shallow.

  • No One Of Consequence

    Take it up with your union boss.