Rocco & Jezebel for Pets to Close for Good

After 13 years in business on Pineapple Walk, Rocco & Jezebel for Pets will close for good at the end of July. The blog spoke to owners Andrea Demetropoulos and John Marcolini about their decision to call it quits.

Was it the pandemic? “That was part of it,” said Andrea, “but it was my daughter Hillary’s death that led to the decision. I also had a mini-stroke in April, and at the age of 69, it’s become too much. We have incredible customers who are very unhappy with this decision, but they also want me to take care of myself.” John added, “Business has been terrible anyway. There are a lot of well-to-do people in this neighborhood who took off last year, and the ones who stayed started ordering online.” Was it the rent as well? “Everyone asks that,” said Andrea, “but our rent is great. Our landlord even gave us a break for 5 months last year.”

Andrea and John put the business up for sale, but they’ve not had a committed buyer yet. If anyone reading is interested, the price is $350,000 and includes cages, grooming equipment, kennels, shelving, washer and dryer, kitchen, cat room, and air conditioner.

Meanwhile, there’s a clearance sale until the end of the month. All inventory, including toys, carriers, clothing, booties, leashes, harnesses, collars, beds, and grooming supplies, are all 50% off.

Good luck and happy retirement to Andrea and John.

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  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Thanks for a VERY enlightening – not a word wasted – snapshot of their dilemma. Hope this comment section draws some wonderful memories of an “I remember when they …” variety.

    Somehow, this reminds me of the BQE situation – more than a little! (hear me out, please.) Boils down to “There’s something happening here…. what is ain’t exactly clear.”

    NYC’s carbon footprint is a disaster – whether we’re worse offenders than LA is beyond me, but our mass transit system is like CUNY – once a national gem, it’s now “taking on water.”

    So, “same old” – “shore it up” – is mind-bogglingly stupid.

    SIMILARLY, the BHA bemoans the death of local retail, sometimes seeming to be unaware that Amazon & “online” changed EVERYTHING.

    “Rocco and Jezebel” all but lay the blame there. How many video stores were there at the peak in 11201? Retail has always been tough – now, it borders on impossible. The only answer/solution I see is subsidies. Somehow, we accept that growing food domestically is “strategically” vital. So we subsidize farms which would otherwise fold.

    The time has come – nightmare though it will be to implement – to subsidize “mom & pop” stores. The 2 or 3 big mall operators nationally pivoted nimbly to “we’ll be your PARTNERS – not inflexible landlords who will hope for better times post-vaccine.”

    Somehow, I don’t see that happening on Montague or elsewhere in NYC. But, suppose that the CITY helped keep businesses in their storefronts the way they currently try (obviously, with plenty of failures along with the successes) to keep people in their homes!

    Pet-owning IS a luxury item. If THIS store is proving hard to sell, it’s mostly because the risk-reward numbers are all wrong – and look to get worse going forward. A subsidy program is the only way to change that. (That and making Amazon & UPS pay for their damage to climate AND quality of life in NYC. If/when there is almost nothing but chain stores, living in the City, as opposed to a suburb, will be totally absurd.)

  • Andrew Porter

    They’re very nice people. Even though I don’t have any pets, I often visit the store to talk to the owners. They’re very up-to-date on commercial things happening around the area.

    Andrea is on my list of those I forward news items I think they might be interested in, as is Darek, who used to own Heights Kids, who still lives in the area.

  • LouieLouie

    10 years ago, we walked into their store on a Sunday having jut picked up our newly adopted dog. Andrea was so kind, nice and informative. Turns out they weren’t even open on Sunday. She had gone in to check on the boarders, and took the time to be patient and helpful – without using the “we are not open” line once.

    Hillary, John and Andrea were a great team along with their groomers and handlers. We are one of the families she mentions that left during the pandemic and didn’t return. But I think Hillary’s passing was a major turning point – I can’t imagine having to walk into a family business everyday having experienced that kind of loss.

    Andrea, Hillary and John have all left their marks on our lives and the lives of our pets. We wish only the best for them, and I hope they get to continue being residents of Brooklyn Heights and find happiness in their next chapter. The neighborhood has been all the better because of them.