Big Apple Gourmet is owned by Billy Solmaz, who also runs Pacific Green, a popular Cobble Hill store at 151 Court Street at Pacific Street. In June 2013, it was reported that Solmaz was being forced out of his Cobble Hill location by his landlord, because national retailer J.Crew had penned a ten year lease for the space. Everyone seemed happy that Solmaz was able to relocate to the corner of Court Street and DeGraw Street.
But strangely, Pacific Green is still very much open to this day. Perhaps J. Crew changed its mind and Solmaz was able to renew his lease. That would leave him with two locations. Which would not be a terrible thing, except Big Apple Gourmet just doesn't seem to attract too many customers.
Reader Daniella C. who alerted us to the 'for rent' sign writes:
"I honestly haven't seen the neighborhood take to Big Apple Gourmet since it's opening. I've been there, but I'm not sure it offers anything new. Although I find the prices at Union Market crazy, I don't think BA is any better, and I prefer the produce at KY. Perhaps my observations aren't off base?"
All along, one had to wonder why Solmaz chose to open a shop right across the street from Union Market and just doors down from K & Y, a great little produce store that always seems to do a brisk business.
As I walked past Big Apple yesterday, I spoke to one of the workers who was tending to the cut flowers in front of the store. He confirmed that the owner was trying to rent the store. I asked if Solmaz intended to keep his store on Pacific Street open. "I think so," he replied.