Monday, November 10, 2014

American Beer Distributors On Court Street Saying "Farewell" After 70 Years

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Sad news. After 70 years in business in Cobble Hill, American Beer Distributors at 256 Court Street is saying goodbye. The news was sent to me over the week-end by Reader Donald, who writes:

Thirfty Beer/American Beer Distributors is shutting down at the end of the year after 70 years in the neighborhood. I spoke to the owner and he said "it's time." he said that he would be open until the end of the year.

They own the entire building. KC Art, Karloff and Buddy's Burritos are all his tenants what it means for them is unknown but he made it sound as if he was just looking for a new tenant for his storefront.

He was telling me that the business was once across the street where the school is now and then moved into the site where Ridgewood Savings Bank is in the 60's when they lost the property on the east side of the street to imminent domain. They've been in their current location "since the '80's."

I know that neighborhoods change and that businesses, like neighbors, come and go but Thrifty was something special because there really isn't any other place like it in Brownstone Brooklyn.

I was hit hard by the closing of Ceol, which had been my neighborhood bar since they opened as Smithwick's in 2003. The loss of Thrifty is like losing a family member.

BTW, I noticed a building permit in the window of Thrifty but it was too dark to read it and I don't know whether it was new or old.

I stopped by the place this morning and saw a sign in the window confirming the closing. It reads:
Store Closing. On behalf of the Marino/Hayes families, we would like to thank the community for the nearly 70 years of patronage. It has been a pleasure to serve you over the years. THANK YOU.

A few years ago, the building's owner was granted the approval of NYC Landmarks as well as from the building's department to add apartments on top of the exiting one story structure.
The addition was never built.  However, in the past few weeks, the Buildings Department has issued permits to replace the HVAC units on the roof.

Will you miss American Beer Distributors?


10 comments:

Trumbull Bully said...

Bully here...

Yes, this place will be missed. Great selection, great prices, and a growler station. Another hit to the neighborhood...

John said...

Very sad news. Time to stock up on as many "Beer Makes you Schmart" growlers and stickers! Best of luck to the family.

Anonymous said...

There are a few Beverage centers around 3rd ave if one really needs a keg but on the few times I've been in Thrifty I thought they were all nice and helpful. Glad to hear they own the building. Let's hope the space is rented to an equally unique business, not a bank or pharmacy. Glad they will be here through the year.

Anonymous said...

My husband is going to be devastated

Rob said...

There really is nothing like this place in Brownstone Brooklyn. An actual beer distributor with a large selection and decent prices. They were also the easiest place to go to to return bottles. I will definitely miss the place. I guess it's nicer they're leaving because they want to and not because they were forced out by rising rents. Still sad to see them go.

inkbythebarrel said...

Walking past this place the other day, I saw a sign posted on their window that said that they're closing. I say good riddance! They had a decent selection of beers, but every time I was in there, their horrible lack of customer service made shopping there an exercise in frustration. I took my business to Biercraft in Park Slope, and I'm sure many others did as well. It doesn't surprise me that this place is closing (most customers don't seem to like having to wait five to ten minutes for an employee to get out of their chair after asking for assistance) and it will not be missed.

Anonymous said...

inkybythebarrell, I never had any trouble with the people who worked at American Beer Distributors, but then I never had any trouble finding anything. They had a great selection through out a time when the next best selection was at the Met on Smith. Today there are a lot more places to choose from up and down Court St (like BEEEAAAR! CHEEEESE!) but for a long time, this place was it. And I don't know anyone who bothers going all the way to Biercraft other than Park Slopers - that place is never worth the trip.

Victor said...

Jeez inkbythebarrell -

I just result to Googling stuff, which is what at other beverage stores. Not that hard. They are a distributor, first and foremost. I've never had to wait more than a minute to get my $12 growler, which is the best beer deal anywhere. I'll take that anyway over the $20+ growler fills elsewhere. Shame I only have 5 more weeks of that.

Anonymous said...

So sad! Big blow to the neighborhood. I go here at least a couple times a week. The prices, growler station and selection cannot be beat. I'm happy to hear they are not being forced out. The workers here feel like family to me, and are some of the nicest shop people in Brooklyn! *tears in my beer*

Jason said...

Sure. On occasion I had waited a few moments to check out. But they were always incredibly friendly and apologetic… not to mention totally unpretentious.

I will be said to see them go. They've been a favorite pit stop after many, many long days.