Carroll Gardens Deli owner, Mohammed
Unfortunately, Mohammed will be closing his deli at the end of the week, citing ever increasing rent payments as well as several violations on the building that make it impossible for him to apply for permits to use the oven and griddle in his premises.
"I have been trying to figure out a way of staying in business at this location for years, but I am just tired of fighting," he told me earlier this week. He sounded defeated.
PMFA received several emails from saddened residents. Ben Umanov who lives close to the deli wrote:
"This is a huge blow to anyone living between Hoyt and 4th Ave in the vicinity of Carroll Street. That's a wide stretch, and there really is nowhere else to buy that last-minute, every day item -- a carton of milk, an onion, a pack of a gum, a box of pasta, a 6-pack of beer -- without having to walk up to Smith or down to 4th Ave. Even on Third Avenue in this area there aren't any true bodegas (there are some farther down by 9th St... too far). Next best option is Whole Foods -- useful, but not the same. I'm sure it'll also be a blow to the many men and women who treat the shop as a clubhouse, of sorts, stopping in to chat with neighbors and hang out."
Every time a small business like the Carroll Gardens Deli closes its doors, it most definitely is a blow to the neighborhood. The sense of community that a place like this provides to local residents is hard to replace. Getting a gallon of milk or a pint of ice cream at places like Rite Aid or CVS is just not the same. This is a reminder to myself and everyone in the neighborhood. We need to support these small business owners if we want to keep a sense of neighborhood.
As for Mohammed, he seemed resigned. "It is the end of an era," he told a friend who had stopped by to say good-bye.