Monday, September 28, 2009

A Glimpse Into Future 'Union Market' On Court Street

Work has been ongoing at 288 Court Street, the site of the old Blockbuster, which will soon be home to a 'Union Market' specialty food store. Yesterday, on my way to Brooklyn Heights, I caught a glimpse at the space through the open door. Looks like the first refrigerator units are being delivered, though construction is still in progress.

I had a nice little chat with a young man who looked like he was in charge. He told me that the store will most likely be opened before the end of the year. He described Union Market as being a blend of Trader Joe's and a regular supermarket, with lots of prepared food.

I have no doubt that the market will do well, but am apprehensive about what this will mean to some of the smaller stores such as Mastellone's and the new green grocer, both of which are just across the street.

What are your thought?

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Anonymous said...

I think the greengrocer will be fine. They have good, fresh produce and very good, competitive prices, and I'm sure that Union Market's prices will be higher. I will keep shopping at the greengrocer. As for Mastellone, if the store wants to keep its clientele and even expand it, they really should clean up the store, update and reorganize it. I stopped going there years ago. It would be a good idea for Mastellone to return to its specialty Italian food "roots" (which I remember well) and which would distinguish it from Union Market and help attract new clientele.

Dolores said...

I totally agree with anonymous--Mastellone should do what they can be good at--Italian specialties. I too will continue shopping at the greengrocer.

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...

Mastellone has been trying to upgrade a bit. If you've noticed, they've been putting out Veggie Stalls on their sidewalk which they've never had before. Once in a blue moon you'd find old ears of corn or browning lettuce but never real fresh Veggies.
However, I don't think they're doing it to compete with the Greengrocer. I think they waited all these years out of respect for Jimmy (the original neighborhood Fruit & Veggie guy - who started w/ a cart)
Jimmy "The Peddler" past away about nine months ago and will be missed. Mastellone had proper respect and waited.
NOTE: Mastellone used to start on the corner and go all the way past Winn's. Winn's 5&10 was part of Mastellone Brothers Butcher & Grocery.
Meanwhile, yes - the store could be spruced-up a bit, but their Meat Selection is still FRESH and is of better quality than Trader Joe, Fairway.
Mastellone Meat Prices are better than the butcher on Court Street and it's better (by price AND Quality) than the Met on Henry - which has sold spolied chopmeat on more than 1 occassion.

Katia said...

Hi Raised in Carroll Gardens,
I remember when Mastellone's also occupied the Win Discount space. It was almost like a little supermarket back then.
I always wondered what happened to the old buildings that stood on that site. I seem to remember someone saying that they burned down in a fire. Does anyone remember?

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...

Hi Kaita,

The fire in the early '60's (or late '50's) might be what someone told you about.

However, Masttellone's just scaled-down the size of the store when fewer family members were interested in the Family Business.

Also, there's a bit more money to be made (yet without being Greedy) when you parcel off parts of your property than when you try to run a business out of ALL of it. Again, it was done withOUT greed. Not like today's building owners.

Mastellone is a prime example of "everyone can make a living (and a profit) without gouging the next guy."