"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?" Jacqueline Kennedy

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Met Food On Smith Street Now Closed: Do You Miss It?

photo courtesy of M.P.
photo courtesy of M.P.
photo courtesy of M.P.

Over the summer, Met Food Supermarket at 197 Smith Street between Baltic and Warren Streets in Boerum Hill closed its doors for good.  Judging by the number of emails PMFA received on the subject, the impact of the supermarket's closing has already been felt.

Earlier this year, the 10,000-square-foot one story building,  one of the largest on Smith Street, was put up for sale.  It sold in May to an investment group for $18.5 million.  According to The Real Deal, the buyers intend to know down the building to create a two-story retail building.
Though we can all hope (fantasize) that another supermarket will open in the new building, it is unlikely.
The loss of the 1970s simple brick building certainly is not a big deal, but the loss of yet another 'reasonably priced' supermarket in the neighborhood is a matter of concern, even if Met Food was recently rated one of the five filthiest in Brooklyn.

Of course, the Met Food supermarket at 486 Henry Street in Cobble Hill is still open.

We would like to hear from you.  Have you been missing Met Food since its closing?  Where have you been shopping instead?  Any suggestions for alternatives? What local store has reasonable food prices now?

* Thanks to friend and reader M.P. for the photos of the empty store shelves.


Wootini said...

I've had to do my weekly grocery shopping at the smaller Met on Henry street the past weeks. It's actually closer to my apartment, but the Smith St one had a bigger selection of products. There are things that I used to buy at Big Met that I can no longer get at Little Met. And Key Food on Atlantic is too far out of the way to go to regularly.

It's really frustrating that they closed the biggest grocery store in the neighborhood. But it's just like they closed our neighborhood fire station (on DeGraw St, across from my old apartment) and our neighborhood hospital (LICH).

They keep building all these overpriced condos and apartments, but where are people supposed to go to buy groceries or when they're sick? :-P

Katia said...

I hear you. Without a car, most people's choices for food shopping are now limited to more expensive food stores. Thank goodness for the small produce store on Court Street.

Patrick said...

Definitely miss it. If I want cold cuts, I have to go to Paisanos and pay $2 more; for basic dry goods like paper towels, I now have to go to that god awful Rite Aid. Still not entirely sure where I'm going to get tonic water. In theory, we can get most things are Trader Joes and Pacific Green, but the bottom line is we'll be spending more time in line and more time shuttling back and forth between different stores. It makes the neighborhood a harder place to live.

Cynthia said...

Patrick, that's what I was thinking. We will spend more time shuffling between stores especially if we are brand loyal or don't want to overpay. I agree, not having a full service grocery makes it more difficult to live here.

Saw a woman with a cart full of C Town bags. I think I will check it out especially since Talenti gelato is on sale there this week.

Anonymous said...

This is a true loss for the neighborhood. Met Food was conveniently located, well-stocked, and reasonably priced. It wasn't a particularly "glamourous" supermarket, but it served the area well. For those of us east of Court Street, stocking up on groceries is going to take a lot more planning and time, and probably a car. It's also a sad break for the employees who are now out of work.

Anonymous said...

I am so surprised. How could they not survive? They are so few grocery stores. Or did some bank outbid them? Depressing. Soon Trader Joe tapanade-chutney-ville and Toxic Foods Gowanus will be all that is left for basics. Ugh.

Bridgette Raes said...

While I agree, a basic supermarket is a bit of a loss in this neighborhood, I will not miss this one. It was disgusting. The only time I had a roach problem in my apartment was when I shopped there regularly. That was long enough ago that I did not notice Met closed. The place smelled foul, the produce often had bugs flying on it and it was just a sad place to shop. The place needed a serious update and a good scrub. The upgrade didn't have to be super gourmet with crazy designer food prices, but an update that didn't make you feel like you were grocery shopping in the 70's with food on the shelves that was probably as old would have been nice. If you don't mind the lines that reach as far as Alaska, Trader Joes is certainly a better alternative and their prices are reasonable. In fact, I was often surprised how much it would cost to shop at Met. The prices weren't that great for mediocre food, grumpy staff, bugs and strange smells. I say good riddance.

Anonymous said...

It's incredible to me that there is now no real supermarket, within walking distance, in a densely populated urban neighborhood. This is one of the most important things to make city living easy. It is one reason not to need a car and to allow you to make your own contribution to a healthier environment. My choice not to own a car, but what about people who cannot afford one? If they can't get to Fairway or Whole Foods, then their food and household expenses increase.

This is when gentrification hits home. a supermarket sacrificed for a luxury something or other. It is getting harder and harder to be middle-class in NY. Mary

Anonymous said...

The MET was one of the local stores I frequented and I will miss it. I did have issues with their cleanliness, having bought a sack of flour once that smelled of cat pee when I opened it and had to be thrown out. And I never cared from the brand of milk they sold. But it was a good spot for pantry stocks like canned tomatoes, beans, mayonnaise, cooking oils, frozen peas and such.

It will be difficult finding new resources to fill those needs in a way that easily fits into our household's weekly shopping schedule. Smith street is just a great place for supermarket. It was just so easy to include other stops along with the general marketing.

We have a car and made a run over to the Key food on 5th Ave. last week, which is simpler that the trek to the Met on Henry or the Key on Atlantic.

Windsor Terrace lost their Key Food last year, and they don't have any place as an alternate. At lease we do have the small shops which are all more pleasant to shop at.

neil said...

I think the real shame is that we couldn't have a mainstream store that was clean and well-run. The Met was horrible and I only trusted it for something that wasn't frozen (because most of their stuff had thawed at least once) and was in a vermin-proof container. The produce was ridiculously bad. Their prices made them seem like a giant bodega. Given their lease must have been really cheap, I can only guess someone was making a killing without caring about their customers.

Anonymous said...

I will miss my fresh hard rolls for 34 cents and bagels for 40 cents (often still warm) in the morning.
Not greatest selection of produce but had baby arugula and spinach and enough to keep me happy.
Someone told be he read that perhaps a more upscale market will go in when the property is redeveloped but I have not been able to find that story in print.

Anonymous said...

We need a decent size grocery store, with good selection in our neighborhood that is not specialty gourmet. Prices at Union Market are laughable...

Anonymous said...

It is a huge problem for me that Met food closed. I have no way of getting basic groceries. There is not a grocery store near me and the other options do not have reasonably priced basic goods (paper towels, etc). All the other options are either super far away or much more expensive. Also, there are some staples I cannot find anywhere in the neighborhood such as, Smucker's peanut butter.

Anonymous said...

We desperately need a grocery store in the neighborhood, Met food was disgusting. It always smelled and the people who ran it were unkind to their employees (or so it seemed) and never friendly.

Anonymous said...

There will be times when I miss it, but I already did 90% of my shopping at Trader Joe's anyway. There were maybe about 10 different items that I would purchase there on a regular basis. That was all. I just confess that I only learned with certainty today that the store was closed. So that's how much of a regular shopper I was. To be honest, I think Trader Joe's is better value in many of the product lines. Agree that there was often an awful smell at Met Food. I also agree that the remaining Met store is smaller, higher priced, and has a worse selection.

Katia said...

I never got used to the funky smell at this Met Food on Smth Street. It was slightly nauseating. I do shop quite a bit at Trader Joe's, buts still shop at K&Y Produce on Court Street and buy my bread at Caputo's Bakery.
For all Italian specialties that I can't easily get in the neighborhood any more, I go to Bensonhurst. No kidding.