The Bad Wife?! Shop owner risks Slope ire with cheeky store name

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Relax, everyone — he’s only kidding!

A beloved Park Slope bodega owner has renamed his Seventh Avenue store The Bad Wife — but he insists that his spouse is anything but.

“She’s my best friend,” said Jim Lee, owner of the store between 11th and 12th streets. “It’s a joke.”

Lee said the name comes from a long running gag, where he teases his wife, Sungki, for being a great wife and mother.

“It has a positive meaning,” he said. “Customers tell me that they like it.”

And how does the Mrs. feel?

“She loved it,” Lee said, adding that if his wife didn’t like the name, they wouldn’t have used it. “She’s the queen. Park Slope women are strong.”

Strong enough to know that they don’t like references to wives being “bad.”

“It’s unpleasant,” said one of the Lees’ devoted shoppers, who didn’t wish to be named. “I’m worried that people won’t shop there because they think it’s sexist.”

Others said that if you don’t know the Lees, you’d be left thinking that the store is owned by a man who doesn’t respect his wife — a problem in a neighborhood that judges male-female relations by such benchmarks as love, honor, and an exact division of household responsibilities.

“I have mixed feelings,” said one neighbor. “I wish it said, ‘The Bad Husband,’ but unfortunately that’s not the traditional humor.”

Of course, some customers love the sign.

“It’s funny,” said Jean Beeks. “It wouldn’t bother me if I were the wife.”

Most customers know Lee and his wife as the ultimate example of an affable Mom and Pop. They opened the tiny fruit and vegetable store as J H Marketplace almost 25 years ago, and have been a neighborhood institution ever since.

Now it’s time to expand, and when he opens next month, he’ll use the extra space for flowers, plants, and oriental groceries.

And, of course, for paying an odd tribute to his wife.

The Bad Wife [378 Seventh Ave. between 11th and 12th streets in Park Slope, (718) 499-7513].

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Reasonable discourse

Rob from Greenpoint says:
I nominate Park Slope as NY capitol of PC clowns with
no sense of humor.
Oct. 26, 2010, 10:47 am
Jeff from Park Slope says:
I agree that some park slopers could use a sense of humor, but its kinda silly you should say that, when the whole article is about a park slope business owner who clearly has a good sense of humor. I'm sure EVERYONE in greenpoint would not have agreed with you. its fun to pick on park slope, isn't it? until you move there when your warehouse gets old.
Oct. 26, 2010, 5:10 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
Chill, people.
Oct. 26, 2010, 5:18 pm
Katharine James from Park Slope/Windsor Terrace says:
i walked by the other day and saw the awning and I loved it! I just assumed it was owned by a woman! I will be more likely to shop there now than before, because it strikes me as humorous and fun, not just another grocer on the block. Of course, my husband can tell you I never had major aspirations of being a "good wife"!
And besides, I heard a rumour that they have fantastic avacodos!
Oct. 26, 2010, 7:24 pm
Annie from South Slope says:
I feel a little badly now since I encouraged Jim and Sungki to use the name. We've had a running gag for years that I and Sungki are "bad wives." As a serious feminist with a good (I think) sense of humor, I applaud Sungki and Jim for their (inadvertent) bravery in their choice of awning.

They vet their avocados well.
Oct. 26, 2010, 9:33 pm
Nancy from Cape Cod says:
I didn't think anything bad of it - just thought the wife did so much shopping she just opened her own store :) Bad just seems to me to be another word for 'indulgent' in this use of it. Not a biggie. I'd go in just out of curiosity...
Oct. 19, 2011, 8:52 am

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