It’s East meets West End Line!
An Asian supermarket chain will likely replace Bensonhurst’s shuttered Waldbaum’s. Queens-based Jmart made the winning bid for the D train-adjacent New Utrecht Avenue building that Waldbaum’s left in November, an attorney for the market confirmed. And the neighborhood’s largest-in-the-city population of Chinese immigrants is excited to have old-world options in its new home, a community leader said.
“They do express that it would be great to have a huge Asian market over there so they don’t have to travel over to Sunset Park for what they need,” said Wai-Yee Chan of the Chinese-American Planning Council, which provides services to immigrant families.
Jmart specializes in imported Asian ingredients, produce, seafood, and meat, according to its website. Specialty items such as duck feet and jellyfish heads are available in high supply, but the market also offers American-style groceries. Timeout New York called the chain’s Queens flagship a cook’s paradise in 2013.
The news ends speculation that Key Food would take over the shuttered market. The chain bought 23 stores in New York and New Jersey from Waldbaum’s parent company A&P last year.
Not everyone is happy about the prospect of a new Asian-centric market in the neighborhood. More than 1,300 people signed a petition last week pleading with hipster chain Trader Joe’s to open a new store at the former Waldbaum’s.
Most people wrote messages citing the chain’s healthy and affordable fare as reason enough to want a Trader Joe’s in the neighborhood, but others slung racist jabs at the neighborhood’s Asian population — the city’s largest, according to a recent New York Times article.
A bankruptcy court judge will rule on the sale on Feb. 5 and is likely give Jmart his stamp of approval, a Brooklyn bankruptcy lawyer said.
“It’s always subject to approval, but 99 percent of the time, the court will approve the sale,” said Bruce Weiner of law firm Rosenberg, Musso, & Weiner. “Most of the time its a rubber stamp.”
The news was first reported by retail news site Coupons in the News.