They’re ready to check out.
After denying reports that it would file for chapter 7 bankruptcy on Wednesday, Fairway Market filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday, as the company struggles to find a buyer for its Kings County supermarkets.
Fairway put its 14 supermarkets up for sale in September to address debts totaling $174 million, but the grocer has only managed to sell its five Manhattan markets to ShopRite owner Village Super Market for $70 million, according to Chief Executive Office Abel Porter.
That leaves Fairway’s Red Hook and Georgetown supermarkets — along with seven other stores located throughout Queens, Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and upstate New York — swinging in the wind, and a spokeswoman for Fairway could only promise that the stores would stay open until bankruptcy proceedings conclude.
A group of the company’s lenders have also agreed to provide up to $25 million to help reorganize Fairway Market, according to a company press release.
Fairway previously filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016, but reemerged under its current ownership by investment firms Brigade Capital Management and Goldman Sachs Group — while also closing one of its stores on Long Island.
The chain, which began in 1933 as a Manhattan fruit and vegetable stand, opened its first Brooklyn store inside a 19th-century storage warehouse on Red Hook’s Van Brunt Street in 2006 — which it had to shut down temporarily after the ancient waterfront building took a beating during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, before reopening the following year.
The company later opened its second Brooklyn location at the Ralph Avenue strip mall in 2017.