Fairway’s return is a ways off

Floodwaters destroyed much of the stock inside Red Hook’s Fairway Market.
Photo by Paul Martinka

Don’t expect to find organic kale, artisan cheeses, or Greek yogurt in Red Hook any time soon.

Fairway Market shoppers may have to wait up to three months before the superstorm-battered gourmet chain reopens following severe flooding in Hurricane Sandy.

“There was a tremendous amount of water damage and equipment damage, floor damage,” said Fairway spokesman Bruce Bobbins. “The damage was just extensive.”

The storm ravaged the supermarket at the foot of Van Brunt St., inundating the first floor with several feet of water.

The surge was so vicious that store officials predict it will take between six and 12 weeks to clear out the tainted foods, upright the toppled shelving, clean up the filthy debris, and restock.

That’s a long time for Red Hook residents to be without their beloved supermarket, said Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman.

“The fact that they are closed and there are a lot of hungry people in the community is sad and disturbing,” said Hammerman.

“Fairway was providing an essential link to healthy foods that the neighborhood wasn’t known for before they arrived — their absence is noticeable.”

Despite the lengthy closure, store officials say they will continue to employee all of the workers from the shuttered Red Hook location.

“All 350 employees have been transferred to other Fairway Market stores and we are running shuttle buses from Red Hook on an hourly basis for these employees to get to the other locations,” said Bobbins.

“No one has been laid off.”

You can’t shop at Fairway for now — but that doesn’t mean the grocery store isn’t working to fed Brooklynites.

Fairway Market and Van Brunt Street’s Hometown Restaurant are teaming up to fill the bellies of more than 300 Brooklynites whose lives have been uprooted by superstorm Sandy, which left many locals without power, heat, or running water.

Locals will have their choice of a barbecue feast of pork and beef ribs, whole beef briskets, and pork shoulders, at 454 Van Brunt St. at noon today.

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