No way! Fairway denies reports of bankruptcy and store closures

Fairway Red Hook
Reps for Fairway Market denied reports they plan to file for bankruptcy and shutter stores on Jan. 22.
File photo by Max Jaeger

The proprietor of a well-liked grocery chain operating supermarkets in Red Hook and Georgetown denied reports that it would file for bankruptcy and shutter its stores following wide-spread reports of its impending demise. 

“Despite reports, Fairway Market has no intention to file for chapter 7 or liquidate all of its stores. Such statements are categorically untrue and disappointing,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday. “All 14 stores remain open for business, offering a complete range of high quality, specialty food products, and we look forward to seeing our customers and employees.”

The gourmet grocery emporium reportedly had plans to file for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday and close its stores — including its two Kings County outposts on the Red Hook waterfront and at the Georgetown Shopping Center in Bergen Beach — according to a New York Post story from Tuesday.

A company spokeswoman denied those reports, however, saying that the grocer is engaged in talks for a possible financial transaction that would keep some stores open — but she declined to elaborate whether that would entail the sale of any Fairway branches. 

“Fairway has been engaged in a strategic process and expects to soon announce a value maximizing transaction that will provide for the ongoing operations of stores,” the spokeswoman said. “Our lenders remain extremely supportive of our efforts.”

The company owes a whopping $174 million in debts — including expensive leases, which has scared away potential buyers since its owners put it up for sale in September.

New Jersey-based Village Super Market — the owner of ShopRite — is reportedly interested in buying some Fairway stores and maybe the Fairway name.

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.