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Asian market to replace Bensonhurst Waldbaum’s

International delicacies: Asian supermarket Jmart will replace Bensonhurst’s shuttered Waldbaum’s.
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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.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.

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Reader feedback

Joe from Bensonhurst says:
The problem I have with this is that 70 people lost their jobs from Waldbaums, will this Asian market at least interview those who lost their jobs? Nope. They'll only hire asian employees. What other businesses can get away with only hiring one ethnicity? The Asian community of Bensonhurst neglects the other ethnicity, their signs aren't in English, and they don't want to do business with anyone other than other Asians. This is not the "American Dream". Bensonhurst is officially dead.
Feb. 1, 2016, 10:36 am
Schmoe from Bensonhurst says:
Most ethnic communities hire their own. Including yours.
Feb. 1, 2016, 10:56 am
Melissa from Bensonhurst says:
People are saying it would be nice to have a asian supermarket there!?!??! We have one already!!!! On 86th street and 85th on 18th ave !!!!!!!!!!!!! Ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb. 1, 2016, 12:53 pm
Stephanie from Bensonhurst says:
This is a disgrace. There's 2 asain markets on 18th avenue & 86th street! Disgraceful
Feb. 1, 2016, 1:34 pm
Marie says:
A shop rite would have been great.
Feb. 1, 2016, 2:51 pm
John from Dyker Heights says:
A Trader Joe's would have been great. The area needs more diversity. I have no problem with Asian markets. In fact I shop at them as well as the Key Food markets. Unfortunately there isn't enough diversity in food. I shop at Trader Joe's in Brooklyn but it's impossible to find parking so it's a rare trip. I end up going to Whole Foods.
Diversity is a good thing. The issue is that there are plenty of Asian markets in the area. Trader Joe's has quality food at reasonable prices that everyone would enjoy.
Feb. 1, 2016, 4:41 pm
Nicole Rossi from Sheepshead bay says:
Can anyone help me find Danny I've been searching for him for a really long time
Feb. 1, 2016, 5:07 pm
Aldo from Dyker Heights says:
Another Asian market in our neighborhood! We have one on Ft. Hamilton Pkwy and many more on 8th ave. Plus way to many Asian coffee shops , massage parlors, chinese takes out , nail salon, and the list goes on and on. Enough is enough!
Feb. 1, 2016, 8:03 pm
Lisa from Bensonhurst says:
Why are we counting the number of Asian supermarkets and not citing the number of Asians? Neighborhood businesses fulfill neighborhood needs, and there are many Asians in Bensonhurst. If you miss the old days of Bensonhurst, you can thank all of our family and friends who left. Italians faced these attitudes when they first opened markets geared toward Italians in neighborhoods that had not been historically Italian. This is part of our history that gets neglected in local conversations. We would do well to keep this in mind.
Feb. 1, 2016, 9:36 pm
Eva L. from Bensonhurst says:
There are 6 Asian markets in a span of 3 streets on bay parkway I don't shop in any of them because they are dirty and stink. I drive all the way down to whole foods or trader joes and have to pay for parking, then I need to pay the attendant for helping me carry all my bags into my car because I can't just carry everything into my car in one shot. I feel we need diversity and organic and clean markets in our neighborhood. A supermarket which will gain welfare to the neighborhood. Jobs were lost and by having another Asian market .. Only Asians will work there. Bensonhurst , dyker heights , bath beach , gravesend all need a positive attribute to the crazy rent spike in the recent months. If I am paying 1750 for a 1 bedroom I want to have a clean super market which is open minded to diverse people. Every Italian sold out and moved to states island and all the bakeries and salumerias were turned into Asian restaurants where only Asians go. I say give us what we want.
Feb. 1, 2016, 11:21 pm
Debra Berkowitz from Bensonhurst says:
I have lived in Bensonhurst most of my life and see the changes. I take issue with Eva L. as the Asian markets are very clean and well maintained. Of course, nothing is perfect. They also carry some Italian and kosher items as well. I also note that the majority of the Asian businesses have bilingual signs... and take a look, the Asian markets do hire non-Asians. My neighbor works in one on Bay Parkway and says that close to half of the employees at the market are not Chinese. All immigrant groups have had to deal with bigotry, it seems the Chinese are no exception.
Feb. 2, 2016, 1:15 pm
Debra Berkowitz from Bensonhurst says:
I forgot one thing. Most of the employees at the Waldbaums were helped by their union find other jobs. Some are at Shoprite on McDonald Avenue, the Key Food on Kings Highway and the Food Universe on Flatbush Avenue across from Kings Plaza.
Feb. 2, 2016, 1:18 pm
Debra Berkowitz from Bensonhurst says:
The majority of the employees at Waldbaums were helped to find other jobs by their union. Some are at Shoprite on McDonald Avenue, some at Key Food on Kings Higway and Food Universe on Flatbush Avenue across from Kings Plaza.
Feb. 2, 2016, 1:20 pm
Susanne Engel from Bensonhurst says:
Are you all aware that the union at Waldbaum's helped most of the employees find other jobs in supermarkets in Brooklyn. Some are at Shoprite on McDonald Avenue, some at the Key Food on Kings Highway, at Stop and Shop on Avenue Y and Food Universe across from Kings Plaza. Some ended up with better paying jobs.
Feb. 2, 2016, 1:26 pm
Sebastian from Bensonhurst says:
Would have been nice to have a big name supermarket with late hours replace it instead of something I will never go to. Every other store (Shop Rite, Stop N Shop, and Key Food on 71st) are too far walking distance wise or close too early, and as I don't own a car having Waldbaums across the street was a blessing. Hell its part of the reason I chose my apartment. Now it seems I have to stick to Meats Supreme for the time being.
Feb. 2, 2016, 5:37 pm
Ginny from Bensonhurst says:
I can not believe that another Asian market will be opened. They are chasing all the other people out of Bensonhurst. They don't shop in any of our stores or hire other people. They are so dirty and gross in the way they sell their products. I can't go into my bank anymore without the smell of fish! I want to know where our congressmen are that were voted by us. Why are they not fighting for us. These people did not leave Asia for a better life, they brought Asia here. We need an American market. More and more people are leaving the area because there is nothing here for us anymore. This is so wrong!
Feb. 2, 2016, 9:34 pm
AM from Dyker Heights says:
Ugh. This is Awful. No, they do NOT need to go all the way to Sunset. There is a huge one right on 65th and 8th ave in Brooklyn, as well as one on 86th st I believe.
Feb. 3, 2016, 7:39 am
Brooklyn guy from Dyker Heights says:
Hi, AM from Dyker Heights. Yes, that's a new Asian supermarket. It used to be Americana Diner. It's a shame that Asian people don't do business with non Asian. That's why many non Asian business is going out of business. Soon Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights becomes another Chinatown. After becomes Staten Island.!
Feb. 3, 2016, 9:02 am
Racist from Bensonhurst says:
It's time to be racist & hate because anonymity here enables us racists! Meanwhile, Asians will just keep winning.
Feb. 3, 2016, 8:21 pm
Kat from Bensonhurst says:
There are LITERALLY two Chinese supermarkets already opened a block away!!! I live walking distance to all these markets and it sickens me to have to take the car to whole foods every single weekend just to get quality food. My only safe place is the NetCost market and Key Food nearby as well. I would much prefer a Trader Joes than another didtyy and smelly chinese market!
Feb. 3, 2016, 10:23 pm
Brooklyn Guy from Dyker Heights says:
I have to say, I agreed with Ginny 100%. Our politicians don't really care for us and our neighborhood. They just care for our votes so they can stay in office so they can make extra money under the table for these illegal businesses. That's why there are so many illegal asian working as slave labor's. That's why they can afford to buy over million dollars homes. Once they own properties they evict out all non asian like this they can add more rooms or make more apartments to rent out to Asians only! God forbid,if we do something like that, we get in trouble. If you think about it, who's more racist us or them?
Feb. 3, 2016, 11:11 pm
Brooklynite from Bensonhurst says:
There are at least 3 asian markets within 4 blocks of this location. There is another large asian market on 86th and a 2nd large one on 18th.

I shop there and I like them, but can we get something different? I'd do anything for a Trader Joe's down here, as I don't have a car and can't get to TJs for anything more than I can carry on the train.
Feb. 4, 2016, 6:59 am
Lost Soul from Dyker Heights says:
I agree with what the others have said. The Chinese immigrants are much different than any other immigrants that have come to NYC. They do not seek to become Americanized at all, but rather seek to re-make Brooklyn into Beijing. Soon, Brooklyn will be nothing but Chinese and Hipsters. Sad end to what used to be a terrific place to live.
Feb. 5, 2016, 11:28 am
Florence Sigismondo from Bensonhurst says:
First, there has never been an instance where a Chinese homeowner has evicted a non-Chinese just so he or she could rent to a Chinese. It's just something bigots like to say. These newcomers to our neighborhood have brought 86th Street, 18th Avenue and Bay Parkway back to economic health. These areas were going to need urban renewal.
The Chinese, in fact Asians in general, are probably the most tolerant people you will meet up with. It's part of their culture. Get to know your neighbors.
Feb. 9, 2016, 9:02 am
Jay from Bensonhurst says:
First, to all the people complaining about how they prefer a Trader Joe in the neighborhood. Trader Joe stated that they do not have any plans to open up in Bensonhurst in the foreseeable future. Second, all the people complaining about asians displacing italians in the neighborhood should stop complaining. Its the asians paying the top dollars for your house in the neighborhood and the italians selling the houses for top dollars so they can move to Staten Island. Third, those that complain about asian businesses taking over existing italian businesses should increase their spendings at their local meat markets, deli shops, bakeries so they can stay in business. Also, clamoring for a Trader Joe which will probably kill all the old neighborhood italian businesses too if that becomes reality. If people cant accept that their old italian neighborhoods will go through changes, they can pack their bags and move to Staten Island with the sell-outs.
Feb. 25, 2016, 5:08 pm
The Reporter from Bensonhurst says:
Ha! I find it funny that all these racist here are complaining. The reason that there is a Asian market opening is that the community want it here. By stating community , I mean the majority of folks now living in this neighborhood who happens to be Chinese. Before the Asian markets arrive , many Asians had to shop in the so call American stores/markets where they were ridicule, made fun of , and cheated because of cultural differences or language barriers. I would often see this first hand while standing in line whether it was key food, walbaums , or meat supreme. As the influx of immigrants arrive in the neighborhood , businesses catering to the need the people follow. Now that they have a choice , they stop going to the businesses that made them feel unwanted.
Feb. 26, 2016, 10:33 pm
Ling Ye-Kneller from Bensonhurst says:
I am Chinese, and I have to admit that I do not enjoy shopping the in the Asian markets in the neighborhood. I go there only when I need to pick up an ethnic ingredient.

But come to think of it, one of the reason why most Asian markets here have such unappetizing look is because they are crammed for space. I have noticed that the small ones near Bay Parkway are the worst looking ones.

Therefore, I hope the sheer size of the Waldbaum space will enable the new owner to bring on a different kind of Asian Supermarket. I have been to J-Mart in Flushing. It is much cleaner and better organized than the ones we have in Bensonhurst now. And our residents are more ethnically diverse than those of Flushing. I believe the management will sell foods catering to various groups as they will also want to attract the non-Asian customers, that still make up more than half of the neighborhood. I have high hope for the new market to be a East Meet West food fair. I pray I won't be disappointed.
Feb. 27, 2016, 11:01 am
Regina Scotto from Bensonhurst says:
To Ginny, I see many Chinese shopping in the Italian bakeries and meat markets on Bay Parkway and 18th Avenue. The Chinese markets hire mostly Chinese because they are most familiar with the foods being sold. Most Italian shops hire only Italians as they are also most familiar with what they are selling The Chinese are very hard working and are trying to obtain that American Dream just as your family did. Try shopping in the Asian markets and you will find great foods as well as Arnold Bread, Entenmann's cakes and a variety of "American " foods. What's harming Bensonhurst is bigotry.
March 15, 2016, 2:07 pm
Susanne Romeo from Bensonhurst says:
What is sad and appaling about some of the comments is that the truth is the Chinese and most Asians are probably the most tolerant people you will come across with in your life.

The employees in these markets are pleasant to all their customers regardless of ethnicity. Of course there can be exceptions, but they are few. By being bigoted you are missing out on trying great foods and mingling with those outside of your immediate circle.
April 21, 2016, 1:02 pm
Cesar Agron from Borough Park says:
If J-Mart supermarket take over Dyker Heights they should carry more non-Asian products, few non-Asian food courts like Subways, Blimpie, pizza huts, Domino, Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. They should also hire non-Asian employees.
Sept. 2, 2016, 11:01 am
Roxanne from Bath Beach says:
I think it's unfair to open up another Asian market in Bensonhurst. I shopped at waldbaums often, now I have to travel to Trader Joe's & Shop-rite for most of my healthy & affordable groceries, however I do shop at Food Dynasty on 86th St., LaBella on 13th Ave & Frank & Sal on 18th Ave for specialty Italian saulumeria items. I love shopping at all 3 supermarkets for it's cleanliness. The Asians cater to their own and most stores are not clean and smell and sometimes you do not know whether the ingredients are safe. So I stick to made in USA which is rare. At least you know what you are getting if you buy at the Italian stores. They are clean and give you quality.
I do not know how long the Italian American supermarkets will stay as the asians are pushing everyone out and so are the city council members. So as much as I like it here in Brooklyn, I will be moving due to this problem. Hope the future politicians start thinking about Americans born here.
Oct. 13, 2016, 3:19 pm
billy from bath beach says:
used to live across that Walbaums in the late 90's as a kid. Would often run across New Utrecht ave to get milk and eggs and other groceries from that store. The other day i drove by the store and was actually sad to see it closed down. Some of the people working at the store were working for 20 odd years mostly elderly employees. I hope they found other jobs, they were really nice.
Feb. 23, 2017, 3:13 pm
Melissa from Dyker Heights says:
The bigoted comments here are very saddening to see. I myself would love a Trader Joe's in the neighborhood (who wouldn't? Trader Joe's is amazing!), however, I hope our neighbors realize that it isn't an issue of race but an issue of business and economics. Another Asian supermarket comes to bensonhurst because of demand and the potential for profit, not with the sole intent of pushing out other ethnicities. It is the same for all the other businesses. It is sad that the old bensonhurst neighborhood is changing, but the blame falls on the people that left, not the new people who come.
Feb. 23, 2017, 5:50 pm
Ramon Agron from Borough Park says:
I used to buy doughnuts, bread, cookies and cakes freshly made. You won't find it in Asian Supermarket. Trader Joe's would be great idea or Fairway.
March 27, 2017, 2:37 am
Tony Merlino from Bensonhurst says:
I grew up in Bensonhurst it was all Italian Jewish at that time it was a wonderful upbringing. The Chinese people came in with cash to buy our houses and we couldn't can refuse. It hurts me to say this but Bensonhurst is now a Chinese neighborhood so let them have their stores or whatever and fugettabot it .If you don't like it there just get out.
May 18, 2017, 8:01 am
Richard devaney from Dyker heights says:
I used to live on 17th ave and 84th street and waldbaums was a short walk from me..so many asian markets around the west end of bklyn now. Don't think this is a good thing imo..these neighborhoods are long gone, all that'll be left in bklyn is hipsters & asians/Muslims.
June 4, 2017, 7:08 pm
Yevgeniy Belotserkovsky from Bensonhurst says:
I for one feel that divergent communities are the salt of brooklyn. If you want the same processed yet clean garbage the rest of the obese country is buying, move to idaho. New York keeps it minimal, and the ethnic markets serve their communities.
June 10, 2017, 1:05 pm
Camille from Gravesend says:
I say that enough is enough alreay, we sure could use a better choice of stores. Enough with the Asian stores. There all over
86 Street. Bad choice made by all. Lets see some other kind
of businesses here. I guess you can not change the mistake
made.Enough with the Chinese stores. So now we have no
choice but to except what we do not want or like.
June 14, 2017, 2:37 pm
Marianne Cannellin from Bensonhurst says:
I walked along both Bay Parkway and 18th Avenue last Saturday and noted that every Asian market had signs in both Chinese and English. I was greeted in every store I entered and ended up doing some shopping. Part of what's good about NYC is exposure to different cultures and foods. I also noted that most of the markets had both Italian food items and at least two had a kosher food section. They are trying their best to mesh with their neighbors. They are very tolerant people. There will always be a few exceptions but the majority are decent.
June 30, 2017, 8:12 am
Christine says:
Lol at some of these comments.

Literally, how often do you see an Italian store hiring Asians? Never.

You guys want TJs so bad but clearly they don't want to be here because this is now an Asian neighborhood. Let's be real. Asians like cheap prices. TJs won't even stand a chance in this part of Brooklyn.
July 1, 2017, 10:38 am

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