Second Asian Grocer Bids On Waldbaums, Trader Joe’s Says ‘No Thanks’

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If the owners of Sunset Park’s Fei Long Market were trying to keep their bid on the shuttered Bensonhurst Waldbaums supermarket under wraps, their plan has failed.

Another Asian grocer — identified as “JMart Group Inc.” — has topped Fei Long’s $10 million bid on the 8121 New Utrecht Avenue store by $400,000, according to documents from yesterday’s auction obtained by Coupons in the News and shared with this publication.

Called a “cook’s paradise” by Time Out New York, JMart is a massive supermarket located in Flushing’s sprawling New World Shopping Center. It is stocked with ingredients imported from the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, India, and beyond. We reached out to the owners of the Queens Jmart to find out if they are the winning bidders listed on the court papers, but were unable to obtain confirmation.

If the deal with JMart falls through before February 5, Fei Long is listed as the backup bidder on the property. (The owners of Fei Long denied putting a bid on the building in an email to Bensonhurst Bean last week, though their names and contact information were listed on the court filings.)

Meanwhile, a Change.org petition — loaded with thinly veiled and explicitly anti-Asian comments — has been circulating, garnering more than 1,000 signatures and calling for supermarket goliath Trader Joe’s to take over the New Utrecht Avenue building.

Screenshot from Change.org petition.

Screenshot from Change.org petition.

While many who signed the petition noted that a Trader Joe’s store would be a boon to the neighborhood — bringing in much-needed affordable, healthy and gourmet offerings — others seemed less intent on expanding Bensonhurst’s retail options than on keeping Asian markets out.

So far Bensonhurst’s love affair with Trader Joe’s remains unrequited. Despite the availability of a “location request” tab on the company’s website, a spokesperson curtly told us that opening a supermarket in southern Brooklyn is “not in the company’s two-year plan.”

“Although it’s really nice to be wanted, wooing does not factor into our decision making process,” said TJ spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki.

Trader Joe’s does not disclose what goes into its decision making process, she added.

The Waldbaums on New Utrecht Avenue closed in November as a result of its parent company A&P’s bankruptcy filing, leaving 70 former employees without jobs.

At the time, local politicians, Brooklyn’s Chamber of Commerce, and community members rallied outside the empty supermarket demanding answers about the closure.

  • Breadwinner

    Trader Joes would have never come here the petition was downright a waste of time and shows that there are still plenty of bigots in the area whose last name ends in a vowel. You honestly think Trader Joes would come down with their 20 cashiers just to come service this dead location. Does not work that way and you closet racists need to grasp that and deal with whatever new store moves in.

    • Sean F

      Agreed. Trader Joe’s is a store that is well-known for its progressive policies (organics, free-range, etc.). They are not going to want to come to a neighborhood at the behest of raging bigots.

      I have to laugh about the petition because I know one of the signatories shown in this article. I’m not surprised that person is being anti-Asian, though I am surprised that they finally stopped hiding it. This person is usually rather polite, even to Asians, in person.

      • patrici

        How smug and judgmental you sound — not a very attractive quality

      • Mitzie

        I don’t know if you’re from that “neighborhood of raging bigots” but unless you are, don’t judge people who are stating certain truths – albeit in a crass way. The markets do smell, they are dirty, and the market owners are rude. Instead of throwing darts at the people who live in that neighborhood – whether they have a vowel at the end of their name or not – perhaps if the store owners were expected to keep their establishments cleaner, and learned to be a little nicer, there wouldn’t be as much of an issue. And, yes, too much of anything isn’t a good thing.

        • Sean F

          I am from the neighborhood,within a few blocks of the Waldbaums lot. If you read this site with any regularity, you’ll know that I call out bigotry whenever I see it, and sadly, it appears in the comments here with alarming regularity.

          I shop in the Asian markets here all the time. I find them no more dirty or smelly than the Waldbaums or the Pathmark on Cropsey were, or than some of the kosher fish markets or halal meat stores or Russian fruit markets in the area are. I’ve never been greeted with less than friendliness in any of them. And yes, I’m Caucasian with a vowel at the end of my name.

          • LongtimeResident

            The Chinese are filthy and boorish. This a a known fact. A minority might not be, but the majority have a cultural preference towards this behavior. It has been well documented since they have started traveling abroad. So much so, that their own government has published numerous advisories imploring them to behave when they visit other countries. See http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/10/chinese-government-publishes-guide-on-how-to-avoid-being-a-terrible-tourist/280332/ and this blog by someone who is married to a Chinese woman:
            http://rantsaboutchina.page.tl/Even-dirtier-_-Chinese-toilet-habits.htm
            I am tired of reading posts of people defending this behavior, and saying that “other ethnic groups do the same thing”. SOME, may, but the Chinese seem to have cornered the market on bad behavior by sheer numbers. Due to the language barrier, they also do not seem to understand that they are GUESTS here and should behave as such and not try to “re-make” Brooklyn into Beijing. I would appreciate a store in the neighborhood similar to Waldbaums, where the signs are in English and the products offered are mainstream American fare, because that is what I eat. I don’t eat turtles, frogs and dog meat, which are offered in the Chinese market on 18th Ave and 86th. I also prefer my fish already dead, not swimming around in overstocked, filthy fish tank reaking with fish disease. Until the Board of Health gets around to do some enforcement of these unsanitary practices, I will continue to shop at Stop and Shop, rather than take my chances with Chinese sanitation practices.

          • BambooStar

            Hm.. Interesting. And what exactly makes you think that your dead fish did not swim around in a filthy tank before getting processed into your headless boneless filets? Hear no evil, so no evil, eh? I mean, most of the fish we buy aren’t wild, so it was certainly swimming in some tank SOMEWHERE.
            Also, why are you calling Chinese people “guests”? They’re not tourists. They’re residents, and many are American citizens. That’s right! ‘Muricans! With just as much of a right to open their cultural markets as the Italians or Russians. It’s not like the original Italian immigrants assimilated into American culture. Proof of that is in the Three Points and Little Italy in Manhattan. The Italians came in, settled into a neighborhood, and opened up their own cultural markets just like any other immigrant generation.

            Don’t hate on Asian supermarket selections, just because you have a narrow minded attitude towards international food. They clearly have chicken and beef at at 18th ave supermarket. Is that not American enough for you? I bet you’d hate the idea of alligator meat too even though a large amount of American southerners make it in their everyday cuisine. Try watching a little Top Chef.

            If you want a non Asian market, then open one up. It’s as simple as that. Money talks, and right now, it’s the Chinese that have it.

          • Longtime Resident

            You are a guest when you first arrive here as no one becomes a citizen the minute they hit the tarmac at the airport. That means your demeanor should be one of acting in a fashion that defers to the majority of people that live here, as far as manners and customs. That may mean you don’t want to buy property and put up ugly fencing that not only doesn’t look nice, but replaces railings that have been part of the architecture of the neighborhood for almost a century or more. Nothing worse than having neighbors who think “money talks” and therefore “I can do anything I want” and replace beautiful hand forged railings on an old Brooklyn brownstone or limestone with cheap Chinese steel “because I have the money” . Its behavior that seems like “I’m staking out a claim” by not caring what was here before and why it was here. All previous immigrants wanted to “fit in” and few of them changed up the architecture in such a dramatic fashion as Chinese have. I dare say, I never knew what house was Italian or Jewish or Hispanic or Black or any other ethnic group while driving down the street. Now I can pick out all the Chinese homes just from the railings, as well as the hanging laundry and fish in front of the house, and all the crap they leave on the lawn and the porch. What a pleasant addition to the neighborhood! So much for “fitting in” and becoming “Merican”. As far as the fish are concerned, most fish are put on ice as soon as they are caught. Go see for yourself in Sheepshead Bay when the boats come in. They are easier to transport that way, and they remain fresh. No need to hold them in overcrowded filthy tanks for days.

          • Sean F

            Dear Longtime,

            May I see the exhaustive demographic survey you did of the Asians in the neighborhood? I’d like to see the data that so many of them are not citizens or have only been here for a short while. I think it would be educational.

            Every other point you raise has been refuted multiple times on this site. You are still wrong in every regard.

            Oh, and gutted fish on ice can last for a month. That doesn’t mean that when you buy one 27 days after it’s been caught, that it is “fresh”. Nor does it mean that whatever crud it swam in before it was caught is out of its system. Freshly killed fish from water tanks sells faster, and is, by definition, fresher and better for you.

            If bigots would put as much energy into “Love thy neighbor” as they do “You different people suck!”, we’d have World Peace in our lifetimes.

          • LongtimeResident

            According to data from the Asian American Federation Census Information Center (2013) A little over half of all Chinese immigrants are naturalized citizens. According to Raden Keefe’s book “Snakehead”, about Chinese immigration smuggling, a huge number of Fujianese come into this country illegally by using the passports of relatives. It is estimated that nearly a quarter million of those are here illegally, living undocumented. That is just from one province. Estimates vary on other provinces, but the practice is common.

            Every other point refuted? I’m sorry, but “your opinion” is the only refutation I am seeing here. You seem to post pathologically, every few minutes on this subject —and your opinion has obvious bias. Brings to mind a certain song:

          • Sean F

            Extrapolations and estimates are not facts.

            I’m not giving my opinion. I’m stating absolute facts based on actual events happening on my block and in my neighborhood, without bias for or against.

            And I would do the same if you were blithering on with your hateful posts, regardless of what ethnic group it was. Bigots need to be outed for the misguided people they are.

            BTW, great link. I live the Pythons. :: wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, Longtime::

          • LongtimeResident

            The data from the Asian American Federation Census Information Center was as factual as you can get. It reports actual census data. Your “facts” gleaned from your observations of “events ” are just as valid as my “facts” gleaned from my observations of similar “events”. I live here too. Your bias is obvious.And so is your bigotry against people who you deem bigots based on a few posts on a website. Disingenuous at best.

          • AlsoALongTimeResident

            Oh Lord Almighty Jesus bless your soul. You are full of hate.. I wondered what the Anglos said about your family when they first arrived. What you are describing is not the definite character of every Chinese person. You are reaccounting negative experiences and negative experience from others to back up your bigoted predisposition.

          • LongtimeResident

            Why is stating the truth make me a bigot? I am full of disdain for people like you who come to the table with nothing but political correctness. Open your eyes and look at the facts. Mainstream publications have documented the boorish and unsanitary behavior of Chinese. Do a search on google about “Chinese toilets” and you will not only be disgusted, but you probably will never want to eat in a Chinese establishment ever again. What my family did when they arrived here has nothing to do with the present situation where sanitation practices are well known and people are educated. This is not the 1890’s, where someone could be forgiven for not having knowledge of customs and practices. Every Chinese person I see around the neighborhood has a cell phone no matter what their age, so there is NO EXCUSE about not knowing what American customs are, like not spitting anywhere and everywhere one likes. One of the wonderful things about this country was always the fact that everyone was welcome to come here and become American, not to come here and make over our country to their liking.

          • Sean F

            Simple answer to your first question:

            big·ot ˈbiɡət/
            noun
            noun: bigot; plural noun: bigots
            a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.

            “Truth” has nothing to do with it. You are intolerant, therefore you are a bigot.

            There is nothing of political correctness in any of what’s been said to you. I don’t know your religious affiliation, but every major world religion (and every non-religious ethical belief system) has a key tenant that reads something like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Not “Do unto others as you think they may be doing unto you.”

            The rest of your post is just you trying to justify being a hateful bigot. Read those articles more carefully, and you will find that they address specific situations in specific Chinese cities and provinces. China is slightly larger than the U.S., and is made up of 34 provinces. The differences among the people who live in each one is as vast as the difference between a Bensonhuster and a Park Avenue socialite, and between a Bensonhurster and a person living in a shack in the Appalachians. Even America doesn’t have a homogeneous culture across the entire nation.

            Until you start to recognize that people are people, and every population has its good and bad, its well-off and its struggling for survival, its educated and uneducated, you will remain a bigot.

          • AnonymousNumber5

            I’m a bit torn here. On the one hand, I agree that Long-Time Resident
            is too categorical in his assertions about Chinese immigrants here and
            too sweeping in his conclusions about what is implied about their
            culture. On the other hand, as a south Brooklynite myself I recognize
            pretty much every one of the behavioral patterns he notes and must admit
            that in my experience they are indeed disproportionately
            characteristic of Chinese folks here (I’ve also read a fair amount
            of literature noting these patterns among them both in China and
            abroad).
            The truth is that while everyone deserves to be treated
            as an individual and not tarred with associations (literally
            pre-judices) regarding their ethic group/”class”/ideology/whatever, we
            all use this shorthand in order to negotiate life. We don’t have to
            mistake it for our “official positions”. But when pent-up complaints are
            vented in a forum like this maybe a bit of patience is in order, rather
            than simply pc policing. Few people set out to be bigots, and in my
            experience almost anybody can be talked to– once you allow for the
            possibility that somewhere in their assertions they have valid points
            that they feel are being too summarily dismissed.

          • LongtimeResident

            “noun: bigot; plural noun: bigots
            a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions”

            It appears that YOU don’t tolerate any other opinion either and by that definition you posted above, you are also a bigot. You might as well call anyone else here that posted an opinion different than yours a bigot, as you seem to be the sole arbiter of the definition of “tolerance” for this website.

            Until you recognize that people are entitled to have different opinions, and those opinions may be distasteful to you, but nonetheless have some truths that need to be heard, you will forever remain a closed minded Sino-File. A Bensonhurster, a Park Avenue Socialite and an Appalachian don’t have
            to be told its not sanitary not to hurl loogies on the sidewalk every
            five yards. They just don’t do it. Even the Appalachian would feel some
            shame about doing it.

            A fact that needs to be said, because every population has good and bad, educated and uneducated, and we are all struggling for survival in this overcrowded borough. One of the ways we do that is to get in someone’s face and tell them when they are acting the fool, however “bigoted” that information would seem.

          • Sean F

            Actually, I am bring extremely tolerant of you and your ilk. Frankly, I find you all slightly amusing, if misguided and misinformed. I am not insulting you (aside from a few tongue-in-cheek one-liners). I am not the sole arbiter of anything. You seem to be ignoring the posts by actual Chinese people who have also attempted to get you to examine your prejudices.

            I have no problem with different opinions when they are based on some reasonable factual basis. For a fact, there are several other posters here with whom I’ve differed in opinion, but we found actual common ground, and have since moved on to polite discourse.

            I’m sorry that you were raised to think that it is OK to “get in someone’s face and tell them when they are acting the fool”. My parents raised me to be more Christian and understanding.

            P.S. the word is “Sino-phile”.

          • LongtimeResident

            I see…reduced to spelling checking because you have nothing else to
            say to defend your position? Got it. If you are “tolerant” then you
            wouldn’t be here posting to each and every single person that has
            offered a negative opinion on the Chinese. You would just let it go. The
            way I am going to right now. (walks away)

          • Sean F

            Sorry, I’ve been away, celebrating the Lunar New Year with my family. You ignore the body of my post, and focus on only the postscript? And I haven’t posted to every person, just the recidivist bigots. But, I’m also giving you up as a lost cause. But, in the end, I hope God opens your heart. Me love you, Longtime. 🙂

    • Andy

      I doubt Trader Joes will succeed since the majority of the residents are asians. Most will shop at an asian market then Trader Joes. Every white that moves out an asian move in. Its great if you own a home. That 2 family home is worth over 1 million due to asian demand.

    • Moe1840

      It’s not a dead location, Breadwinner. And, although people from that neighborhood have expressed their displeasure in a very crass way, the truth of the matter is the stores do smell, they are dirty, and the store owners very rude. That has nothing to do with whether or not they have a vowel at the end of their name, which I’d like to point out sounds like a statement coming from the mouth of a bigot. I have plenty of Trader Joe’s where I live, and their clientele consists of members of many different cultures – including Asian. And, too much of anything isn’t necessarily a good thing. Try brushing up on your punctuation before hurling insults at an entire community.

    • ChickaChicka

      The problem is that these were nice neighborhoods, and FLOODS of Chinese have moved in, and now there is litter everywhere, and the majority of them do not try to assimilate. The stores are dirty and do smell bad. I don’t think the people crassly complaining about it are “racist”, I think that they just want their neighborhood to still be a neighborhood and not become another Chinatown. I have lived in a neighborhood not too far from there my whole life and it isn’t a nice thing. It’s a cultural issue and a neighborhood issue, not a “race” issue.

      • Sean F

        The Chinese stores smell different, not bad. The Chinese meat and fish counters are cleaner than the old-style butcher shops we used to have here. In those old shops, the butchers used to spread sawdust on the floor to cover up and absorb all manner of foul liquids. The Chinese stores don’t need to do that because, other than some ice-melt, or splashed water, they don’t drip blood and guts on the floors where customers walk. The butchers and fishmongers are very hygienic in the way they handle their fish.

        The litter problem on the commercial strips is a result of DSNY not having responded to the massive increase in foot traffic along 86th Street, 18th Avenue, etc. Aside from some people who put their household trash in the few curbside litter baskets, most of the litter is from western-branded chain stores (Popeyes, McD’s, etc.) There is a Russian fruit store that’s been near my home for over 20 years, and I’ve been picking up their windblown litter from my yard for the whole time because they don’t secure their dumpsters. No amount of complaints has gotten them to change their ways.

        It’s not an Asian or Chinese problem. It’s just plain old laziness, which affects all races equally.

      • cathygrace

        So just because it’s becoming more an Asian neighborhood, it’s no longer a ‘neighborhood’? There are many Bensonhurst born Chinese people who still live here. This is their neighborhood too. It IS a RACE issue when a minority is targeted and being discriminated against.

        Would it be better for us if the illegal Mexican day workers were the issue for you?

        • ChickaChicka

          A lot of the Bensonhurst born Chinese are great. I’m not sur what your last sentence means or the relevance. The bottom line is it’s been a blight, to say the least. Love to my Chinese people who respect a neighborhood and the place they’ve moved to – many of these people we are talking about, do not.

  • Foo Won No Fun

    another Asian store… great…smh…..

  • John

    As an Asian myself we do not need another Asian supermarket. It’s getting ridiculous. If they do open one where walbaums used to be there will be 3 in a 2 block radius.

    • BrooklynDaddy

      Another Asian supermarket in the area – will mean competition and lower the price for all. Economic 101.

      • BambooStar

        Yes, but it would also mean a lack of many American style food products within that area. Entemanns for example; I don’t think I’ve seen them in any of the Asian supermarkets. It’s just nice to have options. I certainly wouldn’t be able to get a pot roast or fresh herbs like dill or rosemary at an Asian market =

        • BrooklynDaddy

          I have been able to pick up a Chuck Pot Roast and fresh dill from the Asian Market on Ft Hamilton (for rosemary, I have to walk over to ‘3 Guys’). Do not presume.

  • Andy

    Classic sample of supply and demand…. If there are no demand, shouldn’t they go out of business soon. Why is this issue so troubling? If Mcdonald or Starbuck were to open up at every corner, I doubt anybody will bitching about it. If business don’t come they will shut down. If there is room for another then so be it. There is a reason why Waldblaum closed down.. It wasn’t highly profitable….

  • Andy

    Is there a collation between asian grocer = higher home value? Since they added a fourth asian market on bay parkway, my home value have gone up 20%. If this is true, please build another asian grocer..

    Question: if all the asian were to move out of bensonhurst will my home value be less?
    the answer is yes.. who else is going to pay 1.3million for a 2 family home?
    Think about it… — retire in the sun

    • Sean F

      My property has tripled in value in the past five years thanks to the Asian influx. Leaving aside the issue of illegal conversions, it helps that they are making improvements on the homes they are buying – new brickwork, interiors, etc. My Asian neighbors have greatly improved the curb appeal of our block over the folks who moved away. Granted, most of the people who moved out were elderly, and couldn’t maintain or improve their long-time homes. But the difference between how my block looked five years ago and now is striking and positive.

      • BambooStar

        Yea. Chinese people are pretty good about remodeling when they buy a house that’s not new. Now if only they had more taste in their exterior modeling and didn’t have chome all over their houses….

        • Sean F

          I’ll agree with you that the earliest generations of stainless steel fencing, doors and window gates were too industrial, but recent advances have turned out some nicely designed styles. They have more details and options now. My parents (non-Asian) used stainless on their porch railing in Bay Ridge, and it looks very nice. The neighbors have all complimented them on it.

          It’s all in how one uses (and doesn’t over-use) it. I’ve seen some horrific examples of the traditional black wrought iron all over Brooklyn. Some of the use of Italianate marble railings and banisters on the front of some wood-framed houses is utterly inappropriate to the style of the rest of the house. As was much of the use of faux-stucco on so many houses about 15 years ago. A poor eye for design is not exclusive to Asians.

  • Don’t worry

    Wht hate on chinese community ..they have the money to open it. If people don’t like it then stop shopping at it. Go to pathmark stop and shop etc. Stop complaining and hating

  • Oleg

    I not a fan of Trader Joe’s. They have cheaper prices on certain item’s, but overall it just like any other supermarket. Everyone in that TJ thinks they are big shots, not only because they are in located in Manhattan, but also most of their staff are college educated. When you talk to them you will understand that they are not as smart as you. Bensonhurst is the best location and we will have a more uniqle and better supermaket then TJ.

  • Michael

    I’m sorry, but the neighborhood would not be a good fit for Trader Joe’s. The changing demographics show that and people will not travel any long distances to go their. Plus their prices are a tad on the high side. I know there are a lot of asian-haters in the area, but the neighborhoods are changing. just look at 86th St. between Bay Parkway and 23rd Avenue. Meat Supreme is sandwiched by any number of Asian or Russian stores that their people shop in. It’s just the changing of the guard. It is what it is.

  • Sbrigats

    The fact of the matter is Brooklyn isn’t what it used to be. The good old days are gone and the few people that are left from back in the day are disgusted, saddened etc. on what the neighborhood tuned into.

    • Rager

      Just because the demographic changed doesn’t mean Bensonhurst has gone down, I’d say the area changed for the better, it has a better reputation now and is more diverse. Get out of here with that “good old day” b.s.. Maybe good old day for you..

      • Robert D

        Diverse hahahah For the Better! So because it was mostly Italian it was bad and now its mostly Asian and its good. It went from cafe’s, bakeries, and delicatessens to fish markets that destroy neighboring bushiness (Santander on 86th), 2 nail saloons on every single block, and shady child day care centers in private homes. But i dont care anymore bc when my parents die im going to rake in the money from the home i once grew up in.

        • Rager

          What I meant by diversity is that it’s not only Asian but there is many Eastern Europeans, Hispanics and Middle Eastern. Before the 90s when it was mostly Italian and some Jewish there was no diversity. People who moved here from another ethnicity were shunned.

      • Sbrigats

        Let me be break it down for you a little better… The neighborhood turned to sh*t!

        • Sean F

          Right, because the empty, gated, graffiti-covered storefronts along 86th in the 1980s and 1990s were signs of a much better neighborhood than the bustling commercial strip we now have. And the depressed property values of the 2000s and early 2010s were more appealing than the increased property values of today.

          Get a reality check, Sbigats, or loan me your rose-colored glasses. Bensonhurst today is the best it’s been since at least the 70s.

          • Robert D

            ” empty, gated, graffiti-covered storefronts along 86th in the 1980s and 1990s” what the hell are you talking about.

            “depressed property values of the 2000s and early 2010s”

            You realize were talking about Bensonhurst and not East NY or Brownsville right?

          • Sean F

            I know exactly what neighborhood we are talking about. I lived here, and hung out here in those eras. I bought my current home in 1996, and its value tanked in the early 2000s. It had a mild rebound in about 2007/2008, then tanked again.

          • Robert D

            Ever think you were a sucker and just paid too much?
            A mild rebound AFTER the bubble popped on the housing crisis.
            Whatever the case is, two family homes are now closing on a million so i really hope you held on.

          • Sean F

            Actually we got a great deal on the house. Value went up year after year for about 5 years. It’s possible the mild rebound was 2006/2007, but it was very MILD, but the first increase we’d seen post-9/11.

            I’m still here, and going nowhere. As I’ve said in other parts of this thread, I live in a great neighborhood in the best city on earth.

        • Larry Litmanen

          I am not sure about the “turned to” part. Sure we all see businesses going out on 20th ave, but was that not always that way.

    • Sean F

      I’m one of the “few people that are left from back in the day”, and I love the Bensonhurst of today. Great place to raise kids, expose them to a more open view of the world, and introduce them to an amazing array of cuisines.

      • Sbrigats

        I was a hold out from back in the day and recently decided to leave. You can keep it.. It became a dump. Glad you still enjoy it. : )

        • Sean F

          Out of nothing more than curiosity, were you a renter or a home owner?

          In either case, best of luck in your new place. I wish you many happy years.

          • Sbrigats

            I was a home owner and did get very good money for my house. I won’t deny that the value of homes are unbelievably high but that’s not why I chose to sell. As I said, I was one of the last hold outs. I left for a few reasons. One being that like everything else in life, Brooklyn changed. It wasn’t the same as I remember. Most of my friends, businesses etc. left. The fact of the matter is that most “renters” (not all) that decided to leave, left because they couldn’t afford to buy a house in the neighborhood. Then others chose to sell their homes because they saw that the neighborhood changed and seeing what they could get for their homes was the icing on the cake. Staten Island became more appealing to them because it was more affordable not to mention that a lot of Brooklynites moved there as well.
            (I didn’t move to Staten Island).

          • Sean F

            Understood, Sbrigats. I do wish my kids had the chance to play stickball and wiffleball and skellie in the street, like I did. Traffic volume doesn’t permit the sort of asphalt-playground-in-front-of-the-house we had. And Bensonhurst stoops just aren’t as useful for stoopball as a brownstone stoop. Though, my kids did get a nice taste of it visiting with their cousins in Dyker Heights.

            Again, best of luck.

          • Sbrigats

            That’s what I meant as “Brooklyn is nothing but a memory”.
            Thank you Sean and best of luck to you as well.

    • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    • Andy

      “good old days”… that’s like saying when haircuts were 25 cent, subways were less than a dollar, home values were under 100k and there were no internet… I don’t know what generation you’re from but time have change.. either you adjust to the time or get left back… change is inevitable and for the good how else i’m able to complain about your posting on this comment section.. give it another 50yrs.. the asian will move to another neighborhood and the Jewish/Russian/Black will move in… I wonder are the jewish in borough park complaining that there are too much asians moving it.. and the asian complaining there are too much kosher deli in the neighborhood…. Honestly, I care less what supermarket open up as long as there is uber eats, grubhub, freshdirect and for the 90000 times.. my home value goes up and the neighborhood is safe… I read a report saying that no millennium plans on staying in one neighborhood for the duration of their life… live a little move around…

  • Larry Litmanen

    Bensonhurst is home to Net Cost Market, a Russian supermarket. When you go there every cashier and almost every employee speaks Russian but also English, some speak Spanish. The product selection is Russian/European but the atmosphere is very inviting to everyone. This is why you see so many Asians, Hispanics, Italians and everyone else in there. It is simply a great place to shop for really good food, with a heavy emphasis on Russian foods. Also the place is clean and sanitary and just wonderful to be in.

    Many Asian markets do not follow the same formula, most employees do not seem to be bilingual. Also from purely cultural stand point of view American shopping establishments do not keep live fish in a way where the smell permeates the entire facility. I am sure it is not a health issue as department of sanitation is OK with it, it is however a cultural issue.

    All those who recall the good old days, yeah we can all read between the lines, but such is life. Whoever has the money is on top. Right now Chinese immigrants are coming in, they are saving money, working hard and buying the property, typical story of immigrants in USA. 50 years from now another group will come in and displace them.

    • cathygrace

      i disagree. I have firsthand seen many Chinese workers in their markets help with English speaking shoppers. You’re right about the Russian markets, they’re there too, as are MANY Mexican markets, that represent the also large influx of Mexican immigrants.

      And I do agree, within 50 years, will be another group. Before the Italians, there were other groups. AS IF it’s not the whitest racist thing to say and make it seem like they were the first in any part of America.

  • Drew B

    repost

  • Drew B

    To the person in the Change.org petition that said ” if you want Italian go to Meat Supreme: ”

    If you want Chinese, go to Chinatown. How dare you say that.

    The real reason why Trader Joe’s will not come to Bensonhurst, is because when you crunch the numbers economically, there just aren’t enough shoppers in Bensonhurst to make Trader Joe’s any real money. Every Trader Joe’s I have ever been to was packed to the gills and even lines outside the door. You think Bensonhurst will have the same affect? Asian residents primarily shop at Asian supermarkets, and non-Asians primarily shop at non-Asian supermarkets. There are too many Asians in Bensonhurst’s demographic to make Trader Joe’s prosperous, it would be a monetary loss on Trader Joe’s part.

    Now, having said that, if Waldbaums becomes Jmart, it will just be another Asian supermarket adding tot he influx of already Asian supermarkets. It will take time, but I will let this happen…..mostly because eventually they will have to root each other out of their own neighborhood. Let them fight each other, and grab the popcorn.

    -EXCUSE me, this is not SPAM so PLEASE DO NOT MARK THIS AS SPAM THANK YOU

    • Sean F

      Trader Joe’s is destination shopping. People who want TJ’s stuff make the trip, whether that means by subway to Atlantic Ave or Manhattan, or over the Verrazano to the one in Staten Island. Put a TJ in Bensonhurst, one block from the D train with a parking lot, and they’ll come from Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Park Slope, Sunset Park, etc.

      Of course, that would mean putting Bensonhurst on the hipsters’ radar, and we REALLY don’t want that.

      • Veal Parmigiana

        Agreed. In the end, it’s better to travel to Trader Joe’s than see the neighborhood gentrify. Nobody wants their rent to go up.

  • Drew B

    repost

  • Karmen

    Exciting if JMart makes it to Bensonhurst. Meh, if Fei Long gets it. LOL @ the delusional people thinking TJ would be coming to Bensonhurst.

    • King Mills

      Williamsburg has a Whole Foods opening in a few months… a Trader Joes being built… and a Wegmans going in to Building 77 at the Navy Yard..
      10 years ago.. .worst area in NYC… today, highest property values. All it takes is youth, hard work and a positive attitude. Just wait till it happens and the complaint becomes all about gentrification.

  • Eddie

    Not surprised an asian supermarket is coming. I hope they add the food court.

    • King Mills

      First Wegmans is going in to Building 77 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard!!! Along with Russ & Daughters… scheduled to open in spring 2017.

  • Peace and Love

    Maybe this location should be a drug and alcohol
    Rehabilitation center since drugs are so rampant in Bensonhurst. Junkies begging In front of Walgreens. Then maybe everyone will be happy. Bensonhurst is NOT progressive enough nor rich enough for Trader Joe’s or Whole foods. Bensonhurst is a ghetto always has been always will be whatever the race. Its full of hate, grime and “good ole day” haters. This new wave of influx will wield in its own down fall come their demise when the next wave comes in Million dollar homes does not mean class! It’s evident!!!! House rich is all it is. Immigrant mentality with little integration into the community. Change is inevitable but change for the better is what we should strive for. Community board 11 does not even see fit to place garbage bins on major avenues yet no one complains to them. There are no answers or solutions if we continue to hate on each other. Extend an olive branch and be happy that you did even if the sentiment is not returned. You’re the better peep!

    • Rager

      I can’t argue here, it’s true. Bensonhurst was and will always be an immigrant ghetto and any organic supermarket wouldnt come here because no one will spend. Too expensive. They would go to Bay Ridge.

  • Emerald5Forever

    Ha, I find that the articles about race attract the most comments on Bensonhurst Bean…

    • Robert D

      Race will always create a huge discussion on message boards bc neighborhoods in NYC and its boroughs have been changing since the beginning. There will always be a culture being pushed out and one coming in. It’s what this city is.

  • Scott Dweeps Demand

    The only thing I see on this thread are “people from the neighborhood” who are too broke to move to SI and Jersey like the rest of the vowel at the end demographic bitter that the neighborhood changed. Most of the old neighborhood is busy bitching about snow plowing and trash pick up in the island. Get over it you racists.

    • Sean F

      I’m sorry you missed my posts. I’m definitely not in any of the categories you mention, but I’m definitely “people in the neighborhood”.

      As for SI and NJ, if I want to live on landfill or swamps, I could move to Starrett City (pardon me, “Spring Creek”).

  • maxboostOG

    I find the racist remarks: troubling, ignorant, and yet mildly amusing.

  • HT

    Like many have said, change is inevitable. Bensonhurst has changed and will continue change. The Dutch came and went, the Italians cane and they’re almost gone now. Now it’s the era of the Chinese. Buy font worry we’re not going to be here much longer bc history tells us that soon, a new immigrant group will replace us.

    And what did you expect? Of course Chinese immigrants would go to other Chinese stores.. Going to places that know your language puts you at a certain comfort zone. This is why you don’t see much stores from pasr immigrant groups. Stores change with demographics.

    Im an Asian American young adult who has been living here since 1999, obviously I can’t say much about the “good old days” but I do have one thing to say. The neighborhood is safe, teens don’t start fights on the streets or pick your locks. We go to college, and come back here to continue to improve the crumbling infrastructure of this neighborhood.

    It deeply saddens me that some people here, perhaps even my own neighbors have such negative views about people like my family.

    Maybe this is what your ancestors experienced when they first arrived here.

    I’ll end on this note, I lived on 64th St from I was 3 till I was 17, smacked in between 2 Italian families and we have always treated each other with kindness and respect. I hope you will treat your neighbors and fellow brooklynite the same

  • Brooklyner152

    Trader Joes has the opportunity to save Brooklyn’s ethnic diversity by putting a market in this location. The area needs a store that caters to every ethnic group, not just one ethnic group. This store could make the difference for many people who are thinking of moving out of the area because there are no options for them other than Chinese markets. We need to support diversity by supporting markets that cater to all groups.

    • Sbrigats

      Every ethnic group? There’s only 2.. Asian and Russian, and they go to their own.

      • LT

        Spanish go Asian

        • Vin G.

          I see a lot more slavic go to the Chinese grocers as well..

  • Emerald5Forever

    I think that although a lot of people want a Trader Joe’s to open here,
    they are not considering demographics. Look at certain neighborhoods
    like Park Slope or Union Square where there are Trader Joe’s, then
    compare them to Bensonhurst. That way, maybe you can see why Trader
    Joe’s is not even thinking about opening a location in South Brooklyn.
    It would not be profiting. In the end, wishful thinking.

    • Sean F

      People from Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, etc. all make the trip out to Whole Foods. That store is successful regardless of its poor location.

      The Waldbaums lot has (a) parking, (b) location a block from a major train line, and (c) is bordered by two major avenues, New Utrecht and 18th Avenue. A TJ store here would be destination shopping for everyone from Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Sunset Park, Park Slope, etc. TJs is making an error by missing this great location.

  • FactsMachine

    They don’t want to open a Trader Joes b/c they need one. They want one because they don’t want an Asian opening a store.

  • Rabbi approved

    because this area doesn’t have enough Asian markets in the area bay park way has about 6 huge ones . i have shopped there on a few occasions and the cashiers are brain dead with stank attitudes the patrons are rude don’t care if your online they will jump over you kick you to the ground just to get ahead of you on the line, but that’s besides the point there is way to many of these Asians markets there sticking up and dirtying up these neighborhoods bay parkway has become so filthy that i don’t even like walking through there to get to the train or even driving through there its like ants running across the street walk means stop don’t walk means cross with your hole family kids and baby carriage once again getting of topic but yea enough with these Asian markets you cant even get help in there you ask them a question they look at you like you have 8 heads they want to open stores all over yet they cant even bother to learn to speak English

    • Rabbi approved

      why not sell live turtles and live frogs to eat while we are at it sounds real yummie

      • Sean F

        Frog is quite tasty. Grilled or fried, it has a texture like chicken, with a very mild fish flavor. Really nice with hot sauce.

        Turtle works best in a soup, but pretty much the same taste experience as with frog.

        Neither is more or less disgusting than other ethnic foods like Italian tripe, or gefilte fish, or even the nutria and squirrel that “real Americans” in the South eat.

    • non-kosher

      It’s all about the $$$$$… If you have the $$$ go open a trader joe or whole food or whatever you want.. I do agree that they should improve their image to be cleaner… Think of it this way… I have walk by many of these asian market and they’re always pack… I haven’t seen one close down yet.. Which mean they’re making good $$$$… speaking english?? you for real… i used to live by borough park and was complaining about why everything is kosher… can’t they open a non-kosher deli… why the people in the neighborhood wear a fur coat in the summer… well.. i learn it’s not my business.. if i don’t like it.. move to another neighborhood. which i did and a non-kosher deli would probably go bankrupt within first 5 months… just like pathmark or walbaumn… so stop complain and open your own market…

      • Sean F

        Actually, you raise an interesting point. In Boro Park, even the businesses that aren’t owned by Jewish people close on Saturdays. Whether it’s respect for the rest of the community or business isn’t brisk enough to be worth the expense, it’s a great example of different cultures learning to respect each other.

  • Smoonyc

    Thanks racist people who signed the petition for putting your full names down so everyone can identify you!

  • King Mills

    Bensonhurst needs a major overhaul… It starts with artist, then small restaurants & bars, then a few coffee shops and small chains.. then bike paths, high rises and more money!!! Enough with the 99cent stores, bodegas, fruit markets, foreign markets. Bring some fun. Bring youth. I literally drive to the 3rd and 3rd Wholefoods to do my shopping. That’s F’d I have to travel so far for a proper grocer. Bring in ShopRite…Wegmans.. either will do just fine. Problems all go away when money and a younger crowd start showing up. Take Williamsburg. Crack den to the highest property values in the entire city in just over a decade. Now getting both a WholeFoods & Trader Joes…
    New Utrecht Ave between 65th and 75th is where the change needs to start. That strip needs to be majorly re-done. Starbucks next to the 71st D line stop… couple of bars, some new restaurants (non Asian or Spanish), just good American food. Burgers, fried chicken, beers, shots. Football on Sundays. And nothing like B-62s.. vomit.
    The entire identity of the area needs to change. It needs to be Williamsburg’d

    • Sean F

      Hipster, get thee hence!

      Bensonhurst is about families, not youth culture. It is a great place to raise kids. The property values here are already climbing with no help from hipsters. Keep Williamsburg in Williamsburg where it belongs.

      • King Mills

        Place to raise families? One concrete jungle to the next doesn’t matter. The city is the city no matter what section you live. Property values are only going to rise until a point, then the downward fall starts. Once an area becomes over saturated and not as desirable, which is what is happening.

        This isn’t a race issue, this is a modernization issue. This area needs to be brought up to date. It needs young families. It needs art. It needs music. It needs vibrant streets and buildings. It needs fresh paint. It needs people out walking around. Make Bensonhurst a community worth being proud of. If you can’t see the change that has occurred elsewhere in the city, then you are blind. And it happened in a lot worse places then here. That is why I mentioned Williamsburg. Hipster? Who’s stereotyping who?

        • Sean F

          No. Neighborhoods need to have unique characteristics to support the widest variety of people for the most vibrant community. Williamsburg and Park Slope have all that useless nonsense you suggest. Leave it there. Bay Ridge isn’t the same concrete jungle as Bensonhurst. Nor Bath Beach the same as Cobblehill. Etc, etc. Nor should they be. If you can’t see that, it is you that is blind.

          Bensonhurst has plenty of young families, many more than when I bought my current home 20 years ago. When my children were little, there were no children their age on the block. Now, my daughter is turning away requests for her to babysit with a tennis racquet. We have people out walking Bensonhurst – shopping in bustling, interesting shops, playing in our parks. We even have a farmer’s market when fools can pay for over-priced, mislabelled “organics” and “free range” food.

          Bensonhurst is now, and always has been a neighborhood of which to be proud. The last thing it needs is modernization.

  • OneObservantOne

    Sean F has a Chinese wife as he has revealed in comments he has made in the Brooklyn Paper. Take that into consideration when reading his remarks here.

    • Sean F

      Thanks for the disclaimer. It is true. Except that it has no bearing. My wife happens to be deeply embarassed by the Chinese people she sees who spit on the street, and exhibit other unsanitary habits. But, she is also a germophobe, and investigates the sanitary conditions of any store where she shops. This is why we kniw for a fact that the derogatory things being said about the Chjnese markets are untrue, because I know she wouod not set foot in them if they were even mildly unsanitary.

      And I wouod defend any ethnic or religious group against ignorant uninformed attacks. I like all of my neighbors (except the sex offender who lives on my block), and truly love this neighborhood.

    • Emerald5Forever

      Hm, but it doesn’t invalidate anything he has pointed out, if that’s what you’re implying.

  • Sbrigats

    I said it before and I’ll say it again.. I think most people on this thread (including myself) are Brooklynites from the 70’s & 80’s and are reminiscing on how things used to be. This is very common, in fact Facebook has plenty of groups dedicated to this topic loaded with members. Brooklyn changed just like other boroughs have changed. Staten Island used to be considered the forgotten borough. It was totally different than all of the other boroughs until the Verrazano bridge got built. Then the change started slowly. Now Staten Island is considered the new Brooklyn. Even though life constantly changes, people are not always going to welcome it with pen arms.

    • Sean F

      I look back on my days here in the 70s and 80s with great fondness, too. But I don’t deny that the neighborhood fell apart long before the Asian influx. The Asians have reinvigorated this neighborhood in nothing but a good way.

      Take a look at the East side of 86th between 21st and Bay Pkwy. All “American” chain stores, with not an Asian shop on the whole street, and it was totally devoid of shoppers this afternoon. Cross Bay Parkway, and you could barely walk for all the shoppers. Bustling busineess where there used to be empty storefronts in the late 80s and early 90s.

      Personally, I would prefer to hear more English on the streets and in the signage, but there is no law saying it has to be. America has no official language, as evidenced by the fact that most government agencies are required to provide all written materials in dozens of languages, to provide translators on request. Even the citizenship test is offered in six non-English language groups. Of those six, one is Spanish, one is Arabic, and other four are Asian. So sadly, English no longer required for U.S. citizenship, or so says the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

  • K

    out of curiosity…who got the lot?

  • Resident for 45 years!

    Everyone should stop complaining about the demographics and start complaining to their local Community Board and Councilman about the FLITH we are exposed to each and everyday on 86th Street!

    • Sean F

      We have a Community Board in name only. When the question becomes “what have you done for us lately”, our CB might as well not exist, unless the one asking has the initials FAIO.

  • Sbrigats

    Bottom line, Brooklyn is nothing but a memory ..