Ready or not, the Queens-based gourmet supermarket JMart is coming to New Utrecht Avenue.
The grocer’s bid on the shuttered Waldbaums location was approved and finalized by a bankruptcy court judge Monday, according to court documents.
Dubbed a “cook’s paradise” by Time Out New York, Jmart is a full-service supermarket that offers a wide selection of international food products with a focus on Asian cuisine, including from the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, China, and Japan.
A lawyer for Jmart said the closing would take place this month, but it is unclear when the new supermarket will open, since renovations will be needed on the building.
“We hope to open a supermarket that serves the entire community, which means there is going to be an Asian element,” said PC Cheng, one the lawyers representing the supermarket’s owners.
A casualty of A&P’s recent bankruptcy filing, Bensonhurst’s 37-year-old Waldbaums closed in November, leaving 70 employees out of work. At the time, politicians and community member rallied outside the store — which was tied up in bankruptcy court — calling for the location to remain a supermarket.
We have seen some pushback from community members who claim that the neighborhood is oversaturated with Asian markets, and petition circulated last month pleading with gourmet food mecca Trader Joe’s to bid on the space. In response to the petition — which included some explicitly anti-Asian comments — a Trader Joe’s spokesperson told us that opening a location in Bensonhurst was “not in the company’s two-year plan.”