Saturday, August 25, 2007

Awfully Close to Home

Walking down the street last night, I found out that my neighborhood is going to be graced by the presence of Union Market. I had no idea what a Union Market was, so I went to their website to find out:

We are a neighborhood specialty food market—a one-stop shop for the best in fresh, prepared and gourmet foods. Union Market is a new enterprise that is a product of cooperation between the former Management team of one of New York's most prestigious food outlets, Gourmet Garage, including Mr. Marko Lalic (Former General Manager of Gourmet Garage SoHo), Mr. Martin Nuñez (Former Corporate Director of Operations and General Manager of Gourmet Garage 7th Avenue, West Village) and New York food industry veteran Mr. Paul Fernandez. Utilizing our combined experience of over forty years in the specialty food business, we developed the concept for a store that is Your Neighborhood Source for Fine Foods. That store is Union Market.

Sounds like it is not much more than a specialized version of Whole Foods. Though, I will give them this—rather than raze an entire block of existing units, they did just knock down walls between three adjacent storefronts to build it. It isn't going to be a giant gourmet big-box, but it does mean that "South Slope"[*] has officially hit the yuppie radar screen. I guess it shouldn't be that surprising given that posts have been published about the southward creep of restaurants even after the original expansion of restaurants in the area, but I guess that the Union Market feels much more corporate than many of these other restaurants, food stores, etc. I'm just hoping that it doesn't expand too quickly in the next year and force us to find a new place. On the other hand, it would be valuable experience that I could chalk up to "participant observation."

[*] South Slope is the southern most part of Park Slope. According to Wikipedia (which, I believe to be the most reliable source for things like this), "South Slope" does not exist as a formal neighborhood. However, as an indication for its in-between status as a designation not quite yet captured by the local real estate market, the Wikipedia entry for Park Slope (permanent link to revision) "South Slope" is mentioned as a bordering neighborhood that has become consumed by "greater Park Slope" as real estate agents have become "increasingly generous about the borders of Park Slope". return


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