A vacate notice appeared yesterday on the door of Greene Grape Provisions, a Fort Greene supermarket with local fanfare for its specialty items, local products, and artisanal cheese counter. In the meantime, Greene Grape Provisions remains temporary closed.
The posted sign, dated Monday, August 3, appears to apply to the entire residential building at 767 Fulton Street, between South Portland and South Oxford streets, not just first floor where Greene Grape is located. It reads: “The Department of Buildings has determined that conditions within this premises, are imminently perilous to life... the premises has been vacated and re-entry is prohibited until such conditions have been eliminated.”
A representative for the borough’s construction enforcement told Eater via phone that at the time of inspection of the building, “‘a number three wall’ [in the residential part of the building] was in severe state of disrepair; the rear wall separated and cracked on the second and third floors; the second and third floor walls are sloping.”
Greene Grape owner Amy Bennett tells Eater that the drama began when an employee noticed a crack in a rear wall. An engineer came to the site on Monday, August 3, and then it “became a critical situation,” she says. Bennett estimates that Greene Grape Provisions will be temporarily shut down for around two months at a minimum, while construction work takes place on the mixed-use building. But it all depends on the speediness of the Department of Buildings.
Though it’s the landlord’s responsibility to handle, Bennett tells Eater that there are two stages of construction needed: an emergency, temporary stabilizing of the entire decades-old building, and then construction for a “solid foundation for the next 50, 100 years.” She estimates that getting a permit from the Department of Buildings to complete the second half of construction could take at least a month for approval, with construction estimated to last an additional two to three weeks.
In the meantime, she’s worried about the livelihoods of her employees as well as her vendors. Bennett tells Eater she’s awaiting permission to be able to grab the items from the supermarket, which she plans to give to employees. Just today, a new perishable delivery order arrived, which Bennett says will be donated to local community fridges, with some items rescued by City Harvest.
The adjoining shop Greene Grape Wine & Spirits will remain open.
In April 2020, Bennett was forced to shutter Greene Grape Annex, a coffee shop and cafe located across the street from the supermarket and wine shop, after six years in operation due to financial reasons she attributed to the pandemic. Originally, Greene Grape Provisions was located in the Annex storefront. Greene Grape Provisions moved to the new, larger storefront where it currently resides back in 2013, and has been there since.