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High-end gourmet grocer Balducci's, which started as a pushcart operation in Brooklyn in 1916 and opened its Greenwich Village location in New York City in 1948, was closed down Tuesday night by the company’s owner, Sutton Place Gourmet.

However, Sutton Place CEO Clifford Smith Jr., describing the move as “probably the toughest decision that I had to make with the company,” pledged to find a new location and reopen in downtown Manhattan.

Workers were only informed of the decision at 9 pm, and were offered either severance packages or jobs in other Sutton Place locations.

The only notice to customers was a sign taped to the window reading, "Thank you for your many years of patronage."

The issue for Sutton Place apparently one of real estate, not patronage. The space was not enough to allow the company to compete against larger gourmet food rivals.

Sutton Place, which bought the New York icon in 1999, operates another Balducci’s in uptown Manhattan, near Lincoln Center. It also operates six Suttons, four Hay Day Farm Markets in Connecticut and New York, and a Blue Point Grill in Virginia.
KC's View:
End of an era? Certainly…even if a new location is found. (For those of you not familiar with New York City geography, the Lincoln Center store might as well be in New Jersey.)

We can remember decades ago, when we were working in the city and taking classes at the New School for Social Research nearby, we used to love wandering into Balducci’s. It was magical…