A fire broke out in the basement of New York Mart at 1721 Avenue U, causing smoke to billow into the streets and drawing a heavy response from firefighters.
The fire broke out at approximately 11:00 a.m. As of this writing, the street is still filled with thick smoke, and Avenue U has been closed off between East 17th Street and East 19th Street, and East 18th Street from Avenue T to Avenue V. The B3 bus is being rerouted via Avenue T.
“It’s really crazy. It’s a lot of firetrucks and everything. It’s mostly smoke right now. Hopefully nobody got hurt,” said a Sheepshead Bites reader who witnessed the response.
According to Randy Contello, a Sheepshead Bites photo contributor, there are
as many as more than ten firetrucks, and responders on the scene stated they believe the cause is electrical.
“It’s just firetrucks everywhere. There’s a crazy amount of fire trucks,” Contello said.
Contello said firefighters are currently on the roof, tearing holes for venting.
The market was the former site of a short-lived Walgreens, and was converted into the Chinese market last year. It’s their second location in the area, with the first being at 2309 Avenue U.
UPDATE (12:37 p.m.): Randy Contello sent in the following photographs.
This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.
The short-lived Walgreens at 1721 Avenue U – which closed as a casualty of redundancy after the company bought up Duane Reade – is finally coming back to life, now as a Chinese market.
Signs went up in just the last few days showing that it will be a New York Mart, a business with another location just six blocks away at 2309 Avenue U (as well as several other locations in New York City).
That proximity, as well as the abundance of other Asian supermarkets, has got our tipster Richie a little confounded:
It’s interesting how Avenue U has turned into a breeding ground for banks, pharmacies, nail shops and now supermarkets.
There’s already two other “supermarkets” within immediate walking distance of this new one. One on east 15 and and the other one on east 13 (I think, next to the Mexican restaurant La Villita)
This new supermarket might be part of the same franchise as the supermarket located on East 24 street.
Is Avenue U beginning to mimic Sheepshead Bay Road in its lack of business diversity? What would you rather see in that location?
And now for something completely different...
Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.
Take a moment to re-read that last line of The Bite’s intro blurb. “If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.” When Robert and I conceived of The Bite, it wasn’t to be just prepared foods served at restaurants and cafes, but also bottled and canned goods and other assorted comestibles unique to the area’s ethnic grocers. So, with more than a dozen great reviews of traditional foods under our belt, I began harassing Robert to try something a little more… fringe. On a visit to New York Mart yesterday, I told him that if he wanted to keep his job he’d eat and review whatever I bought him. To warm him up to the idea, I said I’d eat it, too. Below is his writeup. My thoughts are in parenthesis. – Ned.
Find out what we thought about the canned roasted eel we purchased from New York Mart.
Century Mart of Avenue U, which closed in August, is now becoming New York Mart. The 2309 Avenue U storefront doesn’t yet appear to be open.
If there were a way to truly express a shrug in text, that would fill up the remainder of this post.
Photo and tip courtesy of Arthur Borko.