Lafayette Grocery and Dairy has closed its doors after years serving Fort Greene and Clinton Hill residents, reports The Brownstoner.
The store at at 133 Lafayette Avenue lost its lease and was evicted by the city marshal on July 8. According to city data, a complaint filed by J.O.J Holdings LLC on August 4, 2021 alleged that the deli’s lease expired on September 30, 2019.
“Defendant has wrongfully held over beyond the term of the lease. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the terms and conditions of the lease carry over into the holdover period,” the complaint reads.
J.O.J Holdings LLC claimed in the lawsuit that during the 10-year lease, the deli owner violated the conditions of the lease by conducting work in the building without the owner’s permission.
The work allegedly included illegal structural work in the space the deli occupied. And as a result, the building has suffered structural damage and has had received multiple violations from the city agencies. The lawsuit claims the current and previous building owners tried to repeatedly get deli owners to vacate the store so work could be done to fix the violations. But, the store owner “failed or refused to comply.”
In 2009, the property’s owners at the time received a warning letter from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for tearing out the existing storefront of the landmarked building without approval. The following year, they received permission from the committee for changes to the storefront and reinstalled the old signage. One noticeable difference: The sign now spells Lafayette with only one “t.”
The space may now remain empty or house a new business, but its exterior appearance — and even the grocery store signage — may potentially stay in place, because it’s part of the landmark district.