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Balducci’s, one of the most famous names in New York City specialty food retailing, plans to close its two New York City locations, in Chelsea and Lincoln Square, as well as one store in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and another unit in Washington, DC.

Sources tell MNB that the owner of at least one of the Balducci’s locations is searching about for other food retailers to take the space, and has approached Fairway Markets, which turned down the opportunity because the building wasn’t appropriate for its format.

The closures will leave Balducci’s with stores in Westport and Greenwich, Connecticut.

No specific reasons have been given for the closures except that the company is undergoing a reorganization that made it necessary to close underperforming units. Balducci’s was acquired several years ago by Bear Stearns Merchant Banking from Sutton Place Gourmet, which has bought the company from the founding family in 1999.

The original Balducci’s, in Greenwich Village, closed in 2003.

KC's View:
There will be plenty of obituaries written for Balducci’s, I expect; the one I’m most looking forward to will probably come from Nora Ephron, who has spent a good part of her professional life chronicling the comings and goings of the Upper West Side. (The New Yorker piece probably will be pretty good, too.)

Sentiment aside, it may just be that Balducci’s time had come…that sometimes a store can actually outlive its usefulness.