Flushing residents have one less place to buy their groceries, as the neighborhood’s Western Beef supermarket recently closed down.
Visitors to the store located at 44-44 College Point Blvd. last week found closed signs in the window and the doors locked, according to posts on the Bayside, Queens Facebook page.
QNS contacted Western Beef on Aug. 20, and a company representative confirmed that the store had closed. A spokesperson further explained that the store, one of the oldest buildings in the chain, had become too difficult to maintain and energy inefficient.
The supermarket closed within the last week, and all of its employees were transferred to other Western Beef locations either in Queens or closer to their own residences, the spokesperson said.
An examination of property records found that the deed had been transferred in January from Western Beef Properties Inc. to a holding company, Cactus 44-44 Point LLC.
Both Western Beef Properties Inc. and the holding company have the same address, 47-05 Metropolitan Ave. in Ridgewood, which is also a Western Beef supermarket. No money was exchanged in the transaction, according to city Department of Finance records.
According to the Western Beef spokesperson, the company is now taking time to evaluate the College Point Boulevard property and consider what could be done with the property. The company would like to sell or lease the site for retail purposes, but the spokesperson ruled out reopening the Western Beef there.
Currently, there’s no indication on the city’s Department of Buildings website that any development work is planned for the Flushing Western Beef location. The website notes that the ownership remains on the hook for civil penalties resulting from a “violation for failure to certify correction of a Class 1 violation.”
In addition to the Ridgewood store, Western Beef currently has one other Queens location in operation, at 130-35 Merrick Blvd. in Springfield Gardens. According to the Western Beef website, the supermarket is also expanding soon to a location on 168th Street in Jamaica that’s targeted for an opening in March 2020.
Previously, Western Beef shuttered its Long Island City location to make way for two new hotels.
This story was updated on Aug. 20 at 2:50 p.m.