Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Italian-Themed Grocer Seeks to Buy Ramsey Supermarket

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Italian-Themed Grocer Seeks to Buy Ramsey Supermarket

Article excerpt

A Long Island grocery chain that designs its stores to remind shoppers of Little Italy or the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx wants to move into the soon-to-close Pathmark store in Ramsey.

If the bid is approved, Ramsey could become home to the first New Jersey outpost of Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace, a supermarket that tries to re-create the experience of shopping in the old neighborhood, with the butcher, the bakery, the fresh mozzarella store and the gelato stand all under one roof. The chain plays Italian music over loudspeakers and brings in performers on the weekends to serenade shoppers with Sinatra standards.

The sale also could save jobs for workers at the store, because the potential buyer has promised to offer employment to all current employees.

If it comes to the North Jersey market, Uncle Giuseppe's will be entering a field with several well-established specialty gourmet markets, some with strong Italian roots. The Corrado's chain -- with food stores in Clifton, Wayne, Fairfield and North Arlington -- has a similar focus on fresh produce and Italian foods.

Uncle G's Management Corp., which owns five Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace stores on Long Island, wants to take over the lease for the 49,000-square-foot Pathmark store at the Triangle Plaza shopping center on Route 17 in Ramsey. The Farmingdale, N.Y.-based company has offered to buy the lease, which expires in November 2016, for $700,000, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. A court hearing on the proposed sale is scheduled for today.

A&P, the owner of the Pathmark lease, is trying to sell that lease as part of its efforts to pay creditors in its bankruptcy case. A&P, based in Montvale, filed for bankruptcy protection.

The owner of the shopping center, Triangle 17 Center LLC, has filed an objection to the sale, saying it needs more information about the buyer and its financial health.

Philip Del Prete, president of Uncle G's Management Corp., has filed a statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court stating that the company has formed an entity, Uncle Giuseppe's Ramsey Inc., to conduct the transaction and that the company has the "financial wherewithal, experience, and willingness to perform" in the new location. …

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