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Fairway grocery chain emerges from Chapter 11

The Fairway Market in Plainview is one of

The Fairway Market in Plainview is one of two stores owned by Fairway Group Holdings Corp. on Long Island. The company is emerging from Chapter 11 protection, it said on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, in a bankruptcy court filing. Credit: Barry Sloan

The grocery chain Fairway has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Manhattan-based chain has a new board of directors that includes the chief executive of Rite Aid Stores, Kenneth Martindale, and a former Whole Foods executive, Errol Schweizer, attorneys for the company said Tuesday in a bankruptcy court filing.

The chain will close its Lake Grove store, as previously announced, but it will not close any other locations, company officials said Wednesday. The Lake Grove store will close by “mid-to-end of July,” a spokeswoman said.

The remaining 14 supermarkets and four wine and liquor stores “will continue to provide our customers with the best food experience in the greater New York area,” Jack Murphy, chief executive, said in a statement. “We have emerged from bankruptcy with a stronger balance sheet and the resources to continue our focus on improving the product offering while maintaining the freshness, quality and customer experience our loyal customers have come to expect.”

Fairway intends to open a new store in Brooklyn by the end of the year, Murphy said.

The stores’ parent company, Fairway Group Holdings Corp., said in a court filing last month that it expected to emerge from bankruptcy with about $50 million in cash. The plan approved last month by Judge Michael Wiles of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan lowered Fairway’s debt burden by $140 million and reduced its annual debt payments by as much as $8 million.

The Fairway Market in Lake Grove is in the DSW Plaza shopping center, at 3200 Middle Country Rd. The two other Fairway stores on Long Island are in Plainview and Westbury.

The union that represents workers at the Lake Grove store, Westbury-based United Food and Commercial Workers International Union’s Local 1500, did not respond to calls for comment Wednesday.

In a notice posted on the New York State Department of Labor’s website, Fairway said 107 employees would be affected by the closing.

However, a union official has said affected workers would be offered jobs at other stores, either at other Fairway locations or at other chains.


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