A huge rent hike could force a decades-old local Boerum Hill deli to close when it takes effect next month, but owners and fans of the neighborhood standby have given it a snarky makeover as a gentrified "artisanal deli" -- rebranding everything in the store and sharply upping prices to reflect the skyrocketing cost to remain open.
The deli, or Jesse & Co. MarketPlace, has served the neighborhood since 1983, but owners said it's likely not going to survive a 2.5x rent increase starting July 1st by selling just "everyday corner store goods." That's why Jesse's is now asking customers to pay 2.5x the normal cost of its products, which the owner and store employees have cleverly renamed to sound fancy as seen in new posters in the store's windows. For example, you can get some "artisanal roach bombs," or common pest spray for $15.99 now, and "air chilled Budweiser beer flights," or a six pack of tallboy cans, for $33.50 (up from $11.50). Take that, gentrification!
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Jesse's (402 Atlantic Ave) said the move is not a hoax or even a fight against the landlords, but rather an effort to get people talking about gentrification in the neighborhood -- you know, because nobody talks about gentrification... The deli is also encouraging supporters and residents to stop by, laugh at the signs, and sign a petition in support of the store. Kudos for taking something so crappy and using it to make people laugh, guys.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and feels like you'd only see something like this in New York, unfortunately. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.