Six New Yorkers And One Tourist React To The Fall Of Dean & DeLuca

Published August 6, 2019

Art by Jack Vhay.

To some, Dean & DeLuca is a New York City staple. To others, it’s just another luxury market-slash-deli-slash-café chain. To local New York bakeries and vendors like Amy’s Bread, Bein Cuit, and Colson Patisserie, it’s a debtor that’s incurred tabs that climb into the tens of thousands. Following the closure of its Upper East Side location earlier this month, Interview‘s intrepid reporters took to the white-tiled floors of the flagship SoHo store on Prince and Broadway to find out what Dean & DeLuca means to its patrons, and what they’ll do should it vanish forever. The consensus, it seems, is a wash of agony, apathy, denial, and confusion–a storm of emotions fitting the slow demise of a culinary utopia.

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Malaika, stylist and contributing fashion editor

“Truly horrified by these rumors. Sad, actually. It’s one of the first places I remember going to when I moved to NYC. It’s a real landmark in time for me. Where else will I buy green tea almonds and miniature marzipan animals? Shout out to the chicken pot pie. Heartbroken.”

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Katie, European tourist

“I heard about the closings, but since I’m not a local I didn’t really look into it. It’s a really good store. Quite a few tourists come here. To Europeans, it means quite a lot. When I’m in America, I also go to Whole Foods. I come here for coffee and sweet things.

[Her daughter cutting in]: “You buy the merch.”

“Yeah, but I’m not a local. It’s not that often.”

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Margery, retiree and native New Yorker

“I’ve been down here for many, many years since it first opened its original location on Prince Street. This institution has been mismanaged and it’s very sad. They’re going to replace it with something useless. I now go to Trader Joe’s since it opened last year, because the prices here are too expensive for what you’re getting. Don’t come here for organic food. I’ve argued with the former owner.”

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Chloe, student

“I go to school on the Upper East Side and there’s a store that closed across the street. That’s where I used to get lunch every day. Now I don’t know where I’m going to get lunch. The only one close to me is the SoHo location. Now I’m just going to have to figure out another place to go.”

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Lamonda, data analyst

“I always like these small, boutique grocery stores. They’re usually fresh. But on the regular, I wouldn’t shop here. Usually, I do places like Chop’t and Dig Inn. I haven’t thought about Dean & DeLuca in so long, so when I came in, I forgot it’s a grocery store. That’s why I don’t normally go to it.”

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Dan, flight attendant

“D&D was chic. Back in 2016, it allowed me, as an unpaid fashion intern, to truly suffer every day picking up office lunches that comprised of tasteless soups and sandwiches. But also, the iced coffee was so yummy and cheap. I’ll miss the iced coffee.”

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Madison, former New Yorker

“I was surprised to hear they are closing because I know they just opened that location up in Meatpacking that was, like, brand new. It’s such a staple of New York. I was surprised that it’s going away forever.”