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Bye Bye, Balducci's

Our loss is also our gain. To wit: The District’s only Balducci’s will close sometime around the end of this month, and during its last sad gasp, there are deals to be had.

Beginning today, shoppers at the store, at 3201 New Mexico Ave. NW, will find many grocery products — excluding such items as produce and meats — discounted by 20 percent. Last week, the discount was 15 percent. Store manager Adam Triebel says that “depending on how things move, we’ll see if the numbers will get bigger.”

Making more of a splash, so to speak, is the wine. It’s 15 percent off, and shoppers who buy a full 12-bottle case get an automatic 10 percent discount in addition to the 15 percent break. “It’s starting to go pretty fast now,” Triebel says.

Although the store can easily redeploy any unsold grocery items to the three other Balducci’s in our area, “it’s against the law to transfer the wine to another jurisdiction, so we have to sell all of it,” says Triebel, who has been in charge there for the past two years. The store opened as Sutton Place Gourmet in 1980, when it was one of the first upscale grocers in the area. Today it has plenty of competition.

The Balducci’s in the District is one of four nationwide — the others are in New York and Connecticut — that are being closed as the company reorganizes.

“We have to be out of here by June 30,” Triebel says. “As to when the store closes for customers, they’re not positive yet, but maybe the 25th or 26th.”

Meanwhile, shelves are still being stocked and business goes on as usual, or just about. “There’s a few items we’re running low on, but in general, if you came in here, at a glance you’d see this is a fully functioning store,” he says.

The store’s 60 employees face an uncertain future, but Triebel says he’s hoping many of them can be taken on by the three remaining local stores: in Alexandria, McLean and Bethesda.

— Jane Touzalin

By Jane Touzalin  |  June 8, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Shopping  | Tags: Balducci's, Jane Touzalin  
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Good riddance. I ordered my wedding cake from them and not only did it taste like cheap strawberry jam but the the bill came to TWICE their estimate (billed after delivery of course). They then flatly ignored our attempts to speak to a manager or get any explanation whatsoever. Terrible customer service. I refused to shop there again and I guess I'm not the only one.

Posted by: neithernor | June 8, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

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