Today’s news:

‘Fresh’ sounds! Grocery store to add live music

for The Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn’s next big venue just might be in the produce aisle of a Clinton Hill supermarket.

Starting in mid-September, Fresh Fanatic owner Andrew Goldin plans to introduce live music to the grocery shopping experience at his market on Park Place near the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

“We figured that we wanted our shoppers to stay excited every time that they come into the store, and there’s really no better way to enjoy yourself than live music,” said Goldin, who will set up the stage on the store’s elevated cash register area every day from 5–9 pm.

That’s an early closing time for a hip music venue, but Kevin Avanzato, general manager of Union Hall, thinks that Goldin is on to something.

“It’s inevitable that we, as New Yorkers, stretch the idea of the ‘music venue,’ ” said Avanzato. “People love live music and will go to see live music whether on the ‘CBS Morning Show’ plaza, or at the corner store.”

Phil Cohen will be a regular.

“I’ve busked in the streets, so I’m sort of used to the idea of playing music and having people just walk by,” said Cohen, who has an acoustic-alternative thing going on. “You’re not playing a show for the people — you’re playing a show for the ambience, to make it a more personal shopping experience.”

The rest of the musical community though, doesn’t necessarily share the same take on the idea.

“Music at the grocery store is generally something I tune out — I’m not going to the grocery to listen to or discover new music; I’m going to buy beer and pita,” said Alex Wernquest, guitarist for local blues rock band The Big Hat. “From a musician’s standpoint, I would feel a little awkward or self conscious, like I was stepping on somebody’s private time.”

The idea came about after a live reggae performance in April was a local hit.

“We got a good reaction and people were into it — so we thought, ‘Why not?’ ” said Goldin.

Goldin is currently applying for a beer and wine license, so that customers will be able to relax, have a beer and listen to some music before getting on with the daily grind. He plans to start off featuring friends who are in local bands, and eventually branch out.

“Grocery shopping shouldn’t be a chore,” said Goldin. “The music is going to be there to enhance the experience.”

Fresh Fanatic [275 Park Ave. at Washington Avenue in Clinton Hill, (888) 373-7404]

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Reader Feedback

Lori L. from Everywhere says:
Please, People! When writng articles about Brooklyn, think Brooklyn! Park Avenue, not Park Place! We're not in Manhattan anymore!
Aug. 13, 2010, 8:15 am
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
This place has been a great addition to the neighborhood, looking forward to checking this out!
Aug. 13, 2010, 11:32 am
Carla McClain from Williamsburge/Bedsty says:
Why not have music in the market. When it's good music people end up shopping more. This happens when women shop at Lane Bryant OR Ashley Stewart. I think it's a way of swooning the customers. We end up buying clothes eventhough we just came to browse and hear the music or pay a bill. Suddenly we're wALKING OUT WITH A BAG OF CLOTHES. All because of the music, LOL.
Aug. 16, 2010, 11:22 am
Excluded from Fresh Fanatic says:
For someone currently using food stamps to help make ends meet I am not able to shop at Fresh Fanatic, though I would like to. Does Fresh Fanatic want to discourage the less affluent from it's store?
Aug. 17, 2010, 3:57 am
just from brooklyn from fort green says:
Lori L. Brooklyn has both a Park Place and a Park Avenue ( step out of the box - Brooklyn is a large boro)

I don't plan to go to this market. Out of the way. Park Avenue too dreary.
Aug. 20, 2010, 11:04 am

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