HELL'S KITCHEN — Gabriella Lopez had a few moments of panic when she pulled her shopping cart up to the Big Apple Meat Market and realized it was closed.
Lopez, who's shopped at the old-school grocery store since it opened over two decades ago, said she'd have to hike up to a nearby Food Emporium to get the pork she was hoping to buy — most likely at a higher price.
"That's why I like [Big Apple]," she said. "You get good meat for a good price."
Lopez was one of many in the neighborhood who were shocked at the market's apparent closure — then relieved to hear that the shop would reopen within a month just a few blocks down Ninth Avenue.
The no-frills Big Apple Meat Market, sitting in the shadow of the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 575 Ninth Ave., has long been a neighborhood staple.
But the building it was in will soon be demolished to make way for the 38-story Times Square Hotel, according to the store manager, who gave his name only as Edward.
According to Edward, the store's new location will open at 529 Ninth Ave. by the end of February.
"It'll be the same thing, the same selection, just a few blocks away," he said.
For the next month, that leaves many in the neighborhood forced to slog over to the Food Emporium on West 43rd Street — which locals complain is constantly crowded and will be hard-pressed to absorb the extra customers.
"This now means there are seriously limited choices for us in the area to shop for food," said Chad Hayduk, a Hell's Kitchen resident.
"The Food Emporium cannot handle the local population and demand with the insanely long lines every time I go in."