RED HOOK — Brooklynites, sharpen your cheese knives — Fairway Market in Red Hook is officially slated to reopen March 1, the first time since Hurricane Sandy, the store announced Tuesday morning.
"Man, we've missed you," Fairway declared in a Tweet. "@FairwayMarket Red Hook will re-open March 1st!!! #NoSleepTillBrooklyn #BrooklynStronger #RedHook #Fairway."
The store, wiped out by Hurricane Sandy Oct. 29, is a critical anchor for Red Hook, drawing tens of thousands of shoppers a week down Van Brunt Street, the neighborhood's main commercial thoroughfare.
The re-opening was first reported on Carroll Gardens Patch.
"It's what we've been holding out for — it's the reason we opened here in the first place," said Triciann Botta, owner of Botta di Vino on Van Brunt Street, who bought cheese for her shop's wine-tastings from the Fairway store.
When the store was open, "we had consistent, same people every week. Once they were gone…business probably declined 80 percent. We were basically on fumes."
Fairway's reopening March 1 might be part of a larger ceremony celebrating the return of Red Hook's commercial businesses.
"We've been in touch with the local business," said Fairway vice president Howard Glickberg, grandson of the market's founder. "We want them to celebrate along with us. They're all suffering out there, we understand that."
The store, which was "absolutely gutted," will have undergone minor changes when it reopens, Glickberg described.
"We made the cafe a little bit bigger. We're going to make the outside a lot nicer, make the bread department bigger, the aisles a little wider, but it's going to be the same basic store," he told DNAinfo.com New York. "Little things that bothered us that weren't 100-percent perfect, we're going to make better."
Botta called the news "exciting."
"It'll mean that Red Hook is back on the map," she said. "That means we pulled through."