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UPPER WEST SIDE — Three years after going public, Fairway Market announced it was filing for bankruptcy protection on May 2, a move that was not unexpected, but which set off its critics and devoted fans.
All 15 of its stores, including seven in New York City, will stay open, the parent company reassured customers in its announcement.
Though trouble had been brewing, emotions ran high over the news:
► "if anybody wants to pay me to write a giant overemotional essay about Fairway Market, I am right here for you," tweeted @helfitzgerald.
► "lord protect my beloved fairway," tweeted @NoShotJones.
► "I am devastated. I love this store," wrote a Facebook commenter.
Among some readers, there was a sigh of relief over the company's promise that its New York City stores would not close:
► "I love Fairway. So glad the stores will stay open. I love the crowds and the slow elevators. It is NYC At it's best," wrote a Facebook commenter.
► "Still my favorite place to shop - good quality, decent prices and a refreshing lack of crazed pretension," wrote one Facebook commenter.
► "just hope the UWS home-store where we shop, remains intact. Great market. One of the last good local neighborhood places, along with Zabars, Barzzini, Westside Mkt, Health Nuts...Few remaining," wrote a Neighborhood Square commenter.
Readers piped in with theories about why the company encountered trouble:
► "When it was family owned it was a great place, with helpful staff good quality food. I remember when the original store first expanded. Suddenly Fairway is like Starbucks, all over the city..." wrote one Facebook commenter.
► "It's because they didn't let you sample the olives. So nobody ever bought any," wrote a Facebook commenter.
► "Fairway's demise started when they expanded into the suburbs..." wrote a Facebook commenter.
► "Classic case of too much too soon. I grew up shopping at the one and only original store directly across from the Beacon Theatre on 74th Street in Manhattan and I couldn't believe when I heard that they were opening all these other stores. Sometimes smaller is better," wrote a Facebook commenter.
Others complained the market has changed too much, altering what made it special:
► "Fairway is no longer the bargain that used to draw people from all around the city. The prices in their on-line flier usually boast sale prices that are above the regular price at a regular supermarket for identical items," wrote a Neighborhood Square commenter.
► "Been living near the UWS store since early 70's. Quality down, not so clean...These folks don't give a damn about the customers, especially not loyal seniors. So thank you Trader Joe's for better everything!" wrote a Neighborhood Square commenter.