Fleishers to close Kingston butcher shop

Incoming shipment of beef in 2014 (photo by Carrie Jones Ross)

A 13-year run on Kingston’s Wall Street will end when Fleischers Craft Butchery will close its doors March 18. When it opened, the upscale butcher shop opened by Josh and Jessica Applestone was one of the national pioneers of the local-food movement.

Fleischers was never shy about publicizing its unique identity. “Even in those early days when we reinvented the idea of the local butcher shop, we were welcomed with open arms to embrace our lofty mission,” its website says. “With your support, we’ve succeeded in creating a positive change in the way we source, cut and cook better meat.”

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According to a letter to the editor this week from interim CEO Samantha Garwin, “The Applestones knew that the path of the movement went beyond the Hudson Valley, to the gigantic city to the south clamoring for the connection and quality that Kingston demonstrated was possible.”

Fleischers has four other stores, all in tony urban neighborhoods in the metropolitan New York region, where considerable parts of the population are accustomed to higher price points: Park Slope in Brooklyn, the Upper East Side in Manhattan, and Greenwich and Westport in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

According to Garwin’s letter, the decision of their Kingston landlord to sell the building at 307 Wall meant Fleischers either had to seek a new location or to “end this chapter in the Hudson River Valley on a high note, proud of our accomplishments.” The choice had both logistical and existential impacts, Garwin wrote. Fleischers decided it was no longer equipped financially or strategically “to support a location so far from our headquarters.”

Fleischers merged in 2015 with Craft Butchery, and the Applestones are no longer involved in the business. The combined firm is presently headed by ex-Fleischers employee Ryan Fibiger.

Hearing of the impending closing, Kingston merchants and political figures have expressed their regrets.

In August 2014, 307 Wall was sold by Carter Hastings to 307 Wall Street, Inc. for $840,000. The commercial building, which is presently listed for sale at $1,900,000, has three storefronts, two additional stories of rented spaces and a rented basement. It also has an elevator.

“Uptown Kingston has been called Brooklyn north with all of its fine dining, music venues and eclectic stores,” says the current real-estate offering. “This is a chance to enter and be a part of the blossoming scene in Kingston in a big way.”

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