Balducci’s is closing.
Wait, wait — before you get all verklempt about your butternut squash and goat cheese ravioli, Bilinski chicken sausages and Caribbean pumpkin black bean soup, listen: It’s the two stores in Manhattan, and one each in Ridgefield and Washington, D.C., that will soon sell their last green crushed olive spreads. The Westport location — along with Greenwich, Scarsdale, Bethesda (MD), and McLean and Alexandria (VA) — escaped the cutting knife.
Jennifer Barton, Balducci’s director of marketing, did not mince words. “The Westport store will remain open,” she said soothingly when I called a few minutes ago. “That store will not close. No, no. There’s no talk of that. Not at all. We are in the process of reorganizing our business and closing underperforming stores” — she sounded so disappointed at their failure to meet Balduccian standards — “but those six other stores are doing fine.”
Jennifer was on a PR roll. “We look forward to making an exciting announcement about our remaining stores in the coming weeks!” she chirped.
Wow — an exciting announcement about the Westport Balducci’s! I could barely contain myself. Perhaps, I prodded, she could give me a teeny hint?
“No, I’m sorry, I can’t,” she said corporately. “But it will be a very exciting announcement, in the coming weeks.”
To celebrate, I’m heading out right now. I’m thinking a tin of Royal Osetra (Acipenser Gueldenstaedti) Kazakhstan caviar would be perfect.