Jaroslaw Jerry Kurowyckyj, Jr., with a last rack of sausages in the smokehouse room of his First Ave. butcher shop, which he closed last weekend.
Longtime butcher decides to get a cut of the action
The Kurowycky butcher shop on First Ave., an East Village institution for 50 years, closed last weekend, not because of rising rents but to take advantage of the rising tide of real estate values.
Its Economics 101. Im the only person not being chased out by the rent, said Jaroslaw Jerry Kurowyckyj, Jr., whose grandfather opened the business a half century ago.
Standing in the smokehouse room in the rear of the store, Kurowyckyj explained why his products were made without chemical preservatives.
You dont sell anything you wouldnt feed to your kids, he said. Every single piece of sausage that comes out of here comes through my hands.
Kurowyckyj hasnt decided what will happen next.
I cant make any decision as of yet, he said, because any decision I would make would be an emotional one, not a rational one.
Anna Sawaryn, a St. Marks Pl. resident who tracks the closings of local Ukrainian and Polish stores, said the neighborhood once had about seven butcher shops with Eastern European owners. If one closed, the workers would find employment at one of the others. But now theres only one of the old-style butchers left, on Second Ave., she said. She hoped the new Whole Foods store on E. Houston St. would take in some of the jobless butchers.