Photos yesterday by Stacie Joy
Holyland Market is now certified closed.
As we first reported on March 14, the Israeli grocery at 122 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue was closing at the end of this month after 18 years in business.
Moving forward, owner Eran Hileli (pictured below) will focus his time and attention on his blossoming hummus business — the 4-year-old Holy Hummus, now available at 700-plus stores in the United States, including locally at Westside Market and Union Market. He said he is introducing 12 new products/flavors, including spicy w/red s'chüg, roasted pepper, roasted garlic, za'atar flavored and green s'chüg.
EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by the shuttered shop yesterday ... as Hileli continued to clean out the space...
While we're happy that Hileli has found success with his hummus (and it is delicious), we hate to lose yet another unique shop in the neighborhood — and in NYC.
As The Times of Israel recently noted:
Expats could score their favorite products from home at Holyland, down to lavender-scented Pinuk hair conditioner and the Friday edition of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, in a store that felt like it could be located in Tel Aviv or Ashkelon — a Middle Eastern parallel to New York City’s beloved bodegas.
We went there yesterday afternoon, believing today would be the last day, but it was gone already.
Where would we find now our beloved pickled mini eggplants and those real pitas? We're in mourning over this closing.
I thought today was the last day as well - I stocked up last week but thought I would swing by for one more go-round but alas, it was not to be.
And as I told Mr. Hileli when I said I would mourn the loss of Holyland and he told me about his hummus endeavor, hummus is all well and good but it basically boils down to mashed chickpeas with additives, and no matter the variety of flavors, it will not even begin to replace the plethora of interesting and varied items the store stocked.
But as far as packaged hummus goes that stuff is really the best.
Second that. And I come from the land of hummus addicts.
"it basically boils down to mashed chickpea with additives" - You cannot be more wrong. Sacrilegious even! If Grieve would appoint me to his official hummus correspondent, I'll invest in getting into the details.
No one mentioned the closing of the Hummus Place across the street -- the key to their hummus was to serve it warm and whip it into a frenzy. Now, that place I miss, though I, too, now heat up or leave at room temperature my hummus. (It really is not tasty right out of the fridge.)
Where did he get his fresh pita from?
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