King Kullen Closing

Adi Levin and Caroline Katz, Staff Writers

King Kullen, a central location in Port Washington, is scheduled to close at the end of December due to an expiring lease.  The store’s slogan proudly states that King Kullen is “America’s first supermarket.”  The store’s existence in Port for over fifty years is further evidence of its longevity.

Port Washington residents are expecting to be affected by the disappearance of the town staple.  According to two-year King Kullen customer service employee Angela DiCaterino, this change resonates more strongly with the elderly, as they have had a profound connection to the store ever since its opening in 1962.

“They shop here ritually and regularly, and one woman even cried when she found out that King Kullen is closing,” said DiCaterino.  “The customers are like family here.”

King Kullen is not the only closing business in the Soundview Marketplace.

“The whole shopping center will probably be foreclosed soon,” said DiCaterino.  “Payless Shoe Source, Port Bikes, and Rite Aid are all in trouble.”

Although these stores are not closing for sure, Port Bikes has decided to relocate.

“Because of the disarray of the shopping center, and the fact that they havent done many improvements, we are leaving,” said Port Bikes manager John Pappas.  “If the rent prices were more reasonable, we probably would have stayed.”

The tenants’ have complained of unreasonably high rent contributing to the possible shopping center collapse.

Aside from the high rent and expiring lease, King Kullen faces another threat. Less than half a mile away, Stop & Shop, a larger, newer supermarket, has been a threat to King Kullen since it opened its doors in 2004.

As for King Kullen’s employees, they will be transferred to alternate locations.  However, they will not be informed of their new workplace until a week before Port Washington’s King Kullen closes.

“King Kullen is practically my childhood,” said junior Tracy Naschek. “I’ll hate to see it go.”