If you're running low on Artisanal Roach Bombs ($15.99), Hand-Fried Chicken Cutlet Sandwiches ($13.50), or Dickson's Farms Condoms ($24.97), Jesse & Co. MarketPlace on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Bond Street in Boerum Hill has you covered this weekend.
They will also charge you $15 for a "slow roasted" Five Hour Energy.
Jesse's Deli, a neighborhood staple since 1983, is staring down a rent increase of about 150%, from $4,000 to $10,000, come July 1st. Pending some miracle, they'll have to give up their lease.
In May, neighbors started petitioning against the hike, and sent about 200 signatures to Bilger Design & Development, the deli's longtime landlord, asking them to "offer the owners of Jesse's a lease with terms that make it possible for them to remain in the building."
A photo posted by Patrick Morin (@morinesque) on
And from 9 p.m. last night to about 1 a.m. this morning, Jesse, his son Muhammad, and a handful of concerned neighbors plastered the store windows with posters for regular deli items, re-branded with gentrification-friendly product names and, like Jesse's rent, priced about 2.5x what you'd expect. The Artisanal Landlord Price Increase Sale is on until Monday.
"The items in the store are all the same, we just gave them this sardonic, artisanal slant," said Tommy Noonan, who's lived up the street from Jesse's for three years, and designed the posters.
A notice taped by the register reads:
As we would love to continue offering our customers the same old products and prices, like we did for the last 20 years, we unfortunately have to experiment with a price increase. This price increase reflects the rent increase which will be 2.5 times our current rent. Still, we are happy to offer these new artisanal products and price points.
A press release from neighborhood organizers offers further explanation of what, they believe, the protest isn't about: "It’s not a hoax. It’s not a fight against the landlords. It’s something that could open up a conversation and maybe give them a little empathy."
While customers will be asked to pay the new, artisanal sales prices, Noonan says they likely won't have to. "This is mainly a statement piece—we're planning to make a video over the weekend, capturing as many people responding to the prices at the counter as possible."
However, Patrick McCormick, another neighbor who helped conceived the project, said, "We do want to encourage those neighbors who can support the price increase to do so. Jesse's will have to move to survive, and any contribution towards that move will be greatly appreciated." He added, "We all know moving is expensive. Now imagine moving a deli."
The air-chilled Budweiser beer flights are $33.50, but only until Sunday.