Boston’s main kosher butcher, closed by fire, reopens after two months

BOSTON (JTA) — The main kosher supermarket in Greater Boston reopened nearly two months after a two-alarm fire forced the closing of The Butcherie, a Brookline, Mass.  market located in a neighborhood with many Jewish businesses and residents.

The closing caused hardship and inconvenience for its customers who relied on the family owned business for specialty kosher dairy products, meats and products from Israel not available elsewhere.

The owners, Josh Gelerman, Walter Gelerman, and Gili Zilberg, announced Wednesday’s reopening on the store’s Facebook page on Friday afternoon, Sept. 2 just before the start of Shabbat.

“We are filled with happiness and emotion! Butcherie has passed all inspections and will be opening its doors this coming Wednesday, September 7 at 10am! …There are no words to express the gratitude we have to Hashem [G-d] for this moment and to the amazing Boston community for all their support and love during these difficult times. We cannot wait to greet you all at the store next week!” read the post.

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Since August 19, The Butcherie has operated out of the former Rubin’s Deli, a kosher restaurant that closed on August 5, surprising the area’s Jewish community. They have town approval to use the facilities through the end of September. The Butcherie continues to use the former deli for its catering and prepared foods while its own kitchen is still under reconstruction.

Walter Gelerman, whose father and grandfather started the business in 1972, told the Boston Jewish Journal that they paid the staff their full salaries since the fire. The shop employs about 30 people, he said.

“We don’t want to cause hardship for anybody involved. We felt it was something we needed to try to do,”’ he said.

No one was injured in the blaze that was caused by the careless disposal of a cigarette behind the shop, in a storage area that was used mostly for paper products. While most of the damage from the fire was to the kitchen, there was also smoke-related damage, initially estimated by the fire department at between $400,000 and $500,000.

The repairs to meet state codes involved some significant electrical work and there was more reconstruction involved than anticipated, according to Michael Yanovitch, Brookline’s deputy building commissioner.