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South Pole, Long-Standing Bargain Store on Queens Boulevard, to Close

South Pole at 44-04 Queens Blvd. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Aug. 22, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

A large bargain store that has been in the neighborhood for decades is closing up shop.

South Pole, the clothing, food, and goods store at 44-04 Queens Blvd., is preparing to shut down operations, with a large sign outside noting a 25 percent to 50 percent discount on all items.

The store’s manager told the Sunnyside Post that one of the business owners, Paul Grossfeld, called for the signs to go up outside the store this morning. He did not provide information to the manager about when the store is closing or why.

Attempts to reach Grossfeld via telephone were unsuccessful. An e-mail sent to the business was not immediately returned.

It is not clear if the property, which includes a mental health consultation center at the second floor, is in the process of being sold. A manager at the consultation center, however, said the offices will not be closing up, to her knowledge.

Erwin Weiss, the building’s landlord, was unable to be reached via telephone.

South Pole first opened its doors in Sunnyside several decades ago, when the prior Robert Hall clothing store closed in the late 1970s. South Pole is under a corporation called Commodities Assistance, based out in Hicksville.

A photo showing the business in the 1980s. (NYC Municipal Archive)

The family-owned company was founded in the 1960s by Jerry Grossfeld, and specializes in “merchandise recovery” by way of insurance losses, transportation losses, and bankruptcies, according to its website.

Grossfeld died in early 2017 at age 78 of cancer, according to his obituary. He and the company, which he ran with his sons, Paul and Daniel, were profiled in a 2005 New York Times piece when he was 59 years old.

Grossfeld told the Times that his sales in the closeout and liquidation business exceed $10 million annually, and that his warehouse is filled to the brim with virtually every product imaginable.

“Whatever it takes to make a buck,” Grossfeld told the paper.

Apart from South Pole, Grossfeld ran North Pole in Corona, a similar business which closed about two months ago, a neighboring business in the area said.

Update 8/23 10 a.m. – Article updated with information on South Pole’s opening in Sunnyside.

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51 Comments

Ty

This just in to the Sunnyside Post newsdesk.:
Sunnyside to be renamed Darkside as the lights go out on more businesses in the area.

And so it goes…




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Paul Manafort

Now that I’ve been convicted I don’t need this dump to launder money through anymore.

I hope this community gets the combination Apple store/Whole Foods they deserve.




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Roxy

A recent closure was the grocery/deli that opened less than two years ago at the corner of 44th Street and Greenpoint Avenue (previously occupied by a brick-oven pizza parlor that also didn’t survive for long).




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no one

That corner is cursed. So many stores in and out of that location. The pizza placed lasted the longest.




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Flores 360

What is it with people and their obsession with adding Trader Joe’s and/or Whole Foods in Sunnyside, Queens?! Can someone help me understand why and how?! Although I rarely shopped at the soon-to-be closed store and it’s final days of business were already around the corner, something valuable should be there rather than another Williamsburg-type commercial place. Remodeling the building and/or the store from the inside to the outside should be considered.




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sunnysider1975

You moron, those stores are awesome for the community and in bonds people together. Whole Foods is outstanding the Sunnyside needs serious upgrading. That would be in upgrade. Wake up and smell the 21st century. Mom and pop stores are useless around there.




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Barbara

“Mom n pop stores”, local community stores where anyone can open their own business and work for themselves is becoming a thing of the past thanks to huge corporations taking over that pay minimum wage to their workers.




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Carbie Barbie

Christ on a crutch, why do people want more soul-less corporate chain stores in the neighborhood? Trader Joes? Whole Foods? Eff right off. Buy local as much as possible.




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Paul K.

Trader Joes is corporate but not heartless. They provide good food and groceries at fair prices and actually pay their employees fairly well or more then most too.




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Carbie Barbie

Maybe you have a point–maybe they’re good relative to other corporations. But where does their profit go? Shareholders’ pockets or back to our community?




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Scott Bassett

Where does their profit go? Up to their shareholders or does it stay in the neighborhood? Maybe they’re relatively good for corporate standards–I don’t really know–but I don’t want everyplace to be homogenized, like El “Loco.”




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El loco

Get off your high horse you phony jerk. We need some chain stores. They gave quality. You are a broken record.




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Carbie Barbie

If you’re looking for qualities such as complete uniformity, then maybe chain stores are right for you.

Corporate monotony is not my thing. I don’t want a Trader Joes or Whole Foods. Local businesses add more to the neighborhood and the money they generate stays here.




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Sunnyside Calling

I’ll be very sorry to see this go. Have gotten some great bargains over the years. What I liked best was that you never knew what they’d have.




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LIL G.

I don’t want it to close. This is the official ‘hidden treasure for cheap’ store. To hell with trader Joe’s, whole foods and all those Buji markets taking out family businesses and leaving hardworking people unemployed. Just because these ‘new’ out of town people in Sunnyside are here or moving in here doesn’t mean to take down the businesses or stores that MAKE this neighborhood. It’s not enough that they’re kicking out the residents that lived here for decades, that they have to take down the stores too. What a shame. Just so you can have your STUPID Trader Joe’s or whole foods? You ‘new’ people are inconsiderate and have no respect for the People that lived here before YOU. Just Leave and Gentrify another neighborhood. Not MINE.




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stan chaz

School bells ring and children sing
Robert Hall!
Why can’t I get these singing commercials/jingles
out of my head (by Les Paul and Mary Ford)
after all these intervening deacdes?
Any one else remember?

School bells ring and children sing
it’s back to Robert Hall again
Mother knows for better clothes
It’s back to Robert Hall again

When the values do up up up
and the pries go down down down
Robert hall this season, will show you the reason
low overhead low overhead

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfLfl_HtG8U




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Greg

PLEASE TRADER JOE/WHOLE FOODS/Something to spruce the area up.
Beautiful Gym, condos, Anything but a Thrift store.




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Resident

Gym would be a great choice for this location with ample parking too, we don’t have a nice gym around this area.




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Bill

I know the owner, they sold the building/ lot and there are plans being filed for a Burger King franchise in the location.




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Fan of Dough boy park

Burger King? Next to a Wendy’s, around the corner from White Castle? When you make something up, there needs to be some logic to feed the story.




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SuperWittySmitty

We have two Dunkin Donuts within a few blocks of each other, so it’s not inconceivable. A Taco Bell would be nice!




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Roxy

We already have a Burger King at QB & 41st Street, which was extensively renovated not too long ago.
I doubt that the chain would open another so near.




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LIL G.

I don’t want it to close. This is the official ‘hidden treasure for cheap’ store. To hell with trader Joe’s, whole foods and all those Buji markets taking out family businesses and leaving hardworking people unemployed. Just because these ‘new’ out of town people in Sunnyside are here or moving in here doesn’t mean to take down the businesses or stores that MAKE this neighborhood. It’s not enough that they’re kicking out the residents that lived here for decades, that they have to take down the stores too. What a shame. Just so you can have your STUPID Trader Joe’s or whole foods? You ‘new’ people are inconsiderate and have no respect for the People that lived here before YOU. Just Leave and Gentrify another neighborhood. Not MINE.




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silent majority

The sad part is none of the employees were given any notice. My wife was in there and the owner just came in and starting hanging the signs. The employees were in shock. You can bet that building will be sold along with the Wendys next store. The parking lot and drive thru take up too much space and does not earn enough revenue per square foot. No Traders Joes( Really now) just apartments or a hotel(homeless shelter)




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Sunnyside Calling

I don’t think this is accurate based on what employees have been saying for months. (I shop there often.)




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Roxy

One of the few places in Sunnyside where one could often find real bargains on name-brand merchandise and food items. Sorry to see it close, but it became obvious when new arrivals started to decline about six months ago. The building has a health-related tenant above the store, so there is limited space for whatever replaces South Pole.




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Sara Ross

Not another residential building. This borough is overcrowded and has more languages than the U.N.




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Tommy O

I don’t remember South Pole being in Sunnyside 50 years ago and South Pole was definitely not at the location it is now. This location was a Robert Hall clothing store well into the early 70’s.




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Sal

I was wondering about that, that photo they have is from the ’80’s and it was a carpet store… Maybe they use “50 years loosely”!




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Coco

I don’t know what was in it’s place before but since i was little it was there. And I am 34 now. Very sad. 🙁




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Sosad

I bought many nice things there over the years. Thanks to the family for operating here for so long. Stability is in very short supply here these days.




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P. Ennis

This store has been going out of business for two years now! Those signs are good for business!




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SuperWittySmitty

I ride my bike there all the time, more nowadays since the bike lanes were installed.




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PWBNYC

Ummm, say what? Was this an attempt at humor that didn’t quite make it? The nearest bike lane is 6 blocks away, and didn’t take any parking away?




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