On this day, August 19, in 1953, the neighborhood was preparing for a new, exciting arrival: Bohack Supermarket. Historically, Bohack (or Bohacks, as it was affectionately referred to by most shoppers) franchises across New York served as much of a hangout spot as today’s rooftop watering holes, expensive coffee shops, and oft-controversial dog parks.
What The Brooklyn Daily Eagle dubbed Greenpoint’s “first modern supermarket” was situated at 802 Manhattan Ave. The H.C. Bohack corporation opened its first store in 1887 on Brooklyn’s very own Fulton St. Henry C. Bohack, the chain’s founder and namesake, immigrated to America from Germany at age 17 and proceeded to get his first job at a grocery store. And the rest, as they say, is history. Well, kind of — it would be a handful of years before he saved enough to open a store of his own, though starting any business at age 22 is impressive). Though he died at age 66 in 1931 — with 470 Bohack stores throughout NYC and Long Island — his legacy (and dedication to it, since he was once recorded at 63 saying he would never retire) lived on, as evidenced in the materialization of this Greenpoint chain over 20 years after his death and the general affinity for the store still present to this day, including a very brief shoutout in Season 6 of The Sopranos and Bohack memorial Facebook group of 1.1K members.
The 1970s recession took a toll on the chain, resulting in bankruptcy filings and the closure of multiple stores, including this one. Today (and since the early 1980s), the space is occupied by Associated Supermarket, owned by Polmost Food Corporation, which places a special focus on Polish goods. While there’s no record of photos of the Greenpoint Bohack store, up until 2016 when Associated’s exterior was redesigned, it was possible to see bits of red from the Bohack signage poking through.