Just shy of its sixth-month anniversary in Plaza de Mer, Epicurean Gourmet Market has closed.
A phone message to customers lays out numerous problems the store’s owner, Jacob Schlesinger, had with the plaza lease corporation. Air conditioning, flooding, leaks and parking issues were cited as reasons the store could no longer continue to operate in the plaza at S.R. A1A and Ocean Avenue in Manalapan.
Schlesinger has filed suit against the plaza owners to recoup money he says the store spent and lost while roads were torn up around the plaza and parking was taken over by the Ritz-Carlton; the plaza owners have countersued for a broken lease agreement and $32,000 back rent, according to court records.
Schlesinger’s phone message indicated he would reopen somewhere in Palm Beach, but a phone call to him for comment was not returned by press time.
Epicurean got off to a slow start without signs or a fully stocked store, opening last October. The patio area, a coffee bar and a bakery case proved popular with coffee drinkers, and busy diners who used the prepared food case like a take-out restaurant.
The store had taken over the spot occupied by the Village Marketplace, another gourmet-wine store that lasted four years in the plaza.

— Jan Norris

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