FOOD CITY MARKET CLOSING, LATEST IN WAVE OF SUPERMARKET CLOSINGS

Food City, the supermarket on 94th street and Columbus Avenue, will close at the end of the month, a manager told us. It’s at least the fourth Upper West Side supermarket to close in a little over a year. In particular, supermarkets that serve middle class shoppers seem to be closing, said one of our readers.

“[If it does close], we lose the last low/middle income supermarket in the immediate area.  Just Whole foods or D’Agostino nearby. To get to Ctown, you have to go to Amsterdam about 96th,” Barbara wrote.

In a little over a year, Associated Supermarket, Gourmet Garage, Food Emporium and now Food City have closed or announced they were closing. In that time, a Westside Market (and several 7-Elevens) have opened.

The store manager said that the closure had something to do with the lease, but wasn’t sure of the specifics.

Thanks to everyone who sent in tips.

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    1. Joel says:

      It wasn’t the greatest shopping experience in there (cramped and kinda dirty-seeming and not particularly friendly) but I will miss the convenience of its location and the relatively cheaper prices.

    2. kmduws says:

      I hated going in there because everything felt dirty and it smelled like it too. Hopefully the space is renovated and another fair priced grocery store replaces it. I REALLY mias the Associated that was in the new buildings between 97th and 100th and Amsterdam. Hopefully they can revamp and use this spot.

      In the meantime Associated on 97th, WF, Natural Foods, and the new WFM are still options.

    3. Dad says:

      OH NO! Where will the 1000′s of pigeons that gatehred there and sh** all over the roof, the sign, the sidewalk, and the front of the store (without anyone from the store acutally doing anything to curb the vile and unsanitary problem) now go? Good riddance. When will UWS business get it–you need to offer clean premises with good prices to survive (for the moment, Whole Foods is the only location that fits the bill).

    4. Nancy Drew says:

      The new (now former) Associated was really nice but they never promoted it at all – never even updated their website with the new store listing! – and shoppers had to pass through the depressing poor persons’ café in front in order to get to the nice bakery, even. Downstairs was, despite bright green ceiling, a basement and there is no way to disguise that fact. There was not a single attempt to lure shoppers from their overcrowded shop 2 blocks south and frankly, unless you just happened to walk past it, you’d never have known the store existed.

      • UWS mom says:

        Hey – my daughter and I frequented that cafe before/after the nearby playground or library – where else can you get a $1 ice cream cone. Apparently we are too poor for you.

    5. Ken says:

      Wow. Maybe Outback could go here. Or Buffalo Wild Wings. Aren’t we still missing a Red Lobster or Olive Garden?

    6. jerry says:

      Whole Foods is certainly clean…but they’re not called “Whole Paycheck” for no reason. What the area could really use is a Trader Joe’s (eg: $3.49 for a gallon of whole milk). And the plaza in front wasn’t THAT bad!

    7. dcortex says:

      Can’t wait to see what they do to that ‘beautiful’ edifice!

    8. Tom D says:

      These places typically shut down because no one goes there. And no one goes there because they are a dump or the prices are crazy or as in the case of the Associated store, no one knows it’s there. I never went to this place but it sure looked like a filthy place when I passed by. Gourmet Garage was pricier than Whole Foods in my experience. The new Westside Market is great.
      Make the trip to 72nd and Broadway to Trader Joe’s if you want better pricing. And in many cases, better quality than you’ll find elsewhere. Don’t know why that’s so hard for people who went to this place.

    9. deegie says:

      Their prices for healthy items actually higher than D’Ag, Mani’s and even WF. I’m sorry for the loss of jobs for the long timers there, and hope this closing isn’t the result of the labor action last year. But essentially, a place where produce went to die.

    10. Mary says:

      Associated is on Amsterdam between 96th and 97th. We need a Trader Joe’s up here. Let’s e-mail them so we can get on their radar!!!

    11. adami says:

      aside from an occasional hike in search of an affordable pint of ice cream, I haven’t been to Food City since moving from west 94th a decade ago. But I have bittersweet memories of shopping there on 9/11. At around noon, when the entire neighborhood was still clueless about what exactly was happening but smart enough to know we lived on an island, the check out lines started to grow til we reached the back of the store. Nobody was complaining. And the manager was there, handing out free sandwiches like a good neighbor.

    12. Katherine Cole says:

      What everyone should discover is the GREAT supermarket at 118th and Frederick Douglass. Ok, call it Harlem, but it’s a full-stocked big supermarket with great fresh vegs and fruits, a full meat and fish market, friendly helpful staff, really good prices and a wonderful alternative at this end of the UWS to D’Ags and Westside market not to unmention Whole Paycheck

    13. robert says:

      not to burst your bubble folks, but if you actually paid attn to what

      was going on in your neighborhood you would know that the

      owners have for years be publicly talking about building on the space.

      This was floated at the same time as the plan to close the health food and

      Chinese restaurant just north of this location.
      And the way the building, if they go that way would be as of right, meaning all the typically UWS bitching and moaning would do nothing, they have a legal right to build there.
      Also supermarkets are historical very low profit margin operations, its possible that with the now increased cost of labour the numbers just don’t work.

      • matt says:

        You’re absolutely right. Do you have any idea who actually owns the property? Is it the same owners as the adjacent residential building?

    14. NikFromNYC says:

      The UWS is the proudly obsolete Suburbia of NYC. Hey! Let’s protest fracking!!! Yeah, that’s our new religion. Yeah, that’s our widow’s wonderland.

    15. BILL says:

      DOES ANYONE KNOW WHY THE ASSOC MARKET ON 97TH & AMST PRICES ARE ALWAYS HIGHER THAN THE NORMAL CIRCULARS OR ADS IN NEWS PAPER….I.E.THIS WEEK IN ASSOC CIRCULAR TROPICANA OJ IS $2.99,IN THE 97 CIRC. ITS 3.99 …..A SEPERATE CIRC IS PRINTED FOR THIS STORE…WHEN I ASKED THEM THEY SAID THE RENT IS TO HIGH AND THEY CAN CHARGE WHAT THEY WANT…SO I REALLY AVOID THEM

    16. Alan Flacks says:

      Bad news. This market is reasonably priced, and is frequented by many low-budget seniors.

      What C-Town on Amsterdam Ave. & W. 96th Str.? Do you mean Associated?

      Further, there is no “supermarket” (over 80,000 sq. ft.) in Manhattan (not even the Pathmarks are). We have markets, groceries, bodegas, and delicatessens.

    17. Irene Gemelos says:

      There is a small “Associated” hidden away on 100th St. btw CPW and Columbus. Unfortunately….its not very well maintained, cramped…but will do for some items. It would be nice if they cleaned and fixed the place up….but its convenient. We really need another option besides Whole Paycheck on Columbus….and I don’t like buying my groceries at Duane Reade….DId I say I miss C-TOWN!

      • BILL says:

        A little further up is a Bravo Supermarket at 104th btw CPW and Col. Good sales.

      • Carmen says:

        C-Town on 100th Street and Columbus was the BEST! I was so saddened when they closed down. Their produce was fantastic, always fresh and their meats were good too. I wish they would open up a new one in the area again!!!

    18. Slaghoople says:

      I live half a block from this market and only went in once to find it dingy and gross. I don’t think it was a good solution to the supposed lack of food choices in the neighborhood. Within two or three blocks of my apartment there’s Whole Foods, Gristede’s Westside Market and Associated. Are they all great? No, but that’s FOUR supermarkets to choose from.
      I have always wondered why such a valuable parcel of land had nothing but this dumpy market on it. I’m sure it will be demolished soon in favor of another luxury Apt. building.

    19. Andrew says:

      Just stopped in. Employee said that he was told the owner would like to build townhouses there. Can’t imagine that but who knows….

    20. Our understanding is that Lefrak, who own the private rental bldg. adjacent to Food City, wants to raze the store and build a luxury rental on the large site; There’s a big plaza in front of the store. This is really the first we’re hearing about it. We’re an adjacent bldg. on the other side of 94th St. Please keep us posted about what is happening to this valuable site. It’s been here for over 4 decades; a true service to all of the residential customers around; now also that much older.

      • matt says:

        Susan, Lefrak owns the building to the left of Food City, if you’re facing the store from Columbus? Wow, it looks like a tenement. Do they also own the Food City property?

    21. Victoria says:

      Food City located at 705 Columbus Ave. NY NY 10025 has been an important part of this neighborhood for decades. Closing this supermarket will be a great loss for the community as a whole,Food City through the years has become a place of cultural significance for the neighborhood. There is no other market in the vicinity that offers such reasonable prices and comparable range of products. We as a community must stand together and help to try to have MR.LeFrak renew its lease.Thank you all for the support you have given by signing the petitions. There will be a rally on Sunday April 14,2013 in front of Food City Supermarket. Flyers will be posted throughout our neighborhood and at Food City,Come One and all.

    22. Mercedes says:

      This is another example of the how this neighborhood, having been built by working and middle class families, is being allowed to be overtaken by wealthy folks who have no regard for how much harder they make life for the original residents. The apartments are no longer affordable, the supermarkets are far apart and expensive – it is simply deplorable that the people who created this GEM of a neighborhood, who made it so desirable are forced out and before so, forced to trek far for basic groceries and services. I am so ashamed to be a Native NYer/Upper West Side resident, born and bred, to see the wealthy bully (including Bloomberg)all of the great, decent, hard-working people out of their rightful homes/neighborhood. It disgusts me and we need to end it!

      • Dante says:

        ANY SUGGESTIONS MERCEDES???? YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEEEEEY>IT’S WHAT RULES THE WORLD,A ND DONT LET ANYONE TELL YOU DIFFERENTLY.

        • Mercedes says:

          Yes, I have suggestions. Why not utilize the grassroots history and experience of folks from Goddard @ 593 Columbus Avenue, the many retired justices/academia who live in many of these Mitchell-Lama buildings and organize against the over-gentrification of this neighborhood? Also, t

          • Mercedes says:

            Comment was cut-off. Also, doesn’t the NORC require easy access to supermarkets – both in affordability and proximity? The NORC @ 66 West 94th St will lose access to a much-needed supermarket. Lobby, organize – all the resources ARE within that neighborhood.

            • Drew says:

              Speak for yourself. I don’t find the prices here to be any more or less the D’Agastinos two blocks away or Fresh Direct.

              It’s a dingy eyesore. The 90s on Columbus from 89th-96th really need a face-lift. There is certainly not a shortage of “affordable” things in the this hood relative the rest of the UWS. Quite the opposite.

              You can’t rally and legally fight a land owner having the right to choose their tenant or develop their land within the zoning requirements.

              Change is inevitable….If you don’t like it, you can buy the property and keep it how it is (which doesn’t make sense).

    23. Dr. Judith Marcus says:

      Not only the affordable price will be gone but also the last affordable place where all those old people of the neighborhood (myself included), could shop for their daily supplies and many of them using walkers, canes or in wheelchairs . It is due to the greedy action of the LeFrak organization that won’t give the store new lease. SHAME ON THEM. And on City officials who do not care for the people–except Gale Brewer–only favor the Real estate Big Cats.

    24. coop says:

      Life as we know it on the upper west side is no more. The process of tear down to rebuild has for so called “better” has effectively destroyed the fabric of this community. The fabric being “real people”, now as I navigate the scenes of what once was I can’t help but notice how generic this neighborhood has become. This isn’t an indictment on anyone who has achieved success to live wealthy and comfortably but it the same reasons I stated above that made people want to live here in the first place.. Sad times for what once was a solid, true community…

    25. sherm says:

      Food city supermarket was the best and we will miss the products they carry and the people that work there are like family….such a shame!

      • Richard says:

        I grew up on 70th bet Columbus & CPW from the late 60′s till after college. I remember the Food City on 70th & Columbus being there for years! We occasionally shopped there when I went to P.S. 199 and my mom didn’t feel like going to Fairway. Didn’t know there were any left!

        With all due respect, I’m always amazed at the anger directed towards people of better means moving into an area, as if it was their fault for the changes. I’ve come to the conclusion that those changes would eventually have taken place anyway and are often for the better (though not for residents of middle-income or lower).

        Reality is, owners of real estate don’t owe anyone anything, and should be able to develop their property as they see fit, as long as it’s within the legal guidelines. Living in a neighborhood for decades doesn’t insulate you from having to endure changes that invariably take place. If it’s not to one’s liking, one can always move.

        BTW, I’m not a landlord or property developer.