food emporium space

Construction has begun at the old Food Emporium space on 68th street and Broadway, and the new tenant has finally been identified. Sorry, guys it’s not going to be another grocery store.

As was rumored a few months ago, home improvement company Lowe’s will be moving into the space. The company announced their plans for the store on 68th and another location at 635 6th Avenue (19th street) in a press release on Monday. Both are set to open in the second half of 2015. These are the company’s first Manhattan stores.

“Both stores will be approximately 30,000 square feet and offer products and services that are locally relevant to customers, including appliances in a variety of sizes, home organization and storage products to maximize space, and inspiring home décor and accessories to refresh living areas. Most items will be in-stock and many will be delivered from Lowe’s New York area stores. These stores will create approximately 125 jobs.”

Apparently, lots of Manhattanites are already shopping at Lowe’s online, so they figured the demand was already there.

“We are excited to expand our presence to Manhattan and we look forward to offering Lowe’s project expertise and tailored product selection in two convenient locations,” said Richard Maltsbarger, Lowe’s chief development officer.  “We know customers in Manhattan are already shopping with Lowe’s online and at our New York area stores. Based on our research, we are developing these locations to meet the unique needs of these customers.”

Lots of West Siders we’ve talked to had desperately wanted the space to be filled by a grocery store; while the Upper West Side’s cup runneth over with great supermarkets, some people in Lincoln Square don’t consider Trader Joe’s and Gourmet Garage — the two closest markets to the old Food Emporium — to be adequate.


Thanks to Andrew, Michael, Gavan and Pamela for the tips and Michael and Gavan for the photos.

NEWS | 85 comments | permalink
    1. Sean says:

      The UWSiders who are complaining are older than dirt and want something like a Bohack to move in.

      • Justina says:

        Bohack? There is still a Bohack left in this town? LOL

      • Cato says:

        Sean — I’m not “older than dirt”, but I do have a family that needs to be fed real food, not the hoity-toity gourmet specialities found in most of the remaining food stores in the neighborhood. (Fairway is a physical horror to try to negotiate, and you can’t even get into Trader Joe’s most of the time.)

        It would have been nice for the neighborhood to have a source of food for families. There are, and have been, lots of others than Bohack. Now: none.

        Now tell us about yourself, Sean: Do you have any kids? How often do you cook? How often do you eat out? Give us some context for your nasty comment.

        • Mike says:

          Do you people realize that there was a grocery store in this location that was almost always void of customers? It was by far the cleanest grocery store on the UWS and was always empty.

          • Sean says:

            Exactly! There was also another Food Emporium for a while in The Ansonia. It too was empty. The typical “Fairway” foodie wouldn’t set foot in it. The stores were clean and management paid for this in outrageously priced goods. FYI: Fairway has only recently discovered soap and water.

        • Sean says:

          Order online or take a bus uptown. Old time supermarkets are a thing of the past in the area in question. Better yet, rent a Zip Car and drive out to the suburbs for a weekly food shopping spree. That is, if you have the storage. Real Estate is about the future. The future is living in a building with concierge services. I bet this Lowe’s will have a lot of decorative stuff for the newer residents.

          • Cato says:

            Two responses, Sean, yet you *still* haven’t told us about yourself. Why is that?

            Before you can tell the rest of us what our neighborhood has to become — and why we are no longer welcome here, after multiple generations — you really should tell us about your own demographic so we can evaluate how believable you are.

            But the care with which you avoided the question — twice!! — really answers that for us.

            • Sean says:

              Cato: I said nothing of the sort to you. I was observing what is happening. This is the 21st Century and this is part of the technological revolution. Wall Street, Real Estate and Tourism run this town. To think otherwise is silly. Everything is a market now and things do not stay around like they used to. You have to find your way the best you can.

            • DMH says:

              Well said, Cato.

              In a cruel twist of West Side Rag fate, I can’t reply directly to Sean, but I still am at a loss for what he’s getting at. I think he’s just trolling. Where is NikFromNYC to chime in here, anyway?

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              Cato, nicely said. thank you.

              What Sean is saying is that the vast majority of UWS residents are irrelevant and relics of the past. i guess “the future” on the UWS is also pied-a-terres for wealthy foreigners.

              The UWS was a truly unique NYC neighborhood that is now being lost. I don’t understand people cheerleading for that unless they are in real estate.

              PS Bohack’s was an old discount supermarket chain that thrived in the outer boroughs “back in the day.” In Queens it was our neighborhood supermarket.

          • DMH says:

            Is this sarcasm? I’m truly stumped. Why be so nasty in response to neighbors’ interest in something as vital as a grocery store? If you work in real estate, maybe you’ve noticed that well-tenanted grocery-anchored shopping centers are wildly in investor demand.

            • Sean says:

              That may be true in other places, but not here. 35 years ago there seemed to be a supermarket and Chinese food on every other block on Broadway in this area. Not now. How do you explain that?

          • Christina says:

            “The future is living in a building with concierge services.”… Really Sean??? So that means the future is for the weathy and the middle class, working class are out of luck! Sheesh… I hope not. Wouldn’t want to live in your future.

            • Sean says:

              Yep. It is not “my” future. But, it is what you are getting in all those big building up here on the water overlooking New Jersey.

      • Gene says:

        sean, you just totally redeemed this entire comment function. now you need to take on the people who believe land thai is real thai food, and the other ones who complain about the prices at red farm.

    2. AC says:

      Excellent news!

    3. Shon says:

      Any update to what is moving into the space on Columbus and 92nd or Amsterdam and 96th?

      • Barbara Michalak says:

        And don’t forget 94th/Columbus, former home of the much missed Food City, and still empty. It’s a long trek now for shoppers in this dense middle-income area, including those of us who are indeed old, but continue to be civil even in the face of gratuitous insults.

        • Matthew says:

          I fully expect that site to be demolished in favor of some new building. That Food City was truly a dump, though I am aware it was the nearest option for a lot of people. No new market would move in there without a total; gut renovation, ant that building is frankly too tiny to waste such valuable real estate on.

        • Paul RL says:

          Barbara, the new Key Food at 92nd & Amsterdam is a welcome addition the the ‘hood.

    4. Lol Sean . Very true . All I can say is I’m glad to see a Loews come to the neighborhood . Tired of being ripped off by small time hardware stores with weak selection

    5. pub says:

      and by “Lowe’s” you mean Starbuck’s or Duane Reade.

    6. KG says:

      I agree that the area could have used an additional grocery store, but an urban concept Lowe’s is a great alternate choice.

    7. Brian says:

      Let’s make a pact: look for it at your local hardware store, and shop at Loews only if your local doesn’t have it. We have to support our neighborhood small businesses or we’ll keep losing them to national chains the take their profits and split with the cash.

      • Dave says:

        TOO TRUE. I will sign the pledge: Buy Local.
        If it ain’t in 2 family run stores near you, then take Uber to Lowes. BUT only then.

    8. Gill says:

      Ugh! Hate what Lincoln Square is becoming……Would have loved Anthropologie or ABC to move into this space!

      • Christina says:

        @ Gill…ABC carpet???? If that’s what you mean then you are part of what UWS has become. Beautiful stuff but wayy toooo expensive!

      • Susan says:

        It’s not just Lincoln Square-it’s the entire UWS. Devoid of the small stores which made this city a great community. And one has to wonder about the thinking of some of these chain stores. A Marshall’s across the street from the Apthorp? Please. While I think Lowe’s is a better choice than another Duane Reade or a bank, it’s just another big box retailer anyone can find anywhere on any faceless highway in America. Why come to New York City and pay triple the cost of living anywhere else to be living in one big mall. When essential services like food markets, delis, tailors, shoemakers, copy shops, bookstores keep disappearing. Developers and landlords run this city, and unfortunately no one but a big box retailer can afford the rent. Small businesses were part of the lifeblood of this city. It doesn’t take a genius to know they’re gone not because of progress but because of greed.

    9. jd says:

      The last thing we need on the UWS. Anyone know what opening on 93 & Columbus?

    10. elisa says:

      Sean – your comment smacks of agism. I don’t know how old your are, or what entitles you to criticize persons of age. Secondly, I may fit into your “older than dirt” category, and have grown up here in NYC yet have no idea what a Bohack is, nor do I want it here.

    11. Lee Honickman says:

      Is there any information on what’s coming in where Gristedes was on West End and 64tg street?

    12. ellen says:

      Sean: did you do a survey to come up with the idea that seniors are the ones complaining? How about all of the young families who live in the area and need a supermarket?
      I am under 30 and could use a decent market nearby and not a Lowes. However, I do not feel the need to anonymously post a derogatory comment about those who like the idea. Grow up.

    13. KT says:

      Why do you need a grocery store? Use Fresh Direct, it’s amazing. Much better than squeezing up and down the ailes at Fairway.

      • M. says:

        Fresh Direct’s selection is pretty pitiful. Not to mention shopping for food is always best done in person so you can pick out the freshest fruits, vegetables, and meat.

      • Eddie says:

        Agreed. The reason supermarkets are leaving and/or not coming in is that FreshDirect and Peapod are taking all of their business. FreshDirect has competitive prices, good service, and is a lot more convenient than braving the narrow aisles of a typical Manhattan supermarket.

        • Sean says:

          Obviously the kids are shopping online for food. Soon everyone else will be calling Meals On Wheels. These are the jokes folks. Shopping models are changing. There national chains are international too. A neighborhood store is a thing of the past. We have strip malls now and big box stores and shorter leases. It is a rental marketplace. Besides tourists don’t shop in supermarkets here in Lincoln Square.

    14. Lisa says:

      Just glad it wasn’t a bank or another Urgent care/city

    15. Melissa says:

      This is terrible. Who is going to be shopping here? You can buy all household stuff online now.

      A standard grocery store would have been perfect.

    16. Frank Malone says:

      Wow! “Older than dirt!” haven’t heard that is a long time somehow I feel that comment come from some place deep inside you.You think we cater too much to the geriatrics in our midst? Wait 30 years and revisit that comment.
      …and to make up for Sean and his comment lets all give a special nod or a bit of help to the old folks today…tomorrow…whenever!
      Frank in California

    17. Anonymous says:

      This is pretty awful news for the Gracious Home down the block. They sell lots of premium products, but the thriving basement hardware store is immediately in danger.

      • jason says:

        Gracious Homes can’t get out of town fast enough, it is so OVERPRICED, their hardware store in the basement is double what it will cost at Lowe’s. This is good news for families on a tight income.

      • donna says:

        I know it’s too late to throw my two cents in, but I will anyway. A Wegmans would have been AWESOME! Shopped in one in Jersey. Great prices on their brand and name brand foods, also produce, even wine, you name it. Would have given Fairway and Trader Joe’s a run for their money.

        • Pamela says:

          I agree, Melissa, Wegman’s is wonderful. In fact, I even wrote to Wegman’s to ask if they’d consider coming to this space! Had a reply w/in 24 hrs., that their strategy is to expand elsewhere, i.e. upstate, PA and VA as I recall. NYC and its rents must be prohibitive to a lot of good grocery chains.

    18. Lee says:

      It would be nice to have a moderately priced Super Market such as a Shop Rite which is priced less than
      the over priced Food Emporium was.

    19. webot says:

      As a big fan (addict) of The Home Depot, I think you all will enjoy this store. It gets all your home renovations juices flowing.

    20. 95 In The Shade says:

      So a Lowe’s will be right across the street from a Loew’s…!

    21. Matthew says:

      Frankly, I was wishing that Fairway would take over that old Food Emporium space and get out of what is possibly the city’s worst supermarket space. Their other stores in the city are actually great to shop in, but the original one on 74th street is like some kind of opposite day-funhouse mirror version of a grocery store. Can anyone tell me another store that stocks mayonnaise in three different places on two different floors?
      It’s ridiculous.

      • Sean says:

        They own part of the space that is used, so they ain’t moving. Chaos was always part of the design.

        • geoff says:

          agreed. i’ve shopped there since the 70s. nothing has changed, even the number of ‘shoppers per square foot’.
          well, the owners don’t hang out on the sidewalk anymore, and the cheese guy has changed.

    22. Bravo says:

      I hope all Food Emporium locations will close, and will take this awful Gristedes with them. Overpriced, terrible quality profuct, staffed by people who hate their job, only one cashier on duty, and so on. The main thing is awful quality of theit stuff. I just hoped some entic supermarket would move in one of those locations… Bur Loewes is not bad at all.
      For those who complain about lack of “basic” supermarkets: what exactly do you mean?

      • Sean says:

        Pioneer is a basic supermarket and it sucks.

        • geoff says:

          sean, how could you! those women who man the tills are surly and uninterested until you engage them. then, they’re a hoot—exotic and funny. same three managers for decades. at pioneer, NOTHING has changed. the canned salmon goes on sale from time to time for about a third of its regular price, and hasn’t moved one centimetre in decades. however, i overheard one of the managers plotting the future with a young relative at a coffee shop. they want to redo the basement, expand and compete with the busy guys over on broadway. they want the cpw clientele. or so they’re thinking, i think.

    23. Julia Waldbaum says:

      A Bohacks or a Waldbaums would be AWESOME!

    24. Sassy Lou says:

      Ok..but Remember Lowes…there is NOTHING standard about NYC apartments. They have fixtures and plumbing from 1920 AND let’s not forget..our shower curtains need to be at least 96″ in height!!!

    25. Supply without demand says:

      Great. Now I can build a big back porch with a gazebo just off the back of my two-story Colonal house here on 68th and Columbus…..

    26. Scott says:

      I’m glad Lowe’s is coming here. I just hope they carry actual building materials and don’t make the mistake HD made downtown of devoting 2/3 of their store to light fixtures and paint. Sometimes we need lumber, thinset and tiles and don’t want to special order it!

    27. Gretchen says:

      I welcome the Lowe’s, as Food Emporium was always empty anyway, probably because their prices were ridiculous. Let’s not forget there’s Pioneer on Columbus and 74th, a full service supermarket, not that far away. There’s also Fresh Direct for the “non-foodies” whatever that is. This store, however, may be the death knell to Gracious Homes, who has already closed a store down in Chelsea. They won’t be able to compete with the prices at Lowe’s.

    28. Brian says:

      I welcome to Lowe’s as well. Grocery stores operate on largely razor-thin margins; the rent for that space is likely obscene and WFM, Fairway, and Trader Joe’s are all nearby.

      For folks living in this “food desert”, check out Instacart and Google Shopping Express. I’ve been really happy with grocery services from each company. We will also have Amazon’s grocery delivery soon enough too.

      • bravo says:

        Anything but Amazon. Amazon became the ultimate monopoly that people should start resenting. Imagine the mega-chain that owns EVERYTHING. And – surprise! – their prices are HIGHER than in a brick and mortar store. That’s how a corporate myth is created – look at Duane Read etc. They start with good service, low prices and extended hours. Then the prices go up 200%, service is cut, and so on but the myth is already created and the herd keeps coming. Boycott them.

    29. Lisa says:

      Regarding recommendations to use delivery (Fresh Direct, Pea Pod, etc) for food, rather than walking in neighborhood, are there any concerns that increases in use of food delivery will similarly increase vehicle traffic on the UWS?

    30. spencer says:

      I live on 89th and Columbus and loved Food City. the local supermarkets are way too expensive. however I do like shopping in person. My life is too busy to use Fresh Direct.
      Trader Joe’s is 5 blocks from the old Food Emp. Go there when they open! it’s busy. So plan around that. Food Emp was a gourmet ripoff. Times are a changing. I have been here 44 years. Roll with it. Quit yer kvetching.

    31. Katherine says:

      Beacon Paint on Broadway between West 77th and West 76th must remain the MOST frequented hardware and paint store in the neighborhood. Friends of Bruce know what I mean. Lets unite for Beacon Paint!

      • Susan says:


        • Alessa says:

          The new Key Food on Amsterdam and 89 is a pretty inoffensive shopping experience for the UWS. There’s never a wait, and so far they are notably customer oriented. I love the Whole Foods on 98th for the space, but obviously it’s no bargain. By the way, Fairway may be for foodies, but it’s not for the new wealthy in the UWS. It takes grit and guts to enter, so it’s mainly old school UWS or nannies getting paid to shop.

      • Nora says:

        Do you mean Beacon Paint on Amsterdam?? There used to be a terrific paint/hardware store on Broadway in the 70″s but, sadly, they had to close a few years ago.