FOOD EMPORIUM SOLD AT BANKRUPTCY AUCTION; WORKERS EXPECT CLOSURE

food emporium 90th

The Food Emporium on 90th street and Broadway has been sold at a bankruptcy auction, and it’s not clear what the new owners plan for the space.

A union representing workers at A&P, which owns Food Emporium, has listed information about the bankruptcy auction. Many of the Food Emporium locations that have closed will be bought by other supermarket companies like Key Food, but the one on 90th is listed as being purchased by unnamed “real estate entities.” The auction results still must be certified by a judge.

Employees expect the store to close. An employee told us she had heard it would close on November 11. Employees have also mentioned the possibility of the store’s closure to customers. One customer told us the shelves have been pretty bare lately. A&P declined to comment.

If the store does close, it will be the third supermarket to close within a five block radius since 2013. Key Fresh & Natural and Food City were the other two. A Food Emporium closed on 68th and Broadway a couple of years ago.

NEWS | 61 comments | permalink
    1. BlueSky33 says:

      I miss Food City, the retail space is still vacant. I wish Trader Joe’s would expand on the UWS.

    2. Mr. Ban says:

      So what now? We’re all forced to descend into the hell hole that is Gristedes on 86th?

    3. Sean says:

      This is the end of civilization as we have come to know it.

      • Glen says:

        I googled it, AF Norwich, LLC is a front for something, and I doubt it’s a supermarket.

        • Young Sally says:

          It may be a group of real estate investors (or private equity/hedge fund) who believe that the value of the lease is higher than the bid price. It might also be some investor associated with the New West Condo…perhaps the original sponsor/developer?

          It may be that they are planning to lease the space to a store chain…or planning to sell it to another investor. The price in bankruptcy may well allow the investors to earn a decent return on a below market rent.

          Whether or not it will be leased/sold to a food retailer…who knows.

    4. 90th st resident says:

      we need this store!!! If it closes we definitely need another supermarket here, but I hope de the employees that they will get to stay..

    5. bravo says:

      I guess the era of overpriced giant supermarkets with 2 cashiers out of 10 working, generic and plain bad quality selection is finally over. Cheers. If only Gristedes would disappear overnight and make room for something decent.

    6. LS says:

      FYI – A comment on EV Grieve about the Food Emporium bankruptcy and store closures.

      “….The Food Emporium up on 30th St and 3rd Ave. is going to be a Trader Joe’s, which means now the lines in the 14th St. Trader Joe’s will only be 99 people long instead of 100 people long.

      The Associated in StuyTown on 14th St has supposedly not been able to renew their lease, and another chain is reportedly offering to pay double the current rent. The Associated manager says that the students who move in don’t buy nearly the same quantities as StuyTown families used to, so his business is suffering from all those NYU students who live on beer, quinoa, ramen noodles and seaweed chips. My bet is that Whole Foods wants to get in on all of that StuyTown business and cut off any other competition on East 14th. That’s just what StuyTown needs to complete the transition to upscale housing, more expensive groceries.”

    7. Young Sally says:

      This is bummer…but it was inevitable as a result of the bankruptcy. I HATE Gristedes…..and D’ag is even more overpriced than Food Emporium. I guess it will be back to European-style shopping….produce at one place, meat at the other, bread from the bakery and the junk food Milkbones my dogs prefer from somewhere else.

      • bravo says:

        I’d shop literally anywhere else but Gristedes. And something odd is going on with it: it’s stuffed to the gills with crap – and at the busiest times with only a few desolate shoppers. Buying mostly non-food stuff. How do they make money? It looks like a money laundering setup for the owner/mayor wanna-be. The stores look like him, actually. Like a dog resembling the owner.

    8. ScooterStan says:

      Re: “A Food Emporium closed on 68th and Broadway a couple of years ago.”

      Yes indeed! But it was reincarnated as a very nice Lowe’s Home Improvement Store, of which The-Great-God-Google knows nothing — for “Googling” Lowe’s brings up the Lowe’s on Tonnellee Avenue in (Gasp!) New Joisey…home to Bridge-Gate, that still unfinished Xanadu Mall, and El Hombre Gordo (a.k.a. Gov. Christie)!!

      B/t/w: the lovely blue LOWE’S neon sign contrasts wonderfully with the lovely red LOEWS (movie palace) across the street, thus convincing ELL (English-Language-Learner) types that their quest is hopeless.

    9. Chris says:

      Another supermarket closes. Who cares? All they do is supply food. Does the human race in the world’s largest city even need food to survive? Luckily, I can still swing by the local bodega and score a small can of soup for $3, a gallon of milk for $6 and all the prepackaged crap they sell 100% above what a normal supermarket would charge.

    10. Mark says:

      No one has a divine right to eat in the most expensive city in the country. These people think they can just breathe tax payer air? Who do they think they are? We pay a lot in market rate rent to avoid the type of people who use supermarkets. This is what De Blasio does with this city, opens it up for just anyone to buy groceries, who does he think he is? Let them eat cake. Stop and frisk the broken windows so I can go back to hosting dinner parties.

    11. s says:

      Heard from manager on two occasions that Morton Williams Supermarket will replace Food Emporium.

      • D.R. says:

        If that happens, you will be relatively lucky. I heard of one Food Emporium around 85th Street on the East Side that morphed into a Morton Williams. I am told that the transition was almost unnoticeable. Morton Williams may have closed the former store for a couple of days or so. They then reopened, gradually transforming the store as they did business.
        The prices, I hear, are higher, but not by a great deal.

      • s says:

        My comment about manager saying it will become Morton Williams Supermarket was from before the auction

    12. Cary says:

      Very sad this is closing. No way will I go to Gristede’s on 86th St. Frankly, I can’t understand why it’s still in business. Dirty, depressing, horrible customer service. I hope the FE employees will be okay.

      • There is no place for a large low priced supermarket on the UWS. High rents and old fashioned and under sized retail space is the problem. Whole Foods on 97th and Columbus is the only new supermarket in the area because of its size of approximately 56000 SF of space. Thanks to poor planning decisions and anti development concerns we will not have any competitively priced retail space built with the specifications required by a modern supermarket chain. The existing markets will fight the introduction of competition and elected officials will agree with them.

    13. Siddhartha says:

      More business for Barzini’s! Good!

    14. BB says:

      This may be a controversial comment given the age demographic that frequents this site but why not just use fresh direct? It has good selection, good prices, and they deliver to you next day. Obviously it is important to have other options in the neighborhood but I am certainly not upset that a consistently overpriced supermarket is leaving the neighborhood.

      • dannyboy says:

        What is the age demographic that frequents this site?

        • Sean says:

          Exhumed?

          • dannyboy says:

            oh, oh

          • Joe says:

            Yaaah Dude…

            Why don’t we simply starve everyone who is, like, over 38.

            Who wants these old farts, clogging up our UWS streets anyway?

            Then there will be, like, more room for all of us. And we can walk down the sidewalk, texting and eating our peee-ZAAAAh at the same time and not, like, worry about crashing into anyone limping along with a walker! WooooHooooo!

      • Jeremy says:

        Some people like to pick out their own produce and stuff, and Freshdirect can actually be very expensive, IMO. I use (and love) Freshdirect, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

      • RF says:

        I’m younger than the age demographic you’re referring to, but I love to cook and therefore prefer choosing my own ingredients, rather than having Fresh Direct choose for me. Also, I’ll often use the market as a way to get inspired about what to make, based on which things look good that day. Can’t do that via computer. And I live in a building that only allows deliveries during certain hours, which is difficult when those are the hours that I am at work. I’ll use Fresh Direct for stocking up on canned goods or cooking Thanksgiving dinner, but on a daily basis I prefer to do my own shopping. I like the West Side Market on 97th and Broadway–a good option for those lamenting the closing of Food Emporium.

        • lis says:

          A downside to Fresh Direct or similar grocery delivery service is that it increases vehicular traffic. E-commerce in general has increased delivery vehicle traffic in NYC.

          Also, one of the great things about Manhattan is that it is so walkable. Seems unfortunate not to take advantage of the ability to walk in the neighborhood to do food shopping.

    15. Harry Kane says:

      Sounds like an Anytime Fitness location will soon be on 90th Street.

    16. Bryan says:

      Word on the street (okay, avenue) is that it’s going to be a SuperStarbucks. I can’t wait to buy a set of tires with my grande caramel macchiato!

    17. mlm says:

      I always liked Food Emporium. I used to find the cashiers and employees cheerful and helpful. But since I read many weeks ago about it’s possible closing, the store is a lot drearier.

    18. NancyW says:

      Just what we don’t need, another fitness facility. A decent supermarket where one can buy all of the stuff you wouldn’t go to a Whole Foods-type store for us really essential in any neighborhood. The Gristedes on 86tg is beyond bad–filthy, spoiled chicken, expired goods. Broadway Farms good but limited. I have been going to Gristedes on Amsterdam, it’s decent enough. The one on 86th should be shut down.

    19. Kathleen says:

      Seriously, fewer and fewer places to do grocery shopping on the UWS. Doesn’t leave options and I agree that Gristedes is awful!

    20. jsf says:

      Instead of booing Helen Rosenthal and Gail Brewer at the AMNH, how about organizing around an issue that is really important to locals who haven’t the leisure to trek to Whole Foods at 98th St.or the extra $$$ for Fresh Direct? Those folks who live in the neighborhood – mommies, grannies, (granddads. too) – who ALWAYS had a supermarket within easy walking distance. Yes, we have the bodegas, but they are pricey. Let’s organize around this and get more. not fewer, local supermarkets!

    21. Sprinkles says:

      This place was awful and I’m not sorry to see it go. It had absolutely no advantage over Barzini’s one block away.

    22. Eva says:

      I’ll miss Food Emporium because they are the only place in the neighborhood that has a Municipal Credit Union ATM. I’ll have to pay $3 to withdraw from my account at other ATMs.

    23. Sean says:

      Wouldn’t a big new supermarket on the UWS also bring with it trucks idling outside the store making deliveries? Look at Fairway: trucks outside this beloved store usually take up two traffic lanes.

    24. Steve Brown says:

      Hey, you guys. Are you blind? How come no mention of Gary Null’s Uptown Whole Foods, which is located just 3 stores down from Food Emporium on the corner of 90th and Broadway? They have a full line of groceries and organic foods (except no meat or junk food) to rival Whole Foods on 96th Street, and their organic produce is priced even lower. It’s also the cleanest food store in town, with the fastest checkout on the UWS (except perhaps for Fairways and Zabar’s).

    25. max boswell says:

      The F Emporium on Madison/87 went down the
      drain and has been replaced by a Morton
      Williams (formerly Associated).
      The victims are the employees, no help in finding
      jobs, no severance.

    26. Wendy says:

      I hope that they replace it with another food store. We certainly need one up here and a place to purchase fish – the fishmongers are long gone….. Barzini’s is okay, but very difficult to navigate (good cheese section though). There are already places set aside for food trucks to deliver there. It would be nice if the next place would have more moderate prices – Food Emporium was really pricey. Milk at Duane Reade was cheaper! I remember when they opened after renovation, the escalators were a real novelty.

    27. Brophyianno says:

      Please not another bank!

    28. Rachel says:

      What a travesty! The shelves have been bare for weeks…off to d’agastino on 90th and Columbus? What a drag. Every time I try to shop at gristedes on 86th I turn right around there in no air down there’

    29. P Fioretti says:

      If the 90th st store closes there will be no where else for the families to shop. The Gristedes stores are filthy and lack the quality of the Food Emporium. Please do not close this store…it has become of the years a part of our family.

    30. amy feinberg says:

      I have lived on 89th st for 50 years and there has always been a market where Food Emporium is. It will be a big loss.
      If the prices aren’t good, the convenience is and I’m happy to pay extra for that. And for older people who sometimes can’t get out, they have a terrific personal shopping service. You can order online and in several hours, the delivery guys bring your purchases in regular shopping bags as if you had done it yourself. Fresh direct is a pain. They take too long to deliver and their items are incredibly over packaged.

    31. Cal's mom says:

      This is a serious loss to me personally. A home bound senior citizen I have depended on Food Emporium website ordering and home delivery for a long time. I feel quite lost.

    32. Mrkil1o1 says:

      There will now be a very few choices for the very necessary food shopping on the UWS. Sure we can go to the less than desirable Gristedes or maybe hike down to Fairway or over to the Whole Foods or get [just] the items you need at a local fruit store/market or Zabar’s or WestSide Markets, but for the everyday food shopping they just don’t do it.
      So is the UWS going to be a grocery store desert? Is this area so UNdesirable a location that big food market companies want to stay away? Or do we get yet another big box/drug chain store? Heaven forbid that!!!

    33. Victor Jaime says:

      Guys,

      Come shop Best Market in Harlem address is 2187 Fredrick Douglas. Which 119 and. 8th ave. best prices, quality produces and more. Enjoy