An Exciting Sign of Progress at the Site of the New UWS Trader Joe’s

Locals are waiting with bated breath for the new Trader Joe’s to open on Columbus Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Street. And some equipment that was recently delivered is making one Trader Joe’s fan particularly excited.

“The check out counters are in!” wrote Allison O’Keefe, who snapped the photo above inside the window.

How did she know those are checkout counters?

“I feel positive because they look like the ones at other Trader Joes – but without the computers installed yet. They have those slots for the paper bags and there are at least 15 installed all along the Columbus Ave side windows.. I am ridiculously excited for this Trader Joes – I feel like it is going to change Columbus Ave totally…”

Last we heard they’re expecting to open in February, but the appearance of checkout counters is a hopeful sign that it could be sooner rather than later.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 34 comments | permalink
    1. nycityny says:

      Anything to relieve the volume of people at 72nd St is welcome by me. I live near the 72nd St store and don’t go there very often because of the inconvenience. Even if I enter and see short lines by the time I trek up from the bottom basement the lines have grown again. I’d rather pay more at Fairway and get out faster.

      When I’m in Los Angeles (which is often) I frequently shop at Trader Joe’s where the lines aren’t a problem and the stores are on single levels.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        why are you in Los Angeles often? Are you an actor? I see David Hyde Pierce from time to time at the 72nd st TJ’s, he lives around the corner from it. Wait, are you DAVID HYDE PIERCE? heehee.

      • B.W. says:

        Yes, but the lines move very quickly. I stand on line a lot longer any time I am at Whole Foods.

      • Marci says:

        I’m also curious to see how the new store will impact the crowded 72nd Street location. The lines can be really long but they move pretty well, all things considered. Shopping at TJ’s is a culture you have to be up for; the scooting in and out of the people waiting on line and then line itself. One definitely has to be in the right mood for it!

      • tostonesfix says:

        I don’t mind the check-out lines, they move fast. I do refuse to wait in line to get into the store.

    2. Ye Olde Englishe Teachere says:

      Re: “bated breath”

      EXCELLENT !!
      Thank you for getting it right.

      “BATED Breath” is the correct spelling, (short for “ABATED Breath… holding one’s breath in anticipation) but has become an “Eggcorn” (Google it) thus we get the MIS-spelled’BAITed Breath’.

      One can easily hold (abate) one’s breathing, but with WHAT would one BAIT one’s breath (worms? anchovies?) And wouldn’t that give one a terrible case of bad-breath?’

      “Sheesh, don’t get too close! His baited breath smells like something died!”

      • Filatura says:

        Thank you for posting that — I was about to but you got there first. And amusingly, too.

      • Steven says:

        I noticed that too. My favorite is when people write that someone was “pouring over” a document. I always wonder what they were pouring over it — gravy, perhaps?

    3. Darwin says:

      Hopefully people will remain loyal to Mani’s Market. No better produce & community member anywhere!

      • UWSHebrew says:

        My fave from Mani’s market is the prepared food. The quality, freshness and prices cannot be beat. Sometimes the checkout girls make mistakes in terms of how much a pomegranate costs for example, so you have to be on your toes.

      • Iris Agar says:

        Manny Mart is closing next year, he & his brother say that they cannon compete w/Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s – they were on the news
        on TV. They say they had a good run.

        • Bill says:

          Can anyone at WSR confirm the comment above that Mani’s is closing next year!?? That would be terrible!!

          • Leigh says:

            MANI’S IS NOT CLOSING. I saw Taki today and in response to hearing what was written in the comments section (that Mani’s is closing when Trader Joe’s opens) said “we have no plans to close. We are here in our neighborhood for 27 years. We are not going anywhere. And we do everything and more to support the community who has supported us all these years.” AND THIS, MY FRIENDS, IS THE FINAL WORD!

      • RR says:

        Mani’s! SHOP Mani’s. They are the best. Support your local neighbors.

      • Elizabeth M. says:

        I must disagree about Mani Market. Their produce is terrible. Many things half rotten.Bananas all black & mushy. My friend and I could not find one apple that wasn’t bruised & soft.
        Last time they had strawberries the bottom of container was covered with mold all over the fruit.I have lived here all my life and I can definitely see a
        decline in quality.I got violently ill from one of their salads. My last try was chicken breasts from deli dept. The were dried out and must have been left
        over from a few days prior. From now on I only buy milk or canned soup, rice etc.
        I will be shopping at Trader Joe’s, especially since they are right on my corner. Good luck Mani’s.

        decline in quality.

    4. Vainqueur says:

      These desks were installed more than a month ago. Not much happening since then.

    5. Maggie Malone says:

      Meanwhile, down on 78th and BW, we might be losing our beloved West Side Market! ☹️

      • Cat says:

        And everything around it is being improved and the WSM looks like something out of an old movie. Their awning has been broken since the beginning of summer so I would guess they’ve never had any intention of putting money into improvements, much less renovations.

    6. MARY DURKEE says:

      This TJ’s can’t open too soon!

    7. Steve McGhee says:

      Hard to believe: somebody spelled “bated” correctly!

    8. Find it hard to believe that it has taken almost TWO years for this long desired/needed store to open! It was raw space! One hopes, at least, that it equals or surpasses the 72nd St. location. Looking forward to a new neighborhood amenity. Let’s do it!

    9. David says:

      WHAT exactly is the big deal about Trader Joe’s??! I have gone into a couple of different Trader Joe’s, walked out empty-handed, and cannot understand what the fascination is! Stores like Zabar’s, Fairway, and Citarella offer merchandise that is far more varied and appealing. To hear some “fans” talk of the place, one would think that Trader Joe’s was a Godsend, setting people to salivating at the prospect of having it in their neighborhood!

    10. Teacupsugarqueen says:

      Slowest renovation ever. I say by March at the earliest. I walk by daily and the level of activity is a stand still.

    11. Iris Agar says:

      Even more exciting, we are getting a top of the line luncheonette on Columbus Avenue & 88th Street. Not crap like City Diner, but a clean, nice place. They already have luncheonette at The Beacon Hotel & have been there for years, we really need a good place to have breakfast & lunch in the nab!!!

    12. j says:

      Nothing positive or exciting about this at all. TJ will ruin what is actually a “neighborhood”. It’ll change it in the worst possible way,

    13. Chrissy says:

      these counters have been there for a while now. I do not think this means they will open earlier…

    14. Mr. G says:

      I live right around the corner … Can’t wait!

    15. Rita Koplin says:

      Another chain, pushing out any hope of local stores making it in this town.

    16. Paris Wyome says:

      I have shopped for foods and beverages in many major supermarket chains in Florida, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, New Jersey and New York and also in Paris over my long life.

      In addition I have written articles about the U.S. food retailing industry for several industry publications. In doing that, I also visited major supermarkets in other states.

      I have had the worst food shopping experiences in my life at the Trader Joe’s at 72 St. and Broadway: often poor quality among a variety of TJ branded foods; twice I had to return items; once I got sick from eating another item; several times I have experienced very, very soft kiwis on shelves for sale and also hot bananas on other shelves for sale.

      Then there are the almost always long lines, often due to the store not having all of its checkout systems fully staffed and slow payments systems – especially compared to those at Fairway.

      In addition, I have often experienced the following at that TJ that I don’t recall seeing at any other supermarket – Shoppers leaving their shopping carts in lines while they go elsewhere to continue their shopping. Meanwhile large gaps often occur between their carts and the fronts of the lines. I pointed that out to a store manager, and he said he would not do anything about that.

      I now minimize shopping at that TJ; I only go in there now when I can see that the lines are not beyond the apples.

      Maybe the new store in the West 90s will reduce the currently long lines sometimes.

      • GG says:

        I have never been and don’t really intend to since I have no interest in these big chain shopping experiences and products but….

        Why are the lines so long if it’s so bad?? I’m not kidding, I’m really asking. People love this place for some reason.

        • Tostonesfix says:

          I am a fan of Trader Joe’s. I don’t mind the long check out lines (gthey move fast) but I do not like the crowded stores that take forever to navigate. Their prices can’t be beat and they have some unique items that are really, really good. Try different types of tortillas at Mani. Or organic carrot juice or white bean hummus. Or beer that’s less than $12 a six pack. Trader Joe’s just carries stuff I like that is not only inexpensive but difficult to find at other places. Is that reason enough for you?

    17. Mark Moore says:

      I’m a block away from there and I’m glad to see TJ arrive. But really, in the last few years we’re gone from shopping at Food City to Whole Foods and now Trader Joes. Dominos is busy on Columbus while decent pizza is hard to find. Chipotle is the go-to for quick burritos instead of Noche Mexicana and places like that; the Halal Guys chain is cranking out industrialized pre-made frozen falafel balls with fat-laden goopy mayonnaise garbage sauce; it’s Bareburger instead of the old diner on 97th and Columbus — it’s HARD to keep the character of the old neighborhood intact.