Westside Market Near 77th Will Close for Good

By Carol Tannenhauser

Westside Market between 76th and 77th Streets on Broadway is closing for good on November 30th.

Negotiations with the landlord, the Triumph Hotel Group, have failed to yield an agreement, despite a month’s extension of the lease to try.

The issue was not a rent hike, but Triumph’s rejection of a plan by Westside Market to rent the available adjacent space. Ian Joskowitz, chief operating office of the market’s parent company, said Westside Market  needed that adjacent space to keep the market economically viable.

For 38 years, Westside Market has held its own among fearsome competitors, from Fairway to Trader Joe’s. The only one to stay open 24-7, it offered an alternative to the crowds and hype. But online grocers have changed the playing field.

“In this new business environment an undersized supermarket is not ideal,” Joskowitz said.

Westside Market is a family-owned chain with two other UWS locations, on Broadway and 97th and 110th Streets.  West 77th Street was the second location opened and is very dear to Ioannes “Big John” Zoitas, 72, an immigrant from Greece, who, with his wife Maria, opened the original Westside Market on 110th Street in 1977.

“He went to 77th Street the other day and got really upset, because the store is not stocked to the brim as it normally is,” Joskowitz said. “It was the first time it was becoming real that it was closing.”

There are two bright spots in the story. Joskowitz said “Our intention is to get back to the neighborhood as soon as we can. We love the neighborhood and we have a great customer base. We’re already looking around.” And, he said, “Every single employee of the closing store has a new job.”

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 109 comments | permalink
    1. Sean says:

      Shopping there is like shopping in an elevator. The space is uncomfortably small.

      • Pedestrian says:

        Sean, do. you know where you live? On top of that I disagree. It’s a pleasant place to shop. It’s New York. Losing this convenient store is another example of how greedy landlords destroy neighborhoods.

        • your neighbor says:

          Did you read the article? This is not about greedy landlords and rent it is about extra space.
          You could more correctly say it is about a greedy tenant that wants to take extra space that the landlord wants to use for amenities for his main line of business – running a hotel.

          • Ish Kabibble says:

            Did *YOU* read the article? It’s a negotiation. Landlord wanted more money than tenant wanted to pay. Ipso facto, landlord is greedy. Pretty simple.

            • Jay says:

              Perhaps Westside Market wasn’t willing to pay the market rate for the space. Maybe they were just being cheap. That makes as much sense as landlord being “greedy”.

      • Christina says:

        It’s funny! Zabars used to be like that before they expanded! I will miss This Westside Market. It may be small but at least I could get every I want very quickly without going all over the place. And it was rarely crowded! A pleasure these days!

      • JM Kass says:

        True, but at least it’s there, convenient and the staff is helpful. Where else ya gonna go? Both Fairway and Trader Joe’s are zoos.

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        Sean, that’s fine. At this point you DO have options. That said, it’s a very popular store, so perhaps you can open your mind a bit?

        • Sean says:

          The best comment here was the one that stated it was never crowded in there so it was a good place to shop. I understand the frustration. What I do not understand is how little is understood about how things work around here. When I came here 40 years ago there were tons of markets and cheap eats everywhere because this was a more democratic demographic income wise. Now it’s just rich folks and tourists. Tons of them! You had pizza and Chinese food on every block or so. Even a gas station!

      • Shirley Zafirau says:

        Sean you have options with HUGE spaces Fairway-Trader Joes- with the crazed shoppers, lines, pushing, shoving, erratic elevators, constant staff turnover, impersonal! Go for it! WSM is a friendly NEIGHBORHOOD market…. our friends!

        • Sean says:

          Fairway was like that even when it was a tiny store. Yes the layout sucks but I think it’s the customer that they draw who causes most of the trouble.

    2. Ish Kabibble says:

      Greedy Landlord 1
      Small Business Owner 0

      Thanks for playing.

      • your neighbor says:

        What are you talking about? This wasn’t about rent, this was about the hotel owner wanting the lobby of the hotel to be a nice lobby and not a supermarket.

        I’m a regular shopper at this location and don’t like that they are leaving but don’t mis-characterize the events.

        • Ish Kabibble says:

          LOL. You sound like a shill for the landlord. In case you haven’t been paying attention, mom & pop shops are closing in DROVES due to being priced out of the market. Keep on supporting them – pretty soon the only businesses in our neighborhood will be Chase, Duane Reade and Starbucks.

        • Shirley Zafirau says:

          SOOOO! you think the chatzkie & cosmetic shops are an improvement? I’d envisioned a turn of the century Dining Room, but that’s not a millennials kind of thing. Pity!

    3. Alan says:

      A shame. Hurry back!

    4. Babs Armour says:

      Please hurry back to the neighborhood! We need you here.

      • Margaret says:

        Hear hear! I’m so sad we’re losing Westside Market in this location. Hope we see them back very soon.

    5. Cheryl S. says:

      We depend greatly on Westside Market in this location, and I’m sure our neighbors feel the same. We are hoping that a new location close by will be arranged soon!

    6. John Creasy says:

      Another family run business closing. This is so sad and depressing. They will be missed.

      Glad to see that after re-election, our City Council member is still on top of things.

      • EricaC says:

        I”m curious how you think any individual legislator – or even the entire legislative body – should stop this. A lot of people have been trying to figure out how to fix this for a long time, and yet every suggested solution has other unfortunate consequences.

        I don’t like this either, and the cause in this case seems to be a question of another party wanting to use its property in a different way. But the larger picture relates not only to things like taxes and rents, but also to shopping habits and hte pull of the web. This is our equivalent of the gutting of so many malls. Perhaps the world is changing in such a way that local stores will come to serve a different function from what they once did, providing only those services that essentially must be located locally, or servicing as front ends for online businesses – but without stopping these broader societal processes, it’s hard to see how you stop these local effects, and frankly, most of us seem to want to get lower costs and broader choice by using the web. (It’s like the people who criticize Wal-Mart for squeezing its employees and suppliers but then want to pay the level of prices that Wal-Mart charges.- those things are inextricably linked.)

      • Sean says:

        This flies against reason and out free enterprise system. No, Mel was wrong.

    7. RF says:

      This is such a bummer. I’m a regular West Side Market customer, but for the last few weeks I’ve been forcing myself to shop at Fairway instead, in anticipation of the impending WSM closing. The crowds at Fairway are unbearable, the lines are long, the aisles are clogged, and everyone is pushing and shoving to get what they want. Also, Fairway is not open 24/7, which is an issue for those of us with unusual work hours. I hope West Side Market finds another space in the 70s/80s and can reopen in the near future.

    8. Shirley Zafirau says:

      I morn the loss of my neighbor & friends; the West Side Mkt! My heart is heavy as UWS’s Human History is obliterated to make way for Stone,Brick,Concrete,Cast Iron & Glass historic renovations! What happened to the warm human element that created the heart & soul essence of the UWS? Tourists are passing thru, are NOT neighbors as they stand outside hotels & restaurants smoking!; here this weekend, gone on Monday! A coldness has settled on the UWS and It’s not the weather!

      • Sean says:

        There is Rhinebeck, NY to consider. I think all of the old UWSiders moved there.

        • Stuart says:

          Rhinebeck?

          Seriously?

          After living here since the mid-1980s, I never considered the UWS as a stepping stone to Rhinebeck.

          Is there anyone (besides Sean) who has thought this to be true?

          • Sean says:

            It’s cosmic up there man. Truth is the W70s is not all of the UWS. Development abounds. There are locations directly across from WSM available.

    9. Anne says:

      Devastating! I’m there at least 3-4 times a week. Truly a blow to the neighborhood.

    10. Stanley Froud says:

      Been a customer from day one.

      Many’s the time they cashed my check even though my bank account at the time was decidedly dicey.

      Stan

    11. Elaine says:

      Terribly sad-One of the only places you could call with a personal order-wonderful service and never disappointed with size versus value because they would call you! online shopping is not for everyone and everything – I am very sad about this news! Truly tragic to our neighborhood! I would go shopping too in the middle of the night! Small? – we’re in NYC…rather have small than nothing at all!

    12. Pedestrian says:

      The UWS will be significantly less convenient and desirable as a result of this closing. I hope Tripp Hotel Group is happy with its soap store! There seems to be no consideration of what the neighborhood needs or wants. I suggest that locals stop using the Belclare Hotel for friends and relations who come to visit and tell them that’s what you are doing.

      • Cjberk says:

        To pedestrian: my thoughts exactly ….I wrote the Bellclaire. They won’t be seeing my relatives or friends again. What a bad decision. I don’t really get whose fault it is….the hotel or owners of Westside Market? In any case of course it’s about the money…a junk soap store that looks like Times Square-how can that help? A dainty kitsch pastry shop…foolish. But Mr Joskowitz and his expression “economically viable” says it all. Maybe HE chose to close this store because he wasn’t making enough money there? Depressing as hell.

      • CocoJaneB says:

        Some info:
        aturula@triumphny.com
        rholmes@hotelbelleclaire.com
        Helen@helenrosenthal.com
        Gbrewer@manhattanbp.nyc.gov

        I hope you all can write or call. It’s worth our effort; we see so many exceptional stores and companies opening on the east side and Village and yet something has happened to the UWS. Tons of luggage toting tourists and properties going to useless stores..our 2 favorite Duane Reades -one empty and another becoming a day care center. Such a waste of space. The remaining DR is understocked and has poor management..no cashiers..long lines etc. Now Westside Market one of our most useful and customer oriented stores is closing under unclear and odd circumstances (money of course)..
        We’ve watched E.86th grow into an interesting thoroughfare…thriving Barnes&Noble,first NYC Ulta,etc. every store consumer oriented, interesting, useful. And look at us: W.72nd…a daycare center and another poor quality nail salon. So disappointing.

        • Sean says:

          W72 doesn’t have the traffic that the other streets you mentioned do. On one side of Broadway/ Amsterdam it’s tourists going into and out of the park. On the other end it is very different. There is also little through vehicle traffic.

          • Shirley Zafirau says:

            Many of these tourists stay at B&B’s & Air B&B’s. Residents are very aware of this illegal activity. Very little revenue is spent/stays in our neighborhood! We’re the cheap option to downtown/midtown hotels.

      • Ground Control says:

        Pedestrian-there is NO consideration of what the neighborhood needs anymore. Have you not noticed this? And if those on the UWS don’t want to go the way of Westside Market, I’d suggest everyone start going to Community Board meetings, your Council offices, writing your Manhattan Borough President, and join organizations up here like Landmark West that fight to preserve the human scale and historic character of our communities.

    13. george teebor says:

      Great loss. Wonderful produce. Great ambiance

    14. Stacey says:

      So sad that this place is closing. It is by far my favorite place to grocery shop – nice employees, great selection, and the best music.

    15. Peter says:

      There so many empty store fronts…everywhere in NYC !
      They should have a good choice.

    16. Lyri Clark says:

      So upset. I depend on them. They have the best rolls in the city. Shopping in a peaceful personal store.Nonsense that an “undersized” market is not ideal. That is the very point of why it IS ideal. Shame on someone for this decision. We’ll be sure to ostrasize whatever takes the space…on principle alone. A ridiculous soap store remains but our market closes…something definitely wrong here. Just Fyi, Fairway is more unbearable than ever with awful food and stale bread, Trader Joe seems useless and chaotic,and Citarella well okay. Very unhappy.

      • seriously? says:

        what is your guiding principle for ostracizing a new small business in this case? Whatever did the new business do to deserve your ire? If you decided to move out of town to a bigger house in the suburbs and we were friends and I was upset by your leaving should I “on principle alone” ostracize whoever comes to live in your apartment? no wonder the world is such a dark place these days.

        • Lyri Clark says:

          You just don’t get it. You have to stand for something otherwise you stand for nothing. You can’t be led like sheep into acceptance …just read on….hopefully you’ll get the point.

          • Idogetit says:

            I stand against yourprinciple of “guilt by association” or “guilt by who lived in your space before you” and stand for treating newcomers with friendliness.
            I’ve lived in the neighborhood for a long time (about a 4 minute walk from WSM) and only shopped there a handful of times. I hope they can reopen elsewhere if they desire to but that’s about as emotionally invested I am in this store. I shop mostly at TJs these days because my desire to save money for retirement trumps my desire to pay more at WSM for a less-crowded food shopping experience.

      • Sammie@L says:

        It’s not like they’ve been evicted. WSM could have renovated and continued in their existing space but they wanted to expand into the extra space available and the hotel wouldn’t allow it. I’ve seen several small businesses expand by organizing their space and stocking all the way to the ceiling, and I’m sure that WSM could have done the same.

      • Sean says:

        This market is not located on the first floor of a residential building. It is a Hotel. When the market went in the Hotel was a residential hotel. The Hotel converted to a transient hotel for tourists. This closure makes perfect sense. The property is being redeveloped.

    17. Markie says:

      Employees are always warm and friendly, the store is so single-meal friendly, and the Maria’s offerings are great. I love that the employees all have new jobs – but I hope they’ll be back in a nearby location.

    18. Sue Brenner says:

      So so sad I love Westside Market!

    19. JM Kass says:

      Very sad. Another West Side institution bites the dust.

    20. uws-er says:

      Hope they will consider opening in the space at 90th & Amsterdam, where Key Foods used to be. With that closing and the Food Emporium on Bway gone, a supermarket is needed and Westside Market would be a great choice.

    21. Carol M Fuster says:

      Westside Market has another location in Maywood, New Jersey called Maywood Market.

    22. Sue says:

      Damn!

      I’ve been going to Westside since…forever.

      The lines at Fairway are getting longer. And between all the new buildings coming and Westside Market going, it’s only going to get worse.

      I went into Fairway this morning for ONE thing. No lines. In the 30-some seconds it took me to grab my ONE item, the line was to the door!

      And the outside cashiers have been closed almost every time I’ve been there lately (even before the freeze)

      When I moved to UWS there were A&Ps, Pioneer, Red Apples, Shoprites, (Shopwell?) The International Market, Gristides, D’Agostinos, Food Emporiums. Now Fairway.

      Yes we have Trader Joe’s and Citarella and Zabars – but those aren’t the same as a Supermarket.

      Yes, it was a bit of a tight squeeze in there, but
      I’m going to miss them. The staff (and managers) all helpful.

    23. “In this new business environment an undersized supermarket is not ideal,” Joskowitz said..” sure. You have 6 other stores in nyc. You can’t carry ONE vital lifeline for the neighborhood thats supported you for 40 years. Makes NO sense. This size market is PERFECT option for the neighborhood area. You have CONSTANT TRAFFIC from locals, tourists from upstairs, anyone that needs 24hr shop option. That’s another thing, now there’s nowhere to shop in a pinch. THANKS, Ian, nice move. We’re doing OK but not billionaires here. And will miss Great prices (partic the cheese dept! 77 has UNMATCHED cheese section; I just visited 4 other Westside Mkts. Cheese sections BLOW, Ian, underserved + PRICY.) I don’t buy it. This is how real neighborhoods descend into gentrification rabbit hole. By the way, take note, other stores will raise prices on this move. I twittered every NYC rep, including those recently elected. Nothing. Theyr all in a coma. All real life lines of middle/working class convenience and economics is under siege. Next? How about Pioneer last girl at the ball. Bad all around. Having a great day, though; hope the same for everyones’ turkey/xmas.

    24. Ana-Lisa says:

      Great loss to the neighborhood

    25. Rita says:

      We shop there all the time and for so many years. We will miss them terribly!! Loved that, besides being so convient, it was never frantic and things were easy to find. Very much hoping that with so many vacant spaces they will relocate again soon and close by – hopefully on Broadway in the 70s!!

    26. UWSSurfer says:

      This is so sad. The store is like family – Tony, Juan, Peter, and the nice clerks.

      Maria is like a mother or grandmother cooking my meals. I especially love her blackberry salad.

      Their produce is the best in the neighborhood.

      The prepared Thanksgiving meal is wonderful with fantastic mashed potatoes.

      I hope they stay near to their current location. We need them. They are the only 24/7 grocery store around.

    27. OriginalMark says:

      Oh good. This will be another empty storefront for more homeless people to camp out on the sidewalk.
      I guess it’s all in the name of “affordable housing”.

    28. WENDYTHORPE says:

      I have loved this NY jewel for many years.
      The only bright spot is their commitment to return to us and keep their great staff.I wish they’d come to Harlem.

    29. Mije says:

      That leaves one small boutique market left.
      Pioneer on Columbous is a well stocked mini supermarket. The help is friendly. Sadly not near the quality or pride of ownership. Aesthetically BORING!
      Idiotically closed on Sundays.

      • Bill says:

        @mije – In fact the Pioneer market at Columbus & 74th is neither “small” nor “boutique”. It is a basic supermarket carrying all the standard brands in a space larger than WSM. It is now open on Sundays. I cannot attest to the “ambience” of the store as I shop to buy things, not for a social interaction experience.

      • Sean says:

        It is now open on Sunday.

    30. Robert Pass says:

      absolutely awful. For those of us living on the UWS in the high 70’s and 80’s this was the last “normal” grocery store around that actually had hours that worked for working people who are not around during the limited Zabar’s hours. I hope that they might consider renting in the new buildings going up on 80th or 81st street. We need them desperately…

    31. bravo says:

      Do the West Side Market’s owners know that there is a pretty good space of the failed KeyFood Fresh on Amsterdam and 90th? Sits empty now.

    32. Designing Away says:

      Most likely scenario: the owners of West Side Market don’t want to invest into re-designing the space to make it more modern and better looking. If that’s the case, I don’t blame the hotel owners. Right now the store looks pretty awful. The owner of the building (hotel) has the right to expect the property to look certain way, or at least try.

    33. Sue says:

      If online is drawing more customers, why is it so vital to get more space? Seems against common sense. And there’s the empty store on the other side of them that used to be the coffee joint. Why can’t they expand that way?

    34. Wendy says:

      Please please please take over the space on 90th and Amsterdam!

    35. Edith Tyson says:

      This makes me sad. In the twenty Plus Plus years I have lived here, so many grocery stores gone. This one was a last bastion. Anyone remember the one right off of the uptown stop at 79th & B’way? Or the one on the other side up, low building, that became a Japanese restraint?

    36. Joe says:

      So sorry that this has come to this / my hope is that they find a new home quickly as they have been a go to place to shop for me and I’m sure hundreds of others !!
      Hurry back please we need and count on you in our neighborhood 👍

    37. FrankV says:

      Hey Sean:
      Welcome to the West Side – NYC…
      You can go home now!
      Bye

      • Sean says:

        Have you noticed all the work being done on The Astor two blocks south of WSM? It’s been going on forever. The building is being reconfigured into multi bedroom residences for millionaires. I would say that this area is definitely changing.

    38. Julia says:

      This was the market we loved and I can say I actually mourn the closing. Just awful that landlords have the power to erode our quality of life.

    39. Nancy Fedder says:

      Try living in the 80s. It’s a nightmare with nothing. There are so many empty storefronts. Duane Reade on 83/84 closed 5 years ago and it’s empty. Criminal

    40. jezbel says:

      No! Say it isn’t so. I live in the same block with West Side and it is so wonderful to have a fully stocked (mostly) grocery store that’s 24/7. We get company from family who have babies, tweens, teens and nearly adults cousins who come to stay with us. West Side is open at all hours with something to please everyone of our guests. And us.
      We’re sorry to see them go. Wish they’d come up with a last minute settlement. I have a feeling Belleclaire is looking for something a little less all-over-the-sidewalk.

    41. William says:

      I have always thought that West Side Market has better produce than Fairway. Especially, Romaine Lettuce.

    42. arlene mehlman says:

      I love Westside market – everything about it including the staff. Not huge but has everything. I am near W 110 st. but hope 77th opens soon. Thank you for great service, great food, great atmosphere

    43. Jill says:

      Sad. Such a loss for the UWS. 🙁

    44. Dena & Charlie says:

      Not only are they well-stocked, friendly, efficient with no long lines, have fresh produce, but they also have an especially interesting selection of foods we never find anywhere else. They always have an accessible manager on site who is helpful and knowledgeable, and their cashiers are well trained, efficient and rarely make mistakes. What else do you want?

      • Ronald Yak says:

        This is a blow to people who need a well-stocked local market. Especially for the many older clientele who rely on this store to get their meals and food in one place. When walking and mobility are difficult, neighborhood resources are sorely needed. Soap stores are a luxury and while I understand they have every right to expand, the old space was adequate. I bet the hotel thinks Lush makes a more upscale presentation vs a grocery store. Yet another gentrification of the neighborhood. Sad turn of events

    45. UpperWestSider says:

      its super small but they carried certain things that Fairway and the others in the area didn’t. will be sad to see it go but i hope they open one further down in the 60s.. maybe in that space where Gracious Home was – i think we could use a good sized supermarket there as opposed to a small sized Target *eye-roll*

    46. I don’t know what the real problem is but we have been shopping in that store for decades and find it the most welcoming on the West Side. It will be a terrible loss to a neighborhood with many old people who can’t travel far to shop.
      The owners of the buildings on that block have, in their greed, been detrimental to the welfare of the West Side. I understand that I don’t have all the information but stores like Westside Market are important to the character of any neighborhood and should, if at all possible, be maintained. We have already lost far too many shops along Broadway, due in most cases, but not all, to landlord greed.

    47. Jill says:

      First Big Nick’s, now this. Boo!

    48. Pumpkinpie says:

      Westside Market will be sorely missed and I hope they are able to find new space somewhere in the 70s. It was always a calm shopping experience and you never waited to check out. Fairway has become a raucous, over-crowded nightmare and Trader Joe’s super-long lines are a detriment, to say nothing of being unable to purchase “brand names” (Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, Campbell’s Tomato Soup, Heinz Ketchup, etc.)

    49. Steven says:

      Really sad to see this place close up. I always liked it, they’re good, reliable & open 24 hours. The lines at Fairway are long, the lines at Trader Joe’s even longer. Imagine what it’ll be like now. West Side Market will def be missed.

    50. Tostonesfix says:

      The crack about Rhinebeck was funny but sadly true.

      Man the neighborhood has been going downhill and I have only been here since 1999. The Day The Dublin House closes is the day I am outta here. I find little appeal in living on the UWS except Central Park but one can find plenty of green space. In Rhinebeck.

      Stores like the Westside Market with its absurdly stacked shelves, brazen cross-section of prepared foods and on the spot convenience are what makes New York City great. If one has a car they can easily drive to a wonderful market. In Rhinebeck.

      • Sean says:

        I knew it was over when we got the Hamptons Express buses. When I moved here people went up on their roof to chill or sat on the stoop.

    51. AC says:

      SE corner of 80th and B’way will have plenty of commercial space available at the ground and basement level. Site of “Food City,” which was a popular super market in the 1940’s through the early 1980’s. Being so close to the subway, this supermarket would be very profitable.

    52. Cjberk says:

      Update…from my friends at Westside Market: apparently it’s what we thought. Ian Joskowitz is sacrificing this store that kept everyone alive so he can open new stores. Well Ian thanks a lot. You’ve now kept Fairway in business and hurt all of us. The cashiers are tearful and the customers are depressed. Well sir..KARMA is gonna getcha as they say. We’ll be watching.