Opening Date Set for Second Upper West Side Trader Joe’s

For months — nay, years! — Upper West Siders have watched the slow construction process at 670 Columbus Avenue between 92nd and 93rd streets, waiting and hoping for Trader Joe’s to open.

Well, now we finally have a date! On Friday, May 4 at 8 a.m., the market is set to open its doors, management confirmed to us on Tuesday.

We’ve gotten several tips from Upper West Siders who had done their own sleuthing in the past few days. Thanks to Ellen, Evan, David and French for the tips.

We previously reported that it’s not expected to sell wine.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 48 comments | permalink
    1. Neighbor says:

      Yay! Wedneday May 2nd you mean? Or Friday May 4th? Thanks! 🙂

    2. dannyboy says:

      Glad to see an additional food store. I am not a TJ fan, but variety is good for the neighborhood.

      • Phoebe says:

        Dannyboy, nobody wants to shop there b/c it’s too crowded! Your reason?

        • dannyboy says:

          Noty my taste. I’m a long-term vegetarian so lean towards the Farmers’ Markets (Columbia on Thurs), W. 97 on Friday. For groceries I shop at WSM mostly, great selection and lots of ethnic vegetarian.

          But I do enjoy the culture at TJ (even recommended it as a worklpace when my won was younger).

          The staff is enthusiastic and highly motivated, making shopping more fun. People on line are mostly social (or, at least socialized).

          The manager made a real attempt at getting me to see what they do offer. He toured us around pointing out things like TJ-branded Indian dishes.

          I did go to 72 St for a while. A friend was hooked on TJ’s frozen non-gluten pizza. She was nearing end of life then, but is gone now.

          • MJ says:

            I’m a vegan and shop at TJ’s religiously! They have so many vegetarian-friendly products (besides from all the veggies, I mean). Good tofu, tempeh, veggie mock-meats, frozen foods — even ice cream — and everything super well marked with a “V” so I don’t have to spend time reading labels. I sound like a darn commercial, but they really are a vegetarian mecca. You should consider checking it out. 🙂

            • dannyboy says:

              Thanks for the reco MJ, I will check it out. I’ve been looking for a new place to shop since Key bought Associated.

              I know it’ll bore some here (Alert, so skip the rest) but we vegetarians (An ovo-lacto vegetarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian) don’t eat meat, but some animal products such as eggs and dairy. My diet includes fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, roots, fungi, …).

              You vegans, on the other hand, eat a different (and more restrictive) diet. Personally I love tofu but avoid mock-meat. I recently ate a gmo burger by accident, so am being more careful about that.

              But you are right about giving TJ a chance. As encouragement, I just attended my uncle’s 102 birthday. He’s vegetarian.

    3. E says:

      May the fourth be with us

    4. Overthecharm says:

      Price pressure on Westside
      Efficiency pressure on Barzinis
      Evolutionary pressure on the smaller, slothfully staffed…

      And peanut butter tracks ice cream.

      Get to work Western grocers.

      • UWSmaven says:

        But I think this means goodbye, D’agostinos, too… how can they compete?

        • 93d Streeter says:

          Good! D’Ags is ridiculously overpriced.

        • UWSKween says:

          Please, for the love of God, let this be the end of D’agostino’s. The most filthy, smelly (seriously, go take a whiff by the sushi counter–nauseating), overpriced, poorly stocked, incompetently staffed supermarket on the upper west side. Truly horrible and I have no idea how it stays in business as is.

          • J says:

            Regularly assist some elderly neighbors shop at d’Agostino’s. The store staff – especially prepared food staff – is always kind and helpful.
            Do not see how elderly will manage crowds at TJs.

            Also – respectfully – though it is clear you do not favor ‘d’Agostino’s , other people shop there….so why would you want to see it closed? Puzzzled about this.

          • ST says:

            I very much like the long-time cashiers there. Before you gloat realize you are wishing unemployment on people.

          • steve says:

            you misspelled Gristedes

        • dannyboy says:

          Only by changing and trying harder. The Associated on Amsterdam/ 97 does well because they do a great job.

          Just yesterday I saw a religious Jew, who’s owner going into the store to make sure things are OK. The staff is mostly Latin, who provide great service.

          Did I mention that they have gone ahead and stocked a few items after I requested them?

          All that earns them the business.

          • Bill says:

            Totally agree. Despite being always crowded and the very small aisles, the place is fine. Staff always pleasant, store is immaculate. I would much rather give my bucks to local ownership any day.

          • David Morris says:

            Absolutely. The Associated on 97th St. is a great neighborhood store. The shoppers come from everywhere.

          • Gary says:

            I just noticed the other day that it’s now a Key Food. Did anyone know what happened?

            • dannyboy says:

              I figure Associated sold before TJ opens. I just got back from shopping/ exediatory expedition.

              4 Managers from Key Foods were congregating. They introduced themselves as Staten-Island based. I introduced myself as life-time Associated shopper from The Bronx.

              The shelves were kinda’ bare, I expect Key Foods SKUs will be replacing. Fiuggi Water, gone (important to me).

              Store Manager was especially helpful. He and his #2 helped me find the new placement of Bob’s Red Mill rack. The Manager reviewed my whole shopping list to make sure nothing else had moved. His Assistant walked me around too.

              The Deli Manager taking a more “wait and see” attitude, wondering if the culture will change.

              The stock manager thought prices will change (not in a good way). The Store Manager assured me that Key has good prices (I am taking the ‘show me’ attitude towards this).

              In all, I’d say the staff (including the checkout staff who commute from The Bronx) are uneasy. The American-Mexican kept his head down, but I don’t want to read too much into body language.

              Stay tuned.

              The good news is that the shoppers seem unperturbed. The Middle-Eastern shopper buying pita and the local buying Carribean food seem to be unfazed.

          • Alex says:

            It’s a key food now, no longer associated

          • UWSHebrew says:

            why was it necessary to state you saw a “religious Jew” regarding that market? Would you have stated the race/religion of anyone else you saw doing the same activity? Why was that important to you to point out, as it has absolutely no bearing for the situation you remarked upon?

            • dannyboy says:

              Because that is what he is.

              Why did you not question:
              1. “The American-Mexican kept his head down, but I don’t want to read too much into body language.”
              2. “The Middle-Eastern shopper buying pita and the local buying Carribean food seem to be unfazed.”

              I enjoy being around people from different backgrounds. Makes it more interesting.
              Except you.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              nice try dannyboy, but you only added those other races in a later post after my critique of your first post appeared solely singling out a “religious Jew”. will your other liberal friend bernie see it your way or my way? come on bernie, I know you loathe me but look at the timeline/facts.

            • dannyboy says:


              Why do YOU write: UWS*Hebrew*?

              Why did you write: “I know you loathe me”, when it is you who wrote that I am a “bad Jew’?

              Interestingly, when I checked out at Key Food today, the woman in front of me was conversing with the cashier in Spanish as the woman behind me was talking Hebrew on her cell. I did enjoy ALL OF THEM more than you.

          • petslove says:

            Just stopped by there to pick up the weekly circular. It’s NOT Associated anymore. It’s a Key Food!

    5. Scott says:

      I’m still upset they stopped carrying the chocolate ganache torte. Someday I may get over it.

    6. Craig says:

      Some great and some poor products, but no rebutting they will create price pressure downward in other establishments.

    7. Cintra says:

      I’m a vegetarian, but Trader Joe still have good quality food for us. Customer service had always been good there.
      Trader Joe could put D’agostino (down the street) out of business. But, that’s okay because some of the cashiers there are so cold & unfriendly.

    8. Gary says:

      I’m hopeful it’ll be a great anchor for that part of the neighborhood and actually increase business at the shops around it. Especially, Mani Market as they have far better produce and specialty items than Trader Joe’s.

      Now, if only the old Food City space would once again have a tenant…

      • Darwn says:

        And New Westlane & Ivan Pharmacy. That strip on the east side of Columbus between 93 & 94 are great community members & neighbors.

    9. Wendy S Schwartz says:

      Trader Joe’s will be a terrific and welcome addition to the neighborhood.

      D’Agostino’s has never been much of a supermarket. It’s too dirty inside and out on 91st St., too.

      But we musn’t forget that Mani Marketplace, NE corner of Columbus and 94th still has the very best fresh fruit and vegetables. We don’t want the Mastakouri brothers to lose their wonderful neighborhood hang out.

      Wendy Schwartz

    10. Vivian Baez says:

      I also do NOT go into D’Agostinos, and I live barely 2 blocks from there- they ARE ridiculously priced! For those of us who cannot walk too far, they take advantage of those who live there thinking we can afford any price they offer. I will definitely go in TJ and see what they have to offer, I have never gone into one, although my daughters are ecstatic and can’t wait. It looks very modern and humongous, hope it can accommodate the stampede! LOL!

      • Emily Katehis says:

        Just a tip if you’re disabled like me, you never need to stand in line at TJ’s, once done shopping, go to customer service and they will put you at the next available cashier right away. This is a life saver when I can’t stand for so long. Also, if you forgot something, say, the milk or eggs, they will go get it for you. Truly excellent customer service.

    11. Wendy says:

      Trader Joe’s has some great offerings, but a supermarket is sorely needed on Broadway to replace Food Emporium and the Fresh Market that used to be on Amsterdam and 90th Street.

    12. J says:

      Please, can we add a third TJ’s to the empty Banana Republic store on 86th and Bway, and blast out Gristedes?

    13. Jane says:

      Ditto re Mani Market. Trader Joe’s may be good for certain things, but Mani’s is a gem of great produce, great deli and wonderful customer service. Go local whenever possible!!

      • AJ says:

        I imagine I’ll be flamed for this but I don’t see what is so wonderful about Mani’s. Their produce has been tired whenever I’ve seen it (piles of lemons many of which were soft or molding) and not great greens or salad. The fruit outside doesn’t look great either.

        I love individual, non-chain small shops but I like to give credit where credit is really due.

        For much better produce, Hans on the northwest corner of Broadway and 93rd has excellent produce. Fresh bunches of herbs are wonderful. Fruit is good. Vegetables are crisp and fresh. Mushrooms are firm and not limp. And their store is immaculate: everything organized on shelves and clean and orderly.

    14. Scott says:

      I laughed thinking about Food City. And the tennis court that used to be on Columbus and ~98th. Man the area has changed.

    15. mikey says:

      TJ has some great values item lines & I too look forward to patronizing same adn perhaps hopefully enjoying a somewhat better customer waiting in line experience ie SHORTER! I will not review a product: and clue you in that although TJ NON organic chicken is good the same product at Whole Foods 365 brand non organic chicken breasts are identically priced and measurably better quality for whatever reason. I realized you all wanted to know that so -youre welcome /:D Stay well all.

    16. Sean says:

      Who’s gonna throw out the first tomato on Opening Day?

    17. Jimbo says:

      The thing that makes no sense to me is that just when TJs is moving in just 9 blocks north, the Gristedes at Columbus and 84th starts to require customers to have Gristedes cards to qualify for discounts–then there are no cards in stock. After being given discounts with or without cards for years, I think the timing of this new policy to be ill-advised.

    18. jd says:

      It’s about time.

    19. Mr. West says:

      R.I.P. D’Agostinos