By Carol Tannenhauser
There’s big grocery store news in the neighborhood — 14,000 square feet big. That’s the size of the new Key Food supermarket that is opening on the southeast corner of Amsterdam and 96th Street, one block south of its current location, The Real Deal first reported.
The new space is expected to open Monday, January 31st, an employee told the Rag.
“The space will allow the store to provide shoppers with more offerings than some of the chain’s other locations, including a sushi bar,” The Real Deal wrote. “Key Food will be joining Plant Shed, a high-end florist and cafe, which opened a 2,400-square-foot store in the retail condo….The grocer will be occupying 10,000 square feet on the ground floor and 4,000 square feet in the basement. Key Food will be paying $100 per square foot for the location and its lease has a base term of 15 years.”
It seems that the 90s are now flush with groceries, what with Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. The question is: What about the 80s?
Thanks to Gretchen Berger for the tip and photos.
Update: We learned of the opening date on Friday.
Opens January 31 according to the song out front.
Does this imply I’ll no longer have to contort my body as I move thru the Key Food cashier lane, make myself as skinny as possible in order to get my debit card in the reader, and pray I punched in the right PIN since my fingers are basically a part of my chest at that point?
In all seriousness I’ll miss this classic experience of being a New Yorker…
LOL. The perfect description of the Key shopping experience.
That this is happening is old news but when it is happening is the right question now…
You write as if the opening of Key Foods is adding another supermarket to the neighbor, saying the 90s is now flush with supermarkets, while at the same time identifying that it is just moving one block from its current location. But our neighborhood is no more “flush with supermarkets” than it ever was. Yes we have shiny supermarkets with Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. But where Whole Foods is now, there used to be a C Town. And a block up from Trader Joe’s used to be Food City. So other than the supermarkets becoming more high brow, there isn’t much change overall. Westside Market just replaced Gourmet Garage.
In fact, we are actually down a supermarket after the loss of Gristedes on 96 and Broadway.
I agree. It looks as if it’s another overpriced grocery store. I remember Key food when it was on Broadway. It was cheap and had great produce and fish.
I’m still mourning the loss of Food Emporium. It was the most normal supermarket in the area. Almost like being in the suburbs.
I too greatly miss the 90th & Broadway Food Emporium, but I never thought it was “normal” if normal is equated to “being like the suburbs.” No, it was very much an un-suburban UWS supermarket. The comment did, however, remind me of the Winterson autobiography: Why be Happy When You Could be Normal?
And there used to be a Food Emporium on Broadway and 90th (or was it 91st?). Westside’s prices have skyrocketed and they have gradually gotten rid of a lot of ‘regular’ groceries and replaced them with higher end options.
The loss of a Gristedes should be considered a huge win for the neighborhood
If there is one thing a NYC Supermarket desperately needs, it is a sushi bar.
Is the $100 per square foot per month?
$100 per square foot per year. $1.4 million per year or around $120k per month.
Gotta sell a lot of sushi to cover that.
Hopefully they won’t take the prices and meats with them from that store…the Key Food on 85/86 st puts them to shame.
Do you think that after they open a huge fancier store they are going to lower their prices? Why should they?
They can charge what they want. If the 85th store is cheaper, go there if you can or to another chain or independent grocery.
There is a decent Associated on 100 (CPW – Manh) and a Bravo on 104 (Col – Manh).
Neither of those are ‘decent’. They are tiny, often dirty, and little selection.
Manny’s Supermarket is one of the best old style NY markets, on Columbus Ave. with fresh baked goods including bagels and rolls, meat, fish and chicken, a terrific cheese selection. On sale VEGGIES, and Fruit and coffees. They have some prepared foods in the back and it’s very old school. Just expect to wait on a long line with neighbors adding just one more goodie to their bags. And yes, hold your belly in while navigating. Please be polite inside. It is not a chain.
I think you’re referring to Mani Market at 94th and Columbus.
Run by brothers Taki and Taso, they are the best. Friendly, reasonable and their prepared foods are made on site and delicious.
Their meats and poultry are fresh as is their fish and seafood.
They have a wonderful offering of all kinds of cheeses and will make you any sandwich from any of their deli meats and salads.
When Trader Joe’s opened down the block, we were concerned as to what might happen to Mani’s. And even though there are some things that I get at TJ’s (a lot of no or low sodium choices) I can say that the Mani’s customers will never desert them.
AND their cashiers say THANK YOU! Something sadly lacking in today’s New York stores.
Any word on what’s moving into the former Food Emporium space at 90/bway, now being vacated by Face Values and Beyond?
I hope the prices remain decent.
We need something more/better in the 80s. I’ve heard Zabar family owns much of the larger retail spaces in the 80s. Thus no more food retail for us. Any truth to that?
Couldn’t agree more. Aside from Zabar’s (love it but small) and Fairway (crushing aisles and agressive customers), we have nothing but Key Food on 86th and Amsterdam (crammed, unbelievably difficult to maneuver passages) there isn’t anything that resembles real 21st century shopping.
What about the Dagastino’s at Columbus and West 91st? I’ve noticed it has more shoopers of late.
We lost the Food Emporium on 90th and Broadway, Gristede’s at 86th and Broadway, and Westside Market at 76th and Broadway, all in the same year. The only thing left for the 80s is a small Key Food on Amsterdam at 84/85th Sts. And over on Columbus, a Gristede’s. Food Emporium was big and so was Westside Market; The 86th St Gristede’s not so big. But at least there was some choice. The Food Emporium space turned into the Bed,Bath and Beyond subsidiary that is sadly closing at the end of the month.
and nothing south of 72nd either. Used to have food emporium 68th & away.
Now only very small and expensive gourmet garage.
And Brooklyn Fare and Whole Foods.
Yes those are higher priced stores. Between the costs of real estate and the preferences of many of the people who live there, those places make more sense than a cheaper store. I used to shop in the suburbs when visiting family to save money over even the cheapest UWS stores. It’s just the cost of living here to pay more for groceries, rent, restaurants and most anything else. It’s not going to get any cheaper.
In order to get a supermarket in the 80s (which would be great), people would have to stop doing so much food shopping online. I agree about the Key Food on 85th Street. Too small and crammed and I wouldn’t go near the meat or fish there. You have to check the dates on the dairy. And last, check your receipts carefully, I catch a cashier error nearly every time I go. The last time, I was overcharged by $3.00.
PLEASE,PLEASE open a grocery store in the West 80’s or upper 70’s, preferably on Broadway.
Since West Side Market closed, there are only a few specialty stores (short of the tiny Key Food on 86th and Amsterdam) in which to buy groceries.
We are desperate!
The UWS has allowed the few to prevent any sort of development necessary for resources in the community. Forcing landlords to break up larger retail spaces has been a major factor in limiting stores like supermarkets to choose the UWS.
By limiting competition from nesting, higher priced businesses benefit from shortages of suitable retail space. High prices contribute to gentrification. The middle class who does not benefit from government subsidies is slowly disappearing. The very rich and very poor are the only ones capable of affording to live on the UWS.
Target, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s occupy new spaces that are critical for modern supermarkets to thrive on the UWS. Key Foods has needed their new location for a long time. In a modern storefront, Key Foods will only be a quarter the size of the Whole Foods at 97th street, but its current prices are much higher for staples.
Hopefully Key Foods will be able to provide new services to the community that will allow them to be competitive. They do have loyal customers and longer hours. A new and larger store will help in providing space to deal with COVID and overcrowding issues which might be keeping some customers from shopping there.
To get more supermarkets we need to provide retail space that is suitable for growth. A large population density on the UWS needs more not less. Banks and pharmacies are now in decline, but our current solutions are not capable of dealing with these changes.