Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Facebook group is advocating for a Trader Joe's on Avenue A



There is a new Facebook group titled "We Want a Trader Joe's at 98-100 Avenue A."

Most recently, the address was home to East Village Farms (RIP February 2012). Developer Ben Shaoul bought the property for $15.5 million. Permits filed with the DOB last December show plans for a proposed building that is 37,042 square feet — 29,881 for residential and 7,161 for a ground-floor retail space ... good for 8 stories and 43 residential units, plus bicycle storage in the basement and an "outdoor tenant recreation space" on the roof.



The new retail space is likely destined for some type of local or national franchise. Or bank branch.

Here is the group's mission statement:

This group is advocating for a Trader Joe's at 98-100 Avenue A, the former site of a great Korean deli. We are witnessing the loss of many neighborhood services, like grocery stores and laundromats, throughout New York. WE ALREADY HAVE A CHASE BRANCH AND A DUANE READE…

East Village resident Bryan Keller (an EVG Facebook friend) created the group. He has lived nearby for the past 22 years and says that the group is a form of "social persuasion to get services like good grocery stores that we need instead of more banks, drugstores and 7-Elevens."

And what about the Trader Joe's on East 14th Street near Union Square?

"[T]he long lines are proof that people really really like Trader Joe's," he says. "I try to go on the off hours. But it's really more about getting a decent grocer [at 98-100 Avenue A]. I really miss the old deli."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Inside the abandoned theater at East Village Farms on Avenue A

Reader reports: Village Farms closing Jan. 31; building will be demolished

That's it for East Village Farms

Asbestos abatement continues at 98 Avenue A, Ben Shaoul's latest East Village trophy

86 comments:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of facecrap, more tech bros to move in at 770 Broadway, to rival the other tech bros at Death Star, http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140324/REAL_ESTATE/140329943/facebook-grows-its-link-with-770-broadway. May the force be with us.

Anonymous said...

That would put a Trader Joes 4 blocks from Trader Joes

Anonymous said...

"We are witnessing the loss of many neighborhood services, like grocery stores" so let's put the final nails in the coffin with a new Trader Joes!

Really? Really?? This is a joke? Right?!

Anonymous said...

I don't think that location is big enough for Trader Joes but some type of retail food store, butcher, fish store would be great. I do hope they put a grocery store on the first floor of the Mary Help of Christians spot. Large spots like that are hard to come by.

VH McKenzie said...

@Anonymous 7:07am -- I am confused by your street math.

As I see it, that would put the two Joe's 7 street blocks PLUS 2 avenue blocks apart.

I think that's a respectable buffer. Far better than the coffee bean's throw that once separated the two Starbucks at Astor Place.

Anonymous said...

there's some bad geography posted here, if the new TJ's is on Ave A, the closest other store would be 3 avenues away, A to 1st, 1st to 2nd, and 2nd to 3rd. If I am not mistaking there is a Key food 2 blocks south of this new building, and some decent deli's for produce on 1st ave, hardly a food free zone. After a short infatuation with Trader Joe's (west of 3rd ave) I decided to support non-national chain food stores and do my grocery shopping from local stores.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Everybody shops at chains, it's inevitable. But people who advocate for chains are an entirely different breed.

Jeremiah Moss said...

The more I think about this, the angrier I get. I cannot fathom why anyone would want to recreate the suburban lifestyle in the city.

He can't see that Trader Joe's is the same as Duane Reade/Walgreens, Chase, 7-11, etc.? National corporations don't need the little people to advocate for them. They have plenty of big advocates. Please put your energy into local businesses. A TJ's here would destroy the local groceries and bodegas.

Nic Fit said...

HI! I'm the one who started this FB group. Regarding Key Food: why is the East Village one so unbelievably ghetto? Unless you want food for "fancy" people (like anything organic), in which case you pay about 3x what Whole Foods charges.

I would be happy if the people who ran the old Korean deli/"farm" returned! But given the world we now live in, I'm expecting a chain. If it's gonna be a chain, why not one with lots of cheap organic stuff and cheap beer?

Anonymous said...

I like Key Food, thank you very much. And there is the new Union Market on A and Houston that plenty of nice produce, fish and meats. Ditto for Gracefully. If that is what you are looking for.

8:54 am said...

Ah, yes, Trader Joe's -- a grocery store where you’re shopping while in line, able to buy only what is within arm's reach of the queue which circles the entire store and backs up literally to the front door? Because that is a thing in New York.. (http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2013/10/40-reasons-you-shouldnt-move-to-nyc/ [Highline, and Citibikes great? No.]

Jeremiah Moss said...

Ghetto? Oh, dear. You did not just say "ghetto."

Nic Fit said...

Key Food: terrible produce (also $4 for 3 shallots, as of yesterday), a staff that acts like they are doing you a favor being there; Union Market: fairly pricey to exorbitant; Gracefully: no matter what 3 things you buy there, it's always over $20, truly terrible meat and fish.

nygrump said...

Trader Joe's ain't that great, they aren't really that healthy.

9:17am said...

Keyfood, ghetto? Really? This facebook group is like Motherfuckin’ Christopher Columbus and goes along the same line as what Spike Lee is saying about hypergentrification and the Christopher Columbus Syndrome -- in which newcomers, usually whites, believe they’ve “discovered” a new neighborhood, as if nothing and no one had been there before them, a common occurrence in the city today. Part of the syndrome includes complaining about the traditions of the people who preceded you.

Can't you just your beloved Citi Bikes to shop at Union Sq. Trader Joe's? How about just ordering from Fresh Direct? Apparently, people move to NYC from the suburbs so that they can buy their music and books from Amazon, and food from Seamless and Fresh Direct, and never leaving their overpriced small apartments with five roommates.

Luke said...

In the never ending quest to be the most authentically East Village, please do not throw all credibility out the window by claiming that Key Foods is even a decent grocer.

Jack Savage said...

So pedal your fat, bourgeois ass down to Essex Market, Cable Guy - and leave the architecture alone.

Nic Fit said...

@Jeremiah Moss Yes, the word "ghetto" is right there in the comment. Some things are ghetto. Having lived the last 25 years in this (former) ghetto, I know.

moe said...

Have nothing against TraderJoe, would like to see one in this spot. Though reading the posts from mr.fit, above, make me ashamed to be on his side here. Or anywhere else for that matter.

Giovanni said...

Oh really? The East Village is So Ghetto?

You from the ghetto, Nic? It looks pretty gentrified to me. And half the people in the projects are illegal sublets to NYU students.

Ghettover It.

So now you be like tryin' to Ghettover? On us??? With a Traydah Joes"?

Then you better learn to say it right, cuz here in the Ghetto we call it Trader Hoes!

Now Ghetto you self on a CitiBike or pull on your He-Man Uggs and hoof it over 14th Street Trader Hoes like the rest of the Ghetto Hoods.

And pick me up some shallots while you're there, they go great with my collard greens and black eyed peas. And don't forget the organic tamari sauce.

Anonymous said...

While chain stores can generally suck and promote blandness - some chains are better than others.
trader joes prices are ridiculously cheap. Compare their prices to any of the other supermarkets in the area. And in an ideal world we would all shop at mom and pop bodegas but really - the prices they offer are typically even worse than the supermarkets. the lines at trader joes are not a reflection of suburban ideals of new new Yorkers...it is simply price. And they are willing to wait in those hellish lines for those savings.

Jill W. said...

I am so sad that a neighborhood resident would actively advocate for a Trader Joes. I see them as another symptom of what's going wrong in this city, along with the multitude of CVS's, Duane Reades, Chase branches, and 7/11's. I also don't trust them--how are they undermining the competition to that degree? One more thing, a reminder, there is a food co-op on 4th street between 2nd and Bowery. It's tiny, but the prices are pretty good on produce and bulk grains/spices. Yes I do work (volunteer) there.

Molly said...

How about advocating for a Trader Joes at the new development on Avenue D and Houston? That's an area that is really starved for quality grocery stores and good produce/meat/fish. With a large retail space that is MUCH closer to completion. I think that between Key Foods, Union Market, and the Trader Joes in Union Sq Avenue A is very well served.

JAZ said...

Wait, Keyfood is 'ghetto'? Is that a new name for Supermarket?

Can't imagine what they must think of Associated.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that location is big enough for a full trader joe's. But here's an idea: how about just a trader joe's wine shop! It'd be big enough for that. This neighborhood is way underserved for affordable wine shops with some selection. Sometimes I suddenly want a bottle of wine at 8 or 8:30 pm, and I don't want to have to walk all the way over to Astor wines to get it. Yes, I know, we have Discovery Wines on B and ABC on avenue c and that newish one on 9th street, but I don't always have 20 bucks (15 minimum) to drop at one of those places. (There's also the awful liquor store at 4th and A, which features dust-covered bottles of vinegar in a similar price range.) I prefer the selection at Astor, but at least TJ's has affordable bottles for everyday.

Anonymous said...

I like Trader Joe's (I shop there), but this building, when completed, is going to result in a substantial increase in population density for that area just on its own. Throw in a TJs and it could really push it over the edge.
Also, rumor that there will be a new Trader Joe's at the Essex Crossing development.

THE NOTORIOUS L. I.B.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. said...

Shopping at Trader Joe's is like being in a third world country waiting for the rice to be air dropped to your private slice of hell. Yes, the food is cheap, but the experience is miserable and humiliating. Have we devolved so much that standing on line for 45 minutes for an 85 cent can of chickpeas - all while some chirpy alterna-teen nearly kills with giant carts of inventory because there is no room - is normal? This is acceptable? It sounds like boot camp for the apocalypse to me.

Jennifer Kellow said...

I have lived here since 1989. Are you KIDDING me with this comment that Key Foods is Ghetto???!!! I am happy with Key Foods and have been shopping there for 20 years. If I need something fancy I stop by Union Market or possibly Whole Foods, but by calling Key Food ghetto (which is is NOT)it's like you are calling us ghetto, meaning people who have lived here a long time and aren't in the over 150,000 a year income bracket. Nic Fit, you aren't "fit" to live in this neighborhood - don't deserve to live here!

uncle Pete said...

TJ's wine shop sounds to be a nice compromise for all involved here. now lets just all settle down and pick someone to write the letter to Ben asking him to make this happen. Nominees???

Nic Fit said...

@Jennifer Kellow I have been here (in the same apartment) as long as you, for what it's worth. So whether or not I "deserve" to live here, I'm rent stabilized, so I'm not going anywhere.

In that time the neighborhood has changed, for better and worse. Key Food has not. If you think the East Village Key Food is so great, just go check out the Park Slope one. Night and day. Not sure why.

Anonymous said...

From their Facebook page:

"Just had a phone interview with Serena Solomon at DNAInfo. This shit's going viral! (ish!)"

"Viral" isn't DNA Info writing about your Facebook Page. They'll write about ANYTHING lol.

So clueless....

Glenn Belverio said...

We have Key Food, Gracefully and that stupid Brooklyn place on Houston and A. That is more than enough grocery. I think the space should be used to provide services to the homeless who are being displaced by the Ace Hotel taking over the Salvation Army on Bowery.

Anonymous said...

I make a special trip to go to trader joes in union square and stand on those long lines. Why? Because its half the price of Key Foods or Union Market. Why do you think it is so popular? They also have tons of organic products that are better for you and the environment and still cheaper. We need more trader joes. This would make me thrilled beyond belief to have one around the corner from my apt but after 9 years I cant even afford to live in this neighborhood anymore and am moving to bushwick this week. I will probably still want to make the trip to trader joes once in a while - avenue a is much closer to the J Train than 3rd avenue so im all for it!

No Good Nick, DJ said...

So glad to read the comments from the working-class warriors on here keeping ABC real, i.e. a food desert. I'm sure all the neighborhood families appreciate your sticking up for their right to pay $3 for a box of frostbitten peas. F'ing paleo-hipsters..

Anonymous said...

To be fair, Trader Joe's treats its staff much better than your usual chain. Employees get health insurance, contributions to a retirement fund, paid time off, and a higher hourly wage (last I heard, starting entry level wage is $12/hr or so, some full-time staff average ca. 40K/yr, which is much higher than other supermarkets). The stores are also closed on holidays, so workers can spend those days with their families. Let's ask the poor folks at KeyFood or 7/11 what benefits they get.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that Key Foods is there and do most of my shopping there, but their produce section does suck. Half the fruit's usually rotten, you can never find a price on anything and when you do it's insultingly high. I wouldn't use the word "ghetto" -- there's a lot of sketchy class and racial baggage in that word -- but it's sure half-assed in places. But on the upside, I hardly notice the vampire smell anymore!

And really, I'm not sure Key could survive another grocery store in the nabe. You've got Whole Foods, Union Market and Gracefully within easy walking distance, the Union Square Trader Joe's a short ride on the 14A away. I worry about that store. Fills an important niche as grocer to the non-affluent side of the neighborhood.

Jill W. said...

I disagree about the wine also. In the last few years we have new locally owned wine shops. In addition to Discover, there is one on 9th near C, and another on C around 7th. Both of these offer wines in the $10-15 range. I realize we don't have a huge say in what comes into these developments, but there's no need to ask for our own neighborhood's demise.

Anonymous said...

Well, TJs or no, that space is sure to go to a big box store. So what'll it be, people? Duane Reade? GAP/Banana Republic? Ooh, maybe an American Apparel or an Urban Outfitters? The NYU kids'd love that. I guess we can at least be thankful that a Wal-Mart is not in the cards.

Anonymous said...

Ask Rosie Mendez because she was confronted many years ago regarding the Ben Shaoul Westbrook takeover and you know what she said- Oh is that still a problem? She has done nothing for our community,ever try calling her office? Out of town, out of town, out of town.

Glenn Belverio said...

Someone clearly does not know what a food desert is. A food desert is an area that is completely dominated by fast-food restaurants and where there is a total absence of grocery stores.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, no food at all in the east village. Nope. None in the grocery stores, the farmers markets, the Whole Foods, the Trader Joe's, the bodegas, the specialty stores or the restaurants. No food in sight! A real desert.

Anonymous said...

Ha, "paleo-hipsters." Good one, but yeah, the East Village might be the least food desert-y place on the planet. I don't even know if we have real food deserts in the outer boroughs like, say, much of Chicago does, where it's nothing but food and liquors for miles and miles...

Anonymous said...

Key Foods is good for toilet paper and such, but I wouldn't buy their non-organic food there.
The three best places for real food are Commodities, Life Thyme, and Whole Foods. Union Market is on the expensive side. Everything I look at there is more expensive than Commodities and LifeThyme.

Anonymous said...

@Jill W.--I know about the local wine shops. I mentioned all of those in my earlier post. Those places have very few wines for $10 to $15. If you're lucky, you might find one sucky bottle of pinot grigio and slink to the register feeling like you're a cheapskate and buying something sub-par because it's the cheapest bottle on offer. But there's a whole world of wines for under $10, many of which are perfectly drinkable. Astor has lots for $7 to $10, and TJ's offers plenty for even less, though you can spend more if you want to. $10 to $15 is not very affordable for a weeknight wine for those of us who aren't trust-funders or bankers.

Cosmo said...

You can find wonderful fresh and affordable produce every week at the Tompkins Square farmers market. Buying there supports local independent farmers.

Key Food is hardly ghetto. Give me a break. They did some major improvements to the store a few years ago (no more dead vampires!). Met Foods on 2nd Ave has a small but very good selection of produce.

And we don't need any more wine stores. There's practically one on every block.

Why not go all the way and bring in Walmart? I hear they have cheap produce and everything else the modern American craves.

Brooklynite said...

Hey - I used to live in the East Village near this area. I loved it. Because I was so close to a Trader Joe's.

Before that, I lived on the Crown Heights edge of Prospect Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn, a place that ACTUALLY has no supermarkets. Instead, I would pay 3x as much at bodegas for my produce and staples. On the other side of that neighborhood, they have some supermarkets that are very dirty - it's ridiculous to call the East Village Key Foods "ghetto" (which is racist, by the way) when the quality of supermarket in the outer boroughs are often much, much worse.

Oh, and if you don't want to walk the scant avenue blocks to Union Square, Trader Joe's will deliver your groceries for you.

Basically, you guys ought to be ashamed.

One more thing: as a broke person, I LOVE Trader Joe's. I don't want more chain stores in Manhattan, but I remember that when I lived in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, I actually emailed them up to ask them to consider PLG. Never heard back, or even from DNA Info.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping for a gigantic "Super-Bong-Supermarket"
Please. 16 isles of glasswork, vapes, and accouterments. Then, when 420 becomes legal; a full service bud-counter.
Duuuuuuuude!

Anonymous said...

I'll always stand behind keeping the East Village from turning into a generic vortex of douchebags, but let's face it New York City culture as we knew it is fuckin' over! This isn't something that's necessarily exclusive to New York either, it's happening internationally. Why? Because for the last 20 to 30 years popular industry has become so hyper-aware of what's "cool", that cool isn't cool anymore. Cool is over! Cool is a marketing tool. That's it! The underground is almost nonexistent and there's really nothing creative coming from the working classes, the people that more or less created 'cool'. They can't afford to live and create in a place like the East Village anymore. And young people, the people that formerly fueled all of the so-called 'cutting edge' movements of the past? When most of your attention is devoted to texting, social media, and luxury tastes it leaves little capacity for anything else.

This brings me to the idea of Trader Joe's on Avenue A. My point of the above rant is that there ain't much you can do anymore. The East Village as we knew it is now a state of mind. It's less and less the physical place it used to be. And no, for the smart asses on the other side of the fence, that doesn't mean going back to getting mugged and putting your life on the line when you walk down the street. It means maintaining the history and 'character' of the area. The same 'character' that's used as a real estate selling point. The same 'character' that ironically gets destroyed when gentrification is complete. Even though I enjoy what I feel are still the real aspects of this neighborhood, there's always something in the back of my mind that considers leaving. Los Angeles preferably. At least the plastic out there doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is. They have Trader Joe's there too, but they're not shoe-horned into what was formerly a residential/mom and pop business neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

The guy running their Facebook page REALLY enjoys seeing his name on the Internet. Stop making it about YOU.

VH McKenzie said...

Am I the only person who shops at FINE FARE?!!! Avenue C and 5th Street?

They recently upgraded their produce section - it's excellent AND cheap.
PLUS free delivery!

And when it comes to wine, again, am I the only one who shops at East Village Wines? 138 First Ave, between St. Marks and 9th Street? Wide selection, wide range of prices, free wine tastings on Fridays AND when you sign up for the free Wine Club, you get a free bottle after every 10 bottles purchased.

I stopped schlepping to Astor Wines eons ago!

Anonymous said...

If Key Food is ghetto, then Trader Joe's is a hipster ghetto.

EV Grieve said...

@ VH

I like Fine Fare and East Village Wines... not to mention Bee Liquors at 225 Avenue B.

Anonymous said...

last year I was called at home for a survey
after being asked a series of questions about grocery stores
I got the caller to admit they were hired by Fairway to do a survey for 10009 area --
seems like they were surveying
if they should move into the neighborhood or not

Anonymous said...

A lot of your posting here are showing your suburban roots. Buying food in the EV is just like a small town in Europe at least it use to be. I often make 3 stops in different stores to get what I need for a few days of cooking. Veggies are good at one place, maybe gets some pirogues to go on 1st ave, fresh fish from another market and a couple of things for that organic market as well. The one stop shopping then but it in your car and then home is never going to happen here. For those hating on Key Food you should have seen it in 1981 when I move to 6th strew and Ave C. It's gotten better and kept up with the times but no market can be everything to everybody.

uncle Pete said...

VH that is great a punch card for vino! I am going to hit that wine store up. This thread really escalated but I am glad I got that gem out it!

Trixie said...

As far as the wine shop goes, it's my understanding that Trader Joe's was granted one license and one license only for wine in NYC and that they will be granted no others. So bring a shopping cart or opt for delivery folks.

bowboy said...

I'd rather have a market of individual butchers, flowerists, bakers, veggies, etc., instead of one big store -- there's always something to complain about with those.

As malls are dying in the suburbs maybe we need a mini-one here, and move the Tompkins Sq. Market indoors. Give the Essex Market some competition before they move into Essex Crossing.

moe said...

As a longtime boozehound I don't get why you need a wine store close by for your last minute cravings. Wine keeps plenty long; buy a nice stash of bottles of whatever you like at a good store at a good price, stick them in the closet, and you are good to go till whenever. When you run low, repeat.

Very different from the needs met by a supermarket, where most everything is perishable and does need to be close at hand for frequent and unanticipated visits.

Anonymous said...

Yeah kid, you lost me at calling Key Food "ghetto." You think that's cute or something? Where are you from that you think that's OK to say?

Anonymous said...

And don't forget the Essex Street Market with a great collection of fresh produce, groceries, bakeries, chocolates, fresh juices, ethnic foods, we ned more places like that, not the national chains.

Anonymous said...

He shot his cause in the foot with the ghetto comment.

Anonymous said...

Hey, no one's mentioned Met Food (now Metropolitan) on 2nd between 6th & 7th. Decent produce and meat, nice people. Or is walking 2 blocks too far to go?

I moved into the neighborhood in 1987 (since we all seem to be comparing crotch size here), and Key Food is WAY better now than it was then. But it was never "ghetto." That just lost the argument right there.

And I agree with Anonymous 2:29. You can stop multiple places to buy what's good and cheap in each one.

Also, I've been to Trader Joes on 14th all of twice. It looked to me like aplce you go when you're a stoned NYU student: all these pre-made snacks and salty, sweet things. Didn't see much great produce.

If I'm gonna splurge I'd rather waste the money at While Foods.

olympiasepiriot said...

Hey, for community food, don't forget joining a CSA...there's at least 2 in the neighborhood...buy really local. And that makes it a whole lot cheaper than a stupermarket.

Strange that no one's mentioned East Village Wines on 1st Avenue between St. Marks and East 9th. Imran is great. [I've had a sip of Trader Joe's wine. It is nasty. No reason to expand its market.]

And then there's the issue of money. It is a chain. Aside from the aesthetic issues or neighborhood issues, you have to realize that a chain has its corporate headquarters elsewhere. The profits go elsewhere. The top brass, the ones who earn the most, live elsewhere. The taxes, if there are any, are paid mostly elsewhere. Smaller, local businesses pay local taxes and circulate their money locally. In the case of Trader Joe's, I believe their parent corporation is Aldi Nord...a german company. That's pretty far away from local.

Eden Bee said...

Wine in a Box market. We want it.We need it. You can fit a lot of boxes of wine in that space. Starting the Facebook page now...

Anonymous said...

@March 25, 2014 at 1:34 PM

I'm hoping for a gigantic "Super-Bong-Supermarket" Duuuuuuuude!

Goddammit, you beat me to this while I was wading through the posts !

EV Grieve said...

@olympiasepiriot

VH and I both mentioned East Village Wines earlier in the comment thread!

shmnyc said...

I know this is supposed to be about Trader Joe's on Avenue A (the prospect of which doesn't bother me a bit), but since Fine Fare was mentioned, I'll just say that this is where I shop almost exclusively (since they stopped trying to take my bag at the door).

Scuba Diva said...

I think the owners of East Village Farm should be invited back; they had everything, even transmission fluid! They were great, and 24 hours; no Trader Joe's is 24 hours.

Much as I like Trader Joe's, I'm not eager to have one so close to home. If they were petitioning for a WholeMart™, however, I'd start a counter-petition to block it.

moe said...

Even if I choose to overlook this brats characterization of KeyFood as "ghetto", hard to figure in any case since the store, shoppers and employees are simply not, how to figure his characterization of another shop as a "Korean" market? That might be accurate to describe a store where mostly Korean goods are sold, but that place was just another small supermarket, the only thing "Korean" about it was the owners, and not even the employees because they were a mixed ethnic bag.

Not to worry, I grew up working the "Jew" store in Coney Island. Of course that was 50 years ago, and even then only the most crude individuals thought to use that appellation openly.

Anonymous said...

Trader Joe's wines are sweet and shite; it's for people who think they are sophisticated without them having any sophistication. It's like a Kardashian trying to be classy.

And why would a white newbie transplant form Connecticut and Midwest go to Fine Fare when it's mostly patronized by minorities. The gentrifiers need to be with their own kind, that's why they shop at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Instead of integrating and assimilating themselves into the neighborhood, they conform to their own whiteness and blandness, and bring their suburban sensibilities with them.

As for East Village Wines, I'll let you in a little secret -- they would open the wine you just purchased (if you're not carrying your own wine opener), if you ask them, if you feel like pre-gaming before going to a bar or dining out or home, or if you can't afford the luxe bars and restaurants that have taken over the EV.

I say start a Kickstarter project for a ghetto biscuit in a hoof filled with wine joint for that spot.

La Sirena said...



Gracias, you made me laugh, love the comments .As someone who is from this island, really sad about the on gowing overcrowding of the EV. take the bus from TJ, union square. and.....

Why not open a cultural space to enhance peoples creativity and knowledge of other cultures on ave A? Wouldn't this be a fun and fantastic miracle !

Jill said...

My advocacy is for a store that sells fresh food not wrapped in plastic. The fruits and veggies at trader joes are awful, expensive and have way too much packaging. Why oh why do we need yet another store that sells frozen and canned foods. It's criminal how hard it is to buy fresh food after the demise of the corner markets. The farmers market is good but what happens when you need an acorn squash on a Tuesday.

I dream of Fairway developing a model of a smaller store where they sell fresh produce, meat, fish and cheese, get the benefit of their lowerish prices from buying in quantity, and leave the packaged foods to Key Food.

Anonymous said...

No matter where you stand on a Trader Joe's opening on Avenue A, describing Key Food as "ghetto" is inappropriate and offensive, and the guy who said it should apologize and right that wrong. Many of the employees are people of color and I don't think they would appreciate their workplace being characterized that way. Also, I shop their regularly and the store has upgraded its produce section. There are organic options and I never have any problem finding fresh vegetables and fruit.

chris flash said...

All of these suggestions about what to do with the space created by the destruction of a neighborhood landmark (the old Hollywood Theater) is moot.

WHO THE FUCK do you think is going to listen to demands for a Trader Joe's or a wine shop or anything else in that commercial space? Does anyone foolishly believe that they give a shit about what the community wants or doesn't want there????

Ben Shoal, with his bottomless pot of funds from Russian and Chinese investors, buys properties and purposely pays too much in order to create artificially high comparable real estate "values' so that he can justify flipping then flip them a few years later at even more exorbitant prices to other investors lured by the hyper-gentrified market created by Shoal and Donald Trump's nephew Jared Cushner (Westminster). Once completed and rented out, 100 Avenue A will be flipped as well. Just watch. (Our SHADOW source advises us that Shaol currently has his eyes on Brooklyn as he divests himself of his LES portfolio, some of which he's already dumped on Cushner.)

This shit could have been easily stopped decades ago, by way of tighter zoning restrictions, landmarking architectural and culturally-significant structures and by imposing a steep "flip tax" when properties are bought and sold within too short a time period.

Instead, the hyper-gentrification we've experienced in our fair city has been encouraged by the failure of our elected "representatives" to act in any meaningful way to protect neighborhoods from over-development and by the ease with which developers get zoning variances and tax breaks from the city that enable them to do whatever they please. And they are doing just that with NOTHING in their way.

Those "reps", from city council members + borough presidents (whose appointed non-elected and therefore unaccountable "community board" members' rubber stamp approvals keep the wheels of hyper-gentrification greased in their districts) will continue to do NOTHING to stop over-development and hyper-gentrification because money talks and they have been bought and paid for several times over by real estate and banking interests.

They're killing our city one parcel at a time....

Anonymous said...

Let me share one more thing about the offensive "ghetto" comment about Key Food...I can't imagine the folks at Trader Joe's would be pleased to hear the guy lobbying to bring them to Avenue A saying something so offensive. If you are trying to charm the management there, you are surely failing, buddy.

Wax said...

I love Trader Joe's, but NO to this. And besides, there's one 3-4 avenues away so what's the point?

And Nic Fit... "ghetto", really? Get your arse out of the East Village.

Anonymous said...

But he's famous! DNA INFO called him! Wow! lol

Giovanni said...

Conscious Uncoupling

It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate from Trader Joe promoter Nic Fit. We have been working hard for the past day or so to convince him to reconsider calling our beloved Key Food "ghetto," and we have come to the conclusion that while we may like having a Trader Joe's on 14th Street, we really don't need another one on Avenue A. We don't accept or appreciate anyone calling Key Food or anything else in our hyper-gentrified neighborhood "so ghetto" We are, however, and always will be an East Village family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been even though we have no idea who Nic Fit really is. We are New Yorkers first and foremost, and we ask for our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship with the East Village privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple from people who throw around such offensive terms as "ghetto" so easily, we will be able to continue to shop at Key Food and other local grocery stores with pride.

Love,
The Residents of the East Village

JAZ said...

Giovanni,

LOL!! I just read that Gwynneth thing so you have me cracking up. I've never seen anyone try harder to pretend her shit doesn't stink than that lady.

Gojira said...

@Anon 2:25 yesterday "maybe gets some pirogues to go on 1st ave". What? There's a place on 1st Avenue where I can buy small Cajun fishing boats? Where?

Pierogis, maybe you mean?

olympiasepiriot said...

EV @ 7:07...I see that now. I think when I wrote that comment the others hadn't made their way onto the post yet. :-( Sorry.

I'd also like to give a shout-out to the C-Town on Avenue C & E. 12th. I shop there for the circular deals for staples. Already have most of my veggies from my CSA.

Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha! Nice one Giovanni!!!!

Also, no one cares what anyone wants there. It's going to go to whomever shells out the most for rent. The End.

Anonymous said...

82 comments so far and the Biscuit Boys aren't involved? A new record!

Phil said...

i am surprised about how powerful a simple facebook fan page can be. We all need to take in the fact that we are influecned by something that isnt physcial

shanaelyse said...

Look, I like a cheap grocery store as much as anyone else. I like some of the food at Trader Joe's. Their burritos and frozen meals are great. One of the reasons I rarely go to TJ's is because I think their trail mix is downright addictive and eating a bag of that stuff in one sitting isn't really in line with my, um, nutritional goals. Another is the line thing--the frenetic energy in there is anxiety-inducing.

I think it's odd that a reason cited for wanting TJ's in the East Village Farms space is their great organic stuff. Maybe I've only ever gone on bad days/times, but the Union Square TJ's seems to be notorious for their shitty produce. (I don't have many kind words for Key Food's produce section, either, although I think they're a fine store overall. I've been patronizing that "ghetto" store for over 15 years, and the recent improvements over the last couple of years are remarkable.) And while we're on the topic of organic and all-natural, check this out--
https://tjallnaturalclassaction.com

Also, while TJ's may treat their employees more fairly than other stores, they won't let their employees unionize. I don't mean this post to be a huge slam on TJ's (see above, I actually like their food), but I just find some of the "why TJ's should be on Avenue A" reasons to be less than compelling.

Other supermarket observations I've gathered over the years:
Fine Fare is okay, but I don't go there much because it's not as close as Key Food. I haven't been to C-Town since they reopened, but I'm sure they're still just as reliable.
The Associated on 14th has pretty good produce, but be careful with their canned/boxed stuff--lots of it is expired. I like the Associated on C better for everything else but produce. However, the 14th Street Associated's crowning achievement really lies in their selection of Passover foods. Last year, I was late to the macaroon game and was defeated by the empty shelves at Key Food and Food Emporium. Lo and behold, I went to Associated, and there were tons of Streit's and Manischewitz goodies.

For healthier food, I like Commodities, but I think Healthfully, though their selection is a little more limited, is more reasonably priced, and the folks who work there are incredibly nice. And while I like the selection at Gracefully, I always feel like I spend too much for too little there.

And lots of love for Imran and the boys at East Village Wines, although I never know whether I should be thrilled or embarrassed each time I earn that free bottle of wine...




Anonymous said...

4 blocks? Really? Where?