Report: Gristedes to Have Coffee Counter

After calling Gristedes customer service last month and being passed around like a crowd surfer at a 1982 Black Flag concert, we took a stance of “surprise us” regarding the reopening of the fire ravaged Henry Street locationMcBrooklyn reports today that tipsters inside the store are saying that the new revamped store will feature a coffee counter, but they shed no light on any re-opening date.

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  • AEB

    To repeat, if I may, a post I made last Wednesday:

    “A chat with the Gristedes manager a scant twenty minutes ago has revealed:

    that the delay in renovation had to do with receiving insurance and the necessary work permit, both of which issues have been resolved;

    did NOT have to do (he says) with the recent wage -issue court decision;

    that workers have already been at work in the interior at the back of the store;

    that “30 to 40 guys” would be on the job next week to continue the renovation;

    that there will be ‘a beautiful cafe where the rotisserie [!] used to be';

    that the store should reopen before Christmas.

    Well, I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to sip my latte on the site of the former rotisserie, mother of the conflagration, while staring (pensively) at the Bounty Basic
    (‘Cleans Up! Holds Up!’)….”


  • Teddie Boy Eddie

    Crowd surfing wasn’t all that popular back then. Now, circle marching, on the other hand, was all the rage!

  • Beavis

    Broke my nose in the mosh pit of a Decendents show back in ’86. The good old days.

    Ah, California post-punk.

  • Hank75

    Also heard from the Manager that they are contemplating a salad bar, plus there will be more retail space then before allowing for wider aisles. However no comment on if they will still sell spoiled produce or expired milk

  • Luke C

    Instead of expanding their offerings, why don’t they focus on getting the basics right? Like consistent pricing, stocking and cleaning. I wouldn’t touch a salad bar at Grosstede’s and as for a coffee bar…meh.

  • Claude Scales

    Speaking of the Descendents, maybe Gristede’s can get Milo to appear at the opening of their new coffee counter and sing this.

  • Claude Scales

    Indeed, perhaps Gristede’s might consider making this their theme song.

  • Teddie Boy Eddie

    Did you know that Milo is now a senior level researcher at DuPont studying RNA interference in plants? Such a smart lad.

    And I have still have my Descendents “Bonus Cup” from their ’86 tour.

  • Curmudgeon

    Agree with Luke C above. They have to get the simple stuff right first. A clean non-smelly store, a POLITE staff that pays attention and actually says “thank you” and more realistic prices would be a good start.

    If you merely replace the store and its contents and do nothing to bring the staff “up to snuff”, well don’t expect people to beat the doors down to get in. We are now used to shopping at other locations and a rude staff and dirty store will continue to keep us away.

    The fact that the store does not even have the decency to post a sign and tell its customers when it will re-open does not bode well for the future.

  • nabeguy

    Only the truly valved customers are privy to the opening info.

  • T.K. Small

    The return of Gristedes cannot come soon enough for me. Recently I have noticed an increase of angry customers at Key Food on Montague Street. Over dinner we were speculating that disgruntled patrons of Gristedes were making an unwelcome trip another four blocks or so to get their groceries and taking it out on everyone at Key Food.

  • AEB

    A Day in the Life of a Key Food checkout person…well, the amount of time it took her to handle the transaction directly in front of me as I waited…and waited…and waited.

    And as I did, I realized that she was being asked to do far too much, considering the number of customers waiting to pay for their groceries.

    My checkout person had to deal with a guy who had bought what amounted to four bags of groceries, which he wanted delivered.

    So the transaction involved:

    ringing everything up and charging the transaction

    packing everything in plastic bags, some of which required inserting a paper liner

    getting delivery labels–four in this case–which the guy had to fill out, and which she then had to attach, one to each bag

    transferring all the bags to another area for delivery.

    The whole opertion took fifteen minutes.

    There has to be a better way. No wonder everyone in Key Food, on both sides of the register, is so angry.

  • Nancy

    Wait, damn…what happend to Stop and Shop coming!!!! I don’t want Gristedes!

  • Monty

    I will make the trek to TJ’s thank you very much. I would sooner see another pet store take over that space than shop at that Gristedes.

  • JGM

    Went to TJ’s on 14th over the weekend….there was a long line just to get into the place. First time I had seen it that busy. Their wine store was not as bad (one could walk into the store), but there was a line snaking through all the aisles. It will be interesting to see how crowded the new store remains after the opening. Given such spectacular competition from the likes of Key Food and Grosstedes, I am sure we can expect the same.

  • AliG

    Oh, Good God, do we really need the angry staff at Gristedes handling hot coffee? And a salad bar?? Nothing like a little green with my typhoid, thank you very much.

  • Alex

    I don’t understand why everyone hates Key Foods so much. Decent selection, decent prices–what more can you ask of a neighborhood grocery store?

  • my2cents

    Can i just say how much I love the palm trees around the Key foods at atlantic avenue? I am not being sarcastic. I think they are awesome! It adds such a tropical feel to the drab brick building and makes the store a lot more inviting in the summer. Gristedes should take note! Also, I would like to think they could remodel the interior to be more welcoming and modern than before. if they put in a new drop ceiling with flourescent lights i am going to cry. If it could look more like Forager’s without the high prices, that’d be great. But it is probably too much to ask of Gristedes. They don’t seem to get “atmosphere,” from the stores I have been to. The “coffee shop” gives me a glimmer of hope though.

  • clam chowder

    We bivalved customers are eagerly awaiting the return of this pearl of a dump.

  • T.K. Small

    Alex, I like Key Food on Montague Street very much. What I do not appreciate are the uncivilized Gristedes customers invading my territory!

  • bornhere

    Are we all talking about the same Montague Street Key Food? While I agree that, sometimes, it’s not the go-to place for top-of-the-line produce, it’s reasonably clean, has almost everything I need/want (no, it’s not a place for fish or really interesting meats, but, hey — there are good places for those things), and I think I actually like the employees. No one has ever been rude to me, the delivery guys are great, and I’m not looking for the social interaction of the week when I’m there. (Does anyone remember Semple’s on Fulton Street from decades ago, with the owners dressed in shirts/ties/vests, and the fruits individually wrapped? They were like something out of a Frank Capra movie. But that was then :)

  • No One Of Consequence

    I can’t stand when people get delivery from Key Food.
    There should be a dedicated line so they have to wait for each other and not waste everyone else’s time.

    I always figured that you should only buy at the grocery store what you can carry home yourself. So use the basket, not the cart (or get a wheeled cart of your own).

    Be a good hunter/gatherer (gatherer at least) and carry your own vittles.

  • bornhere

    No One — I don’t want to fight, but what’s up with you? Should I stop at Key Food every night after work? Or, if I need the standard gallon of milk, 2 half gallons of juice, 5 pounds of potatoes, soda, detergent, etc, etc, should I strap it to my back and crawl home? And your argument about a wheeled cart seems specious: it still takes the same amount of bagging time. And truly good hunters and gatherers (do you beat your dirty clothing against rocks to get them clean?) don’t really “hunt” and “gather” at supermarkets.

  • E G

    Re: the Key Food on Atlantic, I concur. The trees/plants on the outside are a definite improvement! Inside things have changed for the better as well- new floors, new layout, most importantly wider, more varied inventory. Still many (not all) of the employee’s give the impression of being not too far from the penitentiary, either coming or going.

    Nonetheless, good effort! Competition is a good thing!

  • No One Of Consequence

    ok, so you’re not buying for just yourself. Thanks for the correction.
    The problem I have with waiting for delivery vs carry-out is that delivery customers just walk away while the cashier bags their items at a leisurely pace, tying up a checkout line.
    Having a cart of your own means you’re there to either help bag or be an impetus for the cashier to bag at a “reasonable” speed. And you’re there to share the wait.
    No, but I do my own laundry (in the machine).
    What I meant with the gatherer comment is that humans rose in the evolutionary hierarchy (if you will) by being self-reliant, not by being waited on hand and foot at every opportunity.

  • BKBS

    With the opening of Fairway in Red Hook and Whole Foods in Tribeca, I have gotten to the point that I need to do minimal shopping in the neighborhood. An occasional stop at Garden of Eden or Key Food (yes, I preferred Gristede’s, because it was closer) for produce, but otherwise, the extra time it takes to get to the other places is worth it, and their prices aren’t appreciably higher than the local stores. And both places are just so much more pleasant than either Gristede’s or Whole Foods.

  • weegee

    We may yet see a revival of a classic joke, with a unique twist.

    “Barista, what’s this roach doing in my latte?”

    “Why, the backstroke, of course!”


  • Not-super markets

    Along the lines of what BKBS said: I’m now in the habit of going to Borough Hall green market for produce, Garden of Eden, Peas n Pickles or Perelandra for odds and ends, and Whole Food/Fairway/Trader Joe when I can. (If I had a car it would be Fairway hands down.) CVS for toilet paper, trash bags and such. So Gristedes would be welcomed if it’s 100 times improved, but otherwise I can do without.

  • senor salsa

    Personally…I’ll take anything over a giant, empty space with paper on the windows. So sadly NYC 70s.

    I’m offering my support and optimism to a new Gristedes. May it be everything we could wish for…

  • Obamanator

    I also spoke with the manager, who is currently helping at the pharmacy (with the Russian pharmacist who refuses to acknowledge when I address him in Russian…no, it’s not my pronouciation, I got a B+ in Russian)

    I mentioned that the checkout staff, except for the nice Hispanic lady (Lydia) often do not utter a sound or make eye contact, which has a depressing and off putting effect (they may utter sounds at each other, however). He agreed that is an issue to be addressed (a bit late in the game).

    There may be self check out……….work was actually occurring in the back and I think they should be finished around the time that the Freedom Tower is up, in 2013, or maybe after the development of the warp drive in 2060.