Nabe’s Reaction to Re-Opened Gristedes

mcbrooklyn photo

mcbrooklyn photo

BHB Community members are speaking out on the new “improved” Gristedes at 101 Clark Street and so are some Brooklyn Heights based bloggers.

Vittles Vamp is psyched about the new British food section:

It might not be a Whole Foods, but damn if this isn’t a major improvement. We’re talking about a produce section that doesn’t look like a long-forgotten dark alley of despair, cheeses and deli fare aplenty and even a section devoted to British comestibles (pictured above). I have no idea if I’ll ever have a yen for Branston Pickle or Salad Cream, but it’s nice to know it’s easily obtained, if ever the situation calls.

McBrooklyn points out many of the new additions to the store: fresh baked items, new freezer unit and organic produce… and of course the return of Lydia.

But everyone seems to be talking about the high prices.  Has the Grosstedes of old given way to Gougestedes

We decided to do an informal price check comparing some items from the circular handed out at the Gristedes Grand Re-Opening and prices at Fresh Direct.  Feel free to add your price finds from other area stores below in comments.

Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce (16 oz)

Gristedes 2 for $3

Fresh Direct  3 for $3.75 or $1.39 each

Domino Sugar (5lb bag)

Gristedes $2.99

Fresh Direct $3.99

Evian Water (1.5 liter)

Gristedes 2 for $3

Fresh Direct $2.09 each

Chock Full o’ Nuts Coffee (12-13oz cans)

Gristedes 2 for $5

Fresh Direct $4.19

Kraft American Singles (12 oz)

Gristedes $3.99

Fresh Direct $4.99

Add in Fresh Direct’s delivery charge,  and it looks like Gristedes has them beat on price via most of the specials good until 11/27.

We’d like to make Price Watch a regular feature, if you’d like to be a BHB Price Watcher email us at webmaster AT brooklynheightsblog DOT com.

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  • Anonymous

    How about comparing prices to local deli’s or keyfood, e.g.:

    Small bottle of coke (20oz): 2.19 at Gristedes plus deposit vs. 1.5 or 1.75 at the deli.

    Go to peas and pickles and check the beer: 12.49 for a Sierra Nevada six pack at Gristedes. Its cheaper at the deli.

    Brown cow yogurt at Gristedes 1.39 vs. 0.99 at whole foods or 1.09 at Perelandra. The later two have frequently sales on that item as well.

    Butter: 4 1/4 pd bars: Gristede 5.49, Keyfood 2 for 5.

    Tropicana Orange Juice 1/2 Gallon: Gristedes 4.59, Fresh Direct 3.69, Keyfood 2 for 6.

    If you compare Gristedes against Dean and Delucca I am sure Gristede’s does better, against the rest: No way…

  • vspingola

    I commented on an ealier post: Expect the produce to be bad and nothing.. not even fire will kill a cockroach.
    On that note I went tonight to give them a chance. Walking in I was impressed. It was the kind of grocery story you see in Texas. They even had SAMPLES!!! (and a GREAT BIG PANDA!!!!)
    As I wandered through though I arrived at the old Gristedes when I turned into frozen foods. My produce section theory proved to be correct. Shriveled peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Disappointment.
    At check out they were unfriendly and when I had a question I was ignored.
    So much for change Gristedes. Sorry about your luck. and mine.

  • Nancy

    vspignola: I had a totally different experience tonight. the produce looked fresh and the tangerines were only $2.99 for a bag. They were good. The Floridas Natural OJ is 2 for 6 on sale, like Tropicana is on sale. The Dannon yogurt is 4 for 3 regular price. That is cheaper than KeyFood. I am loving gthe kosher deli section, and the lox is better than the Fairway lox I got last week. I am serious!! And I really disagree about the cashiers. They were horrible before the fire, (except for Lydia) now they smile say hello and say have a great night. Even the manager said, hope you enjoyed shopping here, please come again.
    With the crappy way they are treating Mohammed, I have no problem paying a little extra sometimes to shop at Gristede’s.

  • vspingola

    i wish I could say the produce was good. But did you look at it? It was going bad on the shelves! So disappointing.

    To be clear about my check out experience the price was wrong on one of the items I was buying. I said “Excuse me” to the clerk three times. After the last time she muttered “I heard you the first time”. Oh.. then why didn’t you answer… the first time?
    I’m just not impressed. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  • Dan

    Very disappointed… Better than the old Gristedes, but far below expectations. And way too expensive.

    – Honey Nut Cheerios, medium box – $6.50. At Fairway, it’s under $5.00
    – No organic ultrapasteurized milk (Fairway has at least 3 options).
    – Kosher selection very limited (no basics, like chicken breasts)
    – Cascadian Farms chocolate chip granola bars – over $6.00. At Fairway, it’s usually 3 boxes for $10.00.

    I expected prices to be a lot lower at the “Grand Re-Opening” just to get us sucked in. But it’s back to trekking to Fairway…

  • Sally

    We should compare prices with Peas & Pickles as well as Key Food, because these are our other options. Fresh Direct isn’t much of a standard (but their roast chicken is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!)

  • Andrew

    It looks much nicer than it used to, but the Gristedes’ prices are noticeably higher than Key Food. Epic Fail.

  • bklnman

    look. the only reason they made any improvements was because IT BURNED DOWN. Not because they CARE. We won’t have to wait long for the deterioration from a C- to a severe F. Walk to trader joes and take a car service back.

  • AEB

    Prices are unconscionable.

    An emblematic difference for me is Fancy Feast cat food. At G., it’s $.89 a tin; at the new pet store on Clark, not even a block away, it’s $.65 per.

    Why pay top dollar for everyday groceries? Doing so not only makes one’s purse unnecessarily lighter but makes one feel…used.

  • Heights Neighbor

    I was actually pleasantly surprised…aside from the prices. I thought the produce was wonderful. Have to say I’ll probably shop there at least for now for the convenience, selection and cleanliness…as well as timeliness. I went to Trader Joe’s last Saturday afternoon and left with nothing due to lack of selection and after approaching the line that stretched fully around the entire store… had to be over 50 people.

  • In the Heights

    No way does Gristede’s have Fresh Direct beat! They might have some specials for the opening, but just wait, the prices will go back up. If you do the FD unlimited delivery for $99/6 months and have more than 1 delivery a week, it is under $4 a delivery. FD’s prices are much less than Key Food. I’ve done the same shopping at both and key food is 20% higher, and you cannot compare the produce at all. FD’s is so much better, but in the odd case there is a problem, they credit you right away AND extend the unlimited delivery by a week. There have been issues over the years, but the customer service is outstanding! They always take responsibility for problems and the people are very nice to deal with. The delivery people are generally very nice and polite too. All of the stores in the nabe have terrible service. I feel very sorry for the Key Food employees with what they are going through, but I have always found the check out people in the store to be awful. I always go with the “kill ’em with kindness” mentality, but I never even get a thank you.

  • Aisle 9 Shopper

    Nancy, may I just say something? Gristedes received a 1-star ranking from Yelp this year. Many whom I have spoken with in Brooklyn Heights have tried to convince me that the 1-star stands for Number 1. I don’t believe them. 1-star is 1-star. Sure the world is unfair and rankings are imperfect. But 1 star? Hello?

  • BKBS

    Forget the multiple instances of eggs delivered broken and produce delivered half-rotten; forget the prices. I can’t use Fresh Direct because of the noise pollution it creates with its idling trucks; the air pollution it creates with its idling trucks; and the utter waste it creates with its use of cardboard boxes with one or two items in them.

  • steven424

    To my wife and I, the jury is still out on the new Gristedes. We stopped in on Sunday and cruised the isles. We were impressed with the layout, the selection, and the *apparent* freshness of the produce.

    However… As noted by a number of writers, their prices seem to be even more of an issue than ever. Before the fire we were complacent and felt it wasn’t worth our time or trouble to walk to Montague Street. But since the fire, we’ve come to appreciate Fresh Direct, and our strolls to Key Foods and back are a new-found source of shared enjoyment in our hectic week.

    I’m all for neighborhood loyalty, but I also expect to be treated fairly by the merchants who expect me to remain loyal. If Gristedes chooses to go back to its pre-fire hubris of thinking it is the only market in the north Heights, then to us it will become just a convenience store, good for a late-night quart of milk or pint of ice cream, and nothing more.

  • In the Heights

    Fresh Direct has made many changes to be more environmentally conscious. They no longer are using styrofoam and have cut down on the number of boxes used. As for the trucks, I think 1 truck making multiple deliveries is better than those same shoppers all driving to Fairway.

  • nicky215

    PRICES are too high. compare them to trader joes

  • Sally

    Fresh Direct might be good for couples, but as a single gal who eats out for most of her meals, I buy $50 of groceries a week at most. Also, I don’t have the forethought to be shopping Fresh Direct. I’m gonna go see if the new Gristedes is open right now and if so, check it out.

    Anyway, I think Peas & Pickles is getting the shaft in this thread. Their ethnic food is cheaper than Key Food. Really it’s true. Their pineapple slices are the bomb — much fresher than the old Gristedes by far. Sure I buy my lamb chops and frozen veggies at Key, but for late night soy milk and Havarti cheese, Peas & Pickles is my stop.

    I think price check should be a regular feature on this blog.

    ps. Taking a town car home from Trader Joes to save $???

  • Lou

    I went to Gristede’s yesterday. I still can’t believe where they get off with their pricing. I bought some of those flat pretzel chips. $4.29 for a bag at Gristedes, $2.29 at Peas n Pickles. Candy Canes listed for $1.50 rang up as $1.99. I didn’t catch it until I was home. Their prices for salsa are so high it’s laughable. It’s like $8 for a jar that costs $4.99 elsewhere. I seriously hate that place AGAIN. Trader Joes is great price wise but you have to weather those lines and if you at the wrong time it looks like a soviet food shortage hit the place.

    I am glad I have a car so I can zip to Fairway.

    While I think Peas and Pickles did some price gouging when Gristede’s was closed they seem to have come out of that mode now that its open again. Although I am not crazy about the new people they have behind the counter. Somehow the new PnP crew comes off verrrrrry creepy sometimes.

  • Hick Street

    Personally I advise skepticism and caution. Yeah, it’s clean and new — now. But it’s the same-o management and staff, and some of that staff have already backslid into their surly old ways. The new produce section is nearly as underwhelming as the old one was. And some of the prices are outrageous. Let’s see how it is in 3 months. My skepticism says it’ll sink back to its old stinky, wilted, lazy, chaotic ways. I was never a fan and basically always used it just for things like trash bags, paper towels and frozen fish fingers. Grocery shopping in the north Heights is still a chore.

    Meanwhile, waddup with all the P&P haters, yo? I’ve lived here 7 years and always found the staff friendly and nice, including the current bunch.

  • Crestfallen

    I’m apoplectic in response to the prices at the ‘new’ Gristedes. I’ve been in the new store twice since it’s grand re-opening and haven’t mustered the courage to actually buy anything because the prices are absurdly high. What planet are these guys on? These are Manhattan prices with a 100% premium!
    Here’s just a sample:
    Haagen Dazs pint: 5.19 vs. 4.29 at Key Food on Montague
    Ciao Bella pint: 6.29 vs. 3.50 at Key Food
    DeCecco pasta: 3.99 vs. 1.95 at Sahadi’s on Atlantic
    Tropicana OJ 64 oz: 4.59 vs. 3.00 at Key Food
    Hero jams from Switzerland: 7.99 vs. 2.50 at Key Food
    Garden of Eatin’ chips: 4.99 vs. 2.95 at Sahadis
    and for the piece de resistance…$9.35 for a deli hero !!!

    I don’t know if they are counting on Euro-rich foreign students living across the street in the St. George who don’t shop for price to make up for all the locals who won’t stomach these prices, but I can’t see how they will survive…these prices are just unrealistic. That walk to Montague St. just got shorter for me…