Brooklyn Heights Man Has Had It With Henry Street Gristedes

Today, BHB was pinged by Twitter user Jeremy Greenfield. He’s fed up with the Henry Street (technically 101 Clark Street) Gristedes. Heck, who isn’t?

What we’ve found over the years of cultivating a hate-on for the place is that the staff is dedicated and hard working but the ownership is perfectly content squeezing every possible nickel out of Brooklyn Heights residents. Because, capitalism. Heck, the dude who owns the chain is still trying to sell bottles of water from his failed mayoral campaign. For two bucks more than at his other stores. (Note that when we compared them to Fresh Direct, we were surprised.)

And folks, FIRE COULDN’T DRIVE THEM AWAY. But what do you think? And is lining up at Trader Joe’s like it’s Soviet Russia really a better bet?

Comment away!

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  • SkillSets

    And this Cats guy just buy the Daily News? Rats.

  • ShinyNewHandle

    The secret little hidden pharmacy is the closest to me. (The flu shots are to die for!)

  • Sen. Bob Forehead

    Really? That place is like Dean & Deluca compared to the Atlantic Ave. Key Foods. I make the hump to that part of the nabe when I want to go to a “nice” store.

  • miriamcb

    After years of going there and elsewhere in the neighborhood, I still prefer a combo of Gristedes, FD and Garden of Eden. Key Foods on Montague has a ridiculous manager, Key Foods on Atlantic seems to always be unloading pallets in the store making it unwalkable (plus the produce is never that great), TJ’s is way too busy during peak times and Garden of Eden doesn’t have all the staples.

    I know that Gristedes is priced higher than everywhere else in the neighborhood for a lot of things (although sometimes you’d be surprised…). I asked Lefty and he thought they were 2nd or 3rd most expensive in the city behind stores on the UES.

    My daughter and I go in there almost every single day to grab one thing or another. The staff are friendly to us (we are friendly back) and Lefty is a very personable manager (as are some others) – they’ve recently had to hire others who could stand to smile a little more. We’ve even mentioned that some things have been out that we’d like (natural apple sauce pouches) and were told they’d order them that day to be in the next day. They did and we went and bought them. It’s the only store, at least to me, that comes close to feeling like your neighborhood grocer.

  • AEB

    To shop there is pure masochism. It’s saying, “Cheat me–and while you’re at it, do it again.” It would make more sense simply to throw one’s money into the street–at least one wouldn’t be lining the pockets of the cynically exploitative.

  • johnny cakes

    He’s Republican, it’s his right.

  • Heights Observer

    I couldn’t believe when I saw that they were selling (and still are) Cats’ old freebie bottles of campaign water. Yikes! That stuff has to be real old now and to sell it seems real low.

    The staff tries really hard, but the prices are just so outrageous that I only shop there for the one or two items that can’t be found elsewhere. When an item there costs a dollar or more than Key Food or another store and you can save ten dollars in one shopping trip, you have to be pretty rich or lazy to keep shopping there.

  • DIBS

    Unfortunately that is the situation in BH; that one has to go to multiple stores to find everything you want. And I usually got all our fruits and veggies at what used to be Peas and Pickles

  • Fritz

    Key Food. It’s cheaper. Trader Joe’s is non union.

  • Shorty

    If Fairways takes over, I will thank the heavens!

  • ujh

    Have you shopped at Fairways lately? Barely any bargains since remodeling, and by the time you travel there and add your bus fare (jus raised), you can buy your groceries in BH.

  • ujh

    Has anyone considered that the rent charged by the building owners may play a role in price structure?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I heard that a study was conducted a while back in which it was concluded that Gristedes was overall the most expensive grocery store in New York City, or the metro area (sorry, I don’t have the link handy and I’m too lazy to search), including Fresh Direct and Amazon.

    If that’s true it eliminates the individual store rents as a variable.

    I did notice first hand, however, that Gristedes has a significant markup on beer (as much as 50% higher than Key Foods), which I attribute to their “captive audience” in the dorms across the street. Who knows what other items this might apply to…

    I also want to mention that we shouldn’t be too quick to complain about having to shop around in the neighborhood for different things. Having everything we need in one store necessarily means edging closer to the big box model, and I think it’s fair to assume most of our neighbors would not be okay with that.

  • Socioqueen

    Please for the Love of God and the Galaxy bring us a Trader Joe’s this side of Montague! at least they don’t have a friggin g-d pharmacy for crying out loud.

  • Frenchbull

    the north heights is screwed-gristedes is bad news

  • Jorale-man

    The trick is to go to Trader Joe’s at odd hours: I was there this morning (a Saturday) at 8:15 am and there was barely a line. But don’t even bother on a weekend afternoon or many evenings.

    I will say that Gristedes feels a lot cleaner to me than the Key Foods stores, and it’s less claustrophobic. Now if only it had Key Foods’ prices.

  • ClaudeScales

    The layout of Gristede’s reminds me of the Hampton Court Maze.

  • Concerned Heightser

    FYI, Fresh Direct is also capitalism. Because, consistency!

  • Teresa

    I do most of my local shopping at what used to be Peas and Pickles, heavily supplemented by Sahadi’s, the terrific greengrocer next door to it, and the farmer’s market, with occasional stops at Trader Joe’s or Fairway.

    I have found that there are a few things that are less expensive at Gristede’s — for a while, Chobani Greek yogurt there was cheaper than other places.

  • Henry North

    Absolute worst supermarket in the area. I live on the block and never shop there – every time I’ve gone in, I’ve felt cheated. Aside from the bats**t crazy prices, their produce is consistently spoiled and there’s often a smell of something rotting in there. All-in-one (FKA Peas and Pickles) is a much better store, and cheaper too.

  • Henry North

    And if you walk down to City Chemist you’ll save yourself approximately 20-50% and be treated like a human being. Even CVS is better.

  • ShinyNewHandle

    I’ve bought basics at both City Chemist and CVS. I’m happy with the non-OTC service & prices at the Gristedes Pharmacy, and like the people there. And it is closest to me, which counts.

  • regularmike

    Yes, Trader Joe’s is a better bet. That line moves insanely fast.

  • Brandon

    Trader Joe’s ownership is perfectly content helping every Brooklyn Heights resident save their nickels. Because, capitalism.

  • DIBS

    And you obviously are a Democrsat and think you should get everything for free.

  • Mary

    I’m with Teresa and Miriam on this – I use each store for what it does best. Remember, kids, one stop shopping is not the urban way. Re: Gristede’s – be watchful at the register that the shelf price matches what’s rung up.

  • Mini_Cooper

    So walk a little (good exercise) and get your shots at Rite-Aid. Brand new, sparkling clean and friendly. Friendly staff too.

  • Mini_Cooper

    So walk a little. Come on… it’s only a few blocks.

  • ShinyNewHandle

    I love walking. I walked back from the West Village yesterday. (Clots of tourists slowed me on the bridge.)

    So, did you get your flu shot this year, Mr. Mini_Cooper?

  • Mini_Cooper

    Me too (love walking).When i worked in lower Manhattan, I walked both directions every single work day for 6 years. No, I’ve never gotten a flu shot. And (knock wood) I’ve never had the flu (except once waaaaaaaaaay back when I was 10). My doctor told me I need not get the injection and I agree. And, Shiny, I’m Ms. Mini_Cooper. :)