Deeply beloved mid-Atlantic grocery store chain Wegmans has just announced that it will open its very first New York City outpost in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This is huge news not just for anyone who has spent time in a suburb blessed with a Wegmans, but also for Brooklyn, for New York City, and for anyone who loves free samples.
According to the Times, the Rochester-based grocery store won the bid over three other (unnamed) grocery stores to open in the shopping center development replacing the Navy Yard's dilapidated Admiral's Row. It won partly for being affordable – which is something residents of the nearby housing projects have long been promised – and partly for promising to hire locally. On top of that, it also promised to create twice as many full-time jobs and many more part-time jobs than any of the stores it was up against, mostly because it needs more staff to keep that bounteous prepared food section up and running. Probably doesn't hurt that both Consumer Reports and the Food Network have long deemed Wegmans the best grocery store in the country.
New York's one and only Wegmans will be smaller than your average suburban Wegmans – 25 percent smaller, to be exact, than any other. But as the Times points out, at 74,000 square feet, it will still be about 20,000 square feet larger than either the Red Hook Fairway or the Gowanus whole foods.
But now, Wegmaniacs, for the bad news: your dream of a New York Wegmans won't come true until 2017. Until then, the store is still a trip to the suburbs away.