The first Wegmans in Manhattan has an opening date of October 18, at which point New Yorkers can shop in the two-story, 87,500-square-foot store that will eventually include a Japanese restaurant, as well as a counter for sushi, Champagne, and oysters.
Wegmans is known for its especially enthusiastic fans: When the Raleigh, North Carolina store opened, around 30,000 people showed up for the opening. The Manhattan location opens at 9 a.m. on its first day and will otherwise be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The store is opening in what had been Astor Place Kmart, and originally Wannamaker’s department store, part of a designated historic district; it shares a building with Meta, which leases office space on several floors, including a roof deck. Updates to the building include new elevators and “cartalators” (escalators for grocery carts).
The location has been a bigger lift than building it from the ground up, as is often the case in opening new Wegmans stores, according to a spokesperson. This shop is bigger than the Brooklyn location, which is just under 75,000 square feet, though it is housed on two floors instead of one.
For customers, the store is laid out in a doughnut shape with the most desirable items toward the center. Customers will walk inside and will see the mock windows overhead and pillars from the original building throughout. They’ll face the entrance to Next Door by Wegmans, which will be a 94-seat Japanese restaurant with a 10-seat sushi bar that flies in items from Toyosu Market in Tokyo — the first Wegmans to do so. There’s also a Champagne and oyster bar in that area. Past the entrance, customers will find the a bakery and counters with prepared foods, like pizza, sushi, noodles, and dumplings.
Until the new location opens, many of the 600 employees who will be staffing the Noho store at 770 Broadway, at East Ninth Street, have been working at Wegmans in the Brooklyn Navy Yard for nearly a year, a spokesperson says.
Wegmans’ foray into the New York market comes as homegrown grocers like Gristedes has downsized, with an Upper East Side location having just closed last month, and high-end Dean & Deluca shuttered, though it had struggled to reopen.
The Brooklyn location of Wegmans opened in 2019; the first one in New Jersey opened in Princeton in 1999. Today, there are Wegmans up to Massachusetts and as far south as Raleigh, North Carolina. Another Wegmans is set to open in Suffolk County. Wegmans is based in Rochester, New York, where the first store opened in 1916.