Trader Joe’s looks to open UES store in former Food Emporium space under Queensboro Bridge

Posted On Tue, February 18, 2020 By

Posted On Tue, February 18, 2020 By In City Living, Upper East Side

Photo by missvancamp on Flickr

Trader Joe’s footprint in New York City is growing again. The popular grocery chain will likely open a new store on the Upper East Side in a space beneath the Queensboro Bridge. Formerly occupied by Food Emporium, the space features a 5,000-square-foot Guastavino-tiled arcade and was landmarked by the city in 1974 as part of the bridge’s designation. Last month, Trader Joe’s opened a new location in the East Village, its 10th store in the city, with possible plans to move to a condo tower in Long Island City.


Map data © 2020 Google

The store’s application was approved last week by Community Board 8’s landmark committee, as Patch first reported, and will head next to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. During the committee meeting last Monday, store representatives said they hope to open the store “as soon as possible,” according to Patch.

While the Queensboro Bridge and the space below were designated by the LPC in 1974, the interiors were not designated, requiring any alternations to be approved by the commission. The application includes replacing infill at arched openings, installing signage, and altering the vaulted space below the bridge, according to the LPC.

The space, known as Bridgemarket, operated as a year-round produce marketplace when the bridge first opened in the early 20th century. As 6sqft previously noted, it closed during the depression and was later used as storage. Food Emporium, which first opened in 1999 following a major renovation of the space, closed its doors in 2015. The craft store Michael’s had plans to open a store at the space in 2017, but the plan never materialized.

The LPC will review Trader Joe’s application on February 25, according to a public hearings calendar.

[Via Patch]

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Neighborhoods : Upper East Side

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