MANHATTAN (PIX11) — New Yorkers love a grand opening, and this one has more than just groceries. A family-owned chain based in Rochester is staking a claim in Manhattan.
Wegmans has 110 locations in New York, New Jersey and across the Northeast. In 2019, the company opened its first location in New York City at the Navy Yard in Brooklyn.
Neighbors and potential customers said they have become accustomed to the evolution of the neighborhood.
Wegmans’ Astor Place location fills the vacancy left by KMart. The building was originally home to Wanamaker’s Department Store 100 years ago.
The Astor Place store has two levels.
Hot and prepared foods are on the ground level. The market’s food hall design is unique to the store.
Produce, fruits and vegetables await customers at the lower level off the escalator. Isles and refrigerated cases are filled with products. Local items from New York City will also be stocked.
Kyle Butta started with the company when he was 17 and has worked up to assistant manager.
He said the family-style approach extends to customers with fresh, organic foods and community involvement with cookouts and local school events.
“Make smart food decisions for long-term benefits. The main goal is to let the consumer know we’re not just here to sell groceries. We are here to uplift the community,” he said.
They’re still building some of the shelves. The fresh food arrives in the next few days. A fresh fish section features whole fish flown in from Japan multiple times a week.
“Go back 30 years, the neighborhood was gritty. It changes, but it doesn’t change that much. It’s evolution,” said Chris.
Wegmans at Astor Place opens Wednesday at 9 a.m.