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Whole Foods Bowery

So just came back from an hour perusing the new Whole Foods...and there were TONS of samples! Tried almond croissant, maple sausage, potato latke, granola, sharp cheddar, manchego, gouda, avocado roll...

The salad bar is pretty similar to Union Square, but a bit larger - 4 bars instead of 3. And there is a separate station with dolmadakia, hummus, olives, etc. There is also a chili station, a french fry station with lots of different sauces available, a truffle station, ice cream from il laboratorio...the list goes on. The Fromagerie is pretty impressive...there is an area where you can blend cheese with dried fruits or nuts of your choice..and of course there is aging room complete with waterfall.

Anyway I am thrilled with the glorious 71,000 sq ft - particularly since i've lived in the barren wasteland of Chrystie st for a year now and have never found a suitable grocery!

Also...line system is automated like the new system in union square - moved v quickly tonight but it was not particularly crowded at 7 pm.

what do others think of the nw WF?

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  1. Great review!! I'm so excited about the new location...my boyfriend lives in the nabe. Can't wait to go check it out!!! :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: LFeinberg

      Thx for the great review !
      As a resident of the LES the supermarket drought is finally over! We finally made it to the big time.

    2. It's gorgeous and I'm stunned by just how large it is. I'm a little concerned about all of those large windows -- they just scream "Break me!" or "Tag me!"

      I'm also glad that it's going to be open until 11pm each night. (At least that's what the sign said a few nights ago; their web site contradicts this.)

      1. I've been twice in 12 hours. Last night it was great, but with a 3 1/2 year old in tow a little hairy. Could have fed him dinner with the samples though! The sharp cheddar was great, and the gorgonzola was very mellow and creamy, like a Torta del Casar.
        Went there for coffee this a.m.; sat in the sun unmolested for an upwards of an hour. Um, then it was time to go to work, and I could have spent an hour there. Talked up Regine in the Whole Body and she gave me Dr.Hauschka lotion/ day cream samples.
        It's a freakin' city! We joined the Y downstairs so it's giong to be like a satellite apt.! Hopefully it won't become "Whole Wallet."

        1. Just came back and WOW is the word of the day. The pomme frites bar and the Il Laboratorio gelato bar are very nice additions - the place is huge - and the salad and sandwich bars are great. I work in this neighborhood so I see my lunch life totally enriched by Whole Foods finally opening. There is a Sushi restaurant on the second floor.

          1. I went there on opening morning. I'm floored with the vastness of this place. Also in the second floor besides the Japanese restaurant, there is also Italian food down the room. The gelato selections are way better than the Union Square location.

            Here's my post about it:
            http://thewanderingeater.wordpress.co...

            Tina

            1 Reply
            1. re: chocokitty

              Just got back. Place is huge. Lotsa thought went into the layout. Seems to guide you along. Few rough edges. Need to train help bit better

            2. I went to the for-charity pre-opening party on Tuesday night and was similarly impressed. For the party, there were also vendors from local restaurants (Kuma Inn, Frankie's on Clinton, etc.) making samples of their wares. Thought this was a nice sign of the store trying to reach out to the neighborhood. Candle Cafe/79 (from the UES) was also present with some of its vegan desserts, which will be sold in the store.

              I'm hoping that with the enormous size -- including aisles that actually allow for more than one cart at one time (unlike Union Square) -- this WF might actually be able to accomodate crowds.

              1. *sigh*...i suppose i'll wander into it...

                but it would have to be pretty spectacular to compensate for the disgusting building that it sits in, which i think is one of nastiest additions to downtown NYC, like the architectural equivalent of a wart...

                and, hopefully, that Whole Foods will stock fresher produce than the Union Square one, which regularly offers up moldy onions, mushy melon, et al...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Simon

                  it does look like post-modern Soviet style! The gelato makes up for it though!

                  1. re: Simon

                    Simon, I couldn't agree more. Such buildings should be outlawed by the city government. It's so ugly, I can't stand it - along with those buildinds on Houston in Soho.

                    I have high hopes that this location will alleviate the crowds at the beloved Trader Joe's :-)

                  2. How well does the automated check-out assignment work? When they implemented that at the Union Square location, people just got confused. It's slower than before. And sometimes they need a person there to explain it... so it's not even any less expensive for them!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jakew8

                      I though it superior to anything that I've experienced. They have express and regular checkout - people calling out lane avialabilty plus large electronic signs indicating next available cashier. It looked like a science fiction version of the supermarket of the future.

                      1. re: livetotravel

                        In the Sunday afternoon rush, they gave up on the screen and just had a guy. It worked fine.

                        The whole store is pretty amazing. It seems more welcoming than the Union Square one - possibly even cheaper for some things? (ie, Fage yogurt for $1.69 each - isn't it normally closer to $2?)

                        I just have to stay far, far away from the bakery and gelato sections. Make sure you shop on a full stomach.

                        1. re: piccola

                          Totally agree with you! I would much rather shop at this location than the Union Square location (even though I live within blocks of it)! I was really impressed by the space and ease of mobility.

                          1. re: piccola

                            I was there around 5ish on Sunday and the electronic screens were regular checkout were working just fine, but they had some people posted at the line areas as well.

                            The aisles are far wider than Union Square, and the layout of the Bowery store makes a lot more sense. You don't have to go downstairs and then back up like at the USWF! I didn't see all that many traffic jams.

                            And no matter where you are in the store, it always smells like something delicious is nearby. Thumbs up from me.