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Oct 22, 2007 05:14 PM

FH Trader Joe's---Oct. 26th Opening Day !!!

Stopped by Saturday night after having a grand Octoberfest meal at Chalet Alpina on Metropolitan Ave. The sign in the vestibule said they are opening October 26th.

Hallelejuah and pass the chili-lime pistachios!!

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  1. Yeah, this is what a few people have been saying. The amazing thing is that less than 2 weeks ago, they said in an e-mail to me that they did not yet have a definite opening date. At the same time, they had already posted October 26 and 26 opening dates for 2 California stores. And as of this morning, the date is still not on their site!

    The honey-sesame almonds aren't bad either, by the way...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Shayna Madel

      It's on the TJ site now:

      Coming Soon:
      Charlotte, NC (North)
      Columbia, MD - November 2
      Corona, CA
      Edgewater, NJ
      Oakland, CA (Lakeshore) - October 26
      Oakland, CA (College) - October 26
      Queens, NY - October 26th
      Rancho Cucamonga, CA
      Woodland Hills, CA

    2. I wonder if Friday's grand opening date with render the same results we witnessed at the Union Square St. Pattie's day opening.

      Coming from Jackson Heights, this location is a bit off way for me. Nonetheless, you can count me in on what will probably be a day of TJs mass hysteria. I look forward to it!

      1. Well, Sandrina, I for one am tempted to storm TJ's as soon as possible. They sell these dried tart cherries that I am craving right now. And enough cashews to make a big South Indian cashew curry. Hysteria!

        1. What is FH?
          No new NY locations listed on the Trader Joe website . . .

          2 Replies
          1. re: pitu

            The new TJ's will be on the border of Forest Hills and Rego Park in Queens. The address, I believe, is 90-30 Metropolitan Avenue.

            They're also in the process of building one at Atlantic and Court Street in South Brooklyn.

            1. re: pitu

              It's actually Rego Park, really close to Forest Hills and it is listed. If you click onto "locations" and scroll down, they list "Queens, NY" location under "coming soon." They still don't show the opening date, however...

              Okay, all hounds wear a red rose pinned to your shirt on TJ's Day 1...

            2. So I checked the TJ site this morning and still no "official" acknowledgment of the date on their site. And I obsessed and checked 5 minutes ago and lo and behold, there it is, officially posted on their site, that October 26 is opening day. Yay.

              24 Replies
              1. re: Shayna Madel

                Would the general concensus be that the M53 bus is the most convenient way to get to TJ's from Jackson Heights (74/Roosevelt stop)?

                Thinking that with 4 or 5 bags of groceries, a straight bus ride would be easier than a subway/bus transfer.

                Also, what is the name of the TJs stop on the bus, and approx. how long can I expect to be on the bus before hitting the bell/signal?


                1. re: adesso

                  you will get off the Q53 (since we're in queens) at metropolitan avenue and woodhaven. ring the bell when you see saint john's cemetary on your'll be the only cemetary on woodhaven. you will then cross woodhaven....then metro and walk east one block. you'll see it, big staples and michael's signs are already up.
                  depending on traffic, the travel time could vary.... once you get onto woodhaven blvd it is only two stops and should take no longer than about 5-10 minutes (tops).

                  1. re: adesso

                    The most direct way from JH, would be Q29 bus - it stops right in front of the mall on 80th Street and Cooper ave.

                    Anyone knows if they're planning to have a wine shop as well? TIA

                    1. re: welle

                      Legally, they are not allowed to have more than 1 wine/liquor store in NY state. Since there's already one in Union Square, we are SOL.

                      1. re: Joe MacBu

                        I was wondering where the booze was? Thanks for the clarification. Guess chocolate will have to do.

                        1. re: janie

                          The liquor would have to be in a separate store, anyway, as it is in Manhattan, but I find it hard to believe that NYS restricts a company to owning one liquor store in the state, particularly when they do not restrict restaurants with alcohol licenses from having only one location within the state.

                          1. re: Shayna Madel

                            I had heard of something similiar in Massachusetts, and I believed that was why the only store I knew of there that carried wine was Cambridge. However, upon looking at the store locations list on the TJs site, I do see that three stores in MA carry wine (out of about 20). I still believe it is very difficult for them to get liquor licenses for their stores in MA but I am just not sure why. And I am not sure how that matches NY;s laws as it is much more commonplace in NY for grocery stores to sell beer.

                            1. re: seneca

                              Actually, regarding the wine issue, this article in the Times should clear things up
                              There is a sentence that says "State law also prohibits holders of retail liquor licenses from owning more than one store."

                              1. re: seneca

                                I see what the article says, but then I got to thinking that Stew Leonard sells at least wine at both the Yonkers location and at a location in Farmingdale, near where another food location is/was to be built. Not sure if either place sells hard liquor in addion to wine and not sure if that makes a difference. But interestingly, on the Stew Leonard site, although there is this disclaimer, "STEW LEONARD'S WINES IS INDIVIDUALLY OWNED AND OPERATED. NOT A CHAIN AND IS NOT A COOPERATIVE BUYING GROUP. THEY ARE NOT PART OF THE STEW LEONARD'S GROCERY CHAIN. EACH STORE PURCHASES PRODUCT SEPARATELY. NOT ALL PRODUCTS ADVERTISED ARE AVAILABLE IN BOTH STORES. PRICES LISTED MAY VARY BETWEEN STORES," the two New York corporations have the same corporate address on the NYS site where they list NY corporations...

                                Does TJ, where it does sell alcohol, sell wine only, or hard liquor also?

                              2. re: seneca

                                Wine and liquor are treated the same under NY law for retail. And, as it says on this thread, no one is allowed to operate more than one liquor/wine retail store, and the store premises must be completely dedicated to the sale of liquor and wine. There are several other restrictions, such as the store must have a direct entrance to the street (Whole Foods ran into this problem when they planned to open a wine store in the basement of their Houston St. store).

                                Beer is different, and much much much easier to get a license to sell. Basically pretty much any grocery store or drug store can sell the stuff.

                                Here is a brief overview of the types of alcohol sales licenses available in New York State:

                                1. re: Woodside Al

                                  Well, then the only thing I can think of is that the corporation that owns each business must be different, even if they use a common d/b/a, as somehow Stew Leonard is getting away with it.

                                  1. re: Woodside Al

                                    So does anyone have any idea why the NYS TJ's do not sell beer? Every corner bodega seems to be able to sell it, I can't imagine that Trader Joes couldn't get the proper license.

                                    1. re: evets

                                      Does TJ sell beer in states other than NY?

                                      And I finally found the actual NYS law regarding the liquor issue, not anecdotal mentions in news articles:

                                      NYS ABC law section 150(15) says:
                                      "No retail licensee to sell liquors and/or wines for off-premises
                                      consumption shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in any premises
                                      where liquors, wines or beer are manufactured or sold at wholesale or
                                      any other premises where liquor or wine is sold at retail for
                                      off-premises consumption, by stock ownership, interlocking directors,
                                      mortgage or lien on any personal or real property or by any other means..."

                                      But somehow Stew Leonard is getting people to open up stores using their name as a d/b/a, so there must be some loophole, or at least a licensing of the name...

                                      1. re: Shayna Madel

                                        There is a wine store, run by Rivendell wineries, that has at least two branches in Manhattan that sell wine. According to their website, they're governed by special winery laws, there could be something similar legislation for dairy stores like Stew Leonard's, who knows. Anyway, if interested, Rivendell's store is

                                        Sucks for us, but I guess it's a good legislation that nurtures small business owners - I'll have to stick with my neighborhood liquor store (not that I mind it), although I'd had this plan to try all their under $5 inventory - as for me it's just a 7-min bike ride from Woodside. oh well, maybe that's for the better - I'm pretty sure that much cheap booz is not good for the system...

                                        1. re: welle

                                          Nor is it very safe for the bike ride home. I had hoped for cheap wine to cook with.

                                        2. re: Shayna Madel

                                          My guess it that Stew Leonard's, being a local company, also has a somewhat better handle on what it takes to operate and get what you want in New York. In my business I find that a lot of companies from outside the area run into problems in NY, and won't take - or simply don't believe - the advice I give them about conditions here. One thing that happens a lot is that they run into roadblocks dealing with our laws and our government agencies, and don't seem to "get" the NYC area way of getting around these things. They also expect local government agencies to go all ga-ga over their national or international status, and are upset and confused when New Yorkers are unimpressed and won't bend over backwards to please them or change the rules to suit them. I know personally that this is just the sort of problem that Whole Foods ran into with their Houston St. store plans.

                                          1. re: Woodside Al

                                            That would not shock me in the least. I cannot believe there was no way to get around this issue. It appears that Stew's was willing to set up multiple corporations (as witness that the NY wine stores both use the same Connecticut address in NY corporate records), and maybe TJs was not. Maybe TJ will smarten up...

                                          2. re: Shayna Madel

                                            Yes, TJ's sells beer at most of their locations outside of NYS (or rather, outside of the Puritanical northeast). I miss the stores in LA where one could stock up on good beer, wine and scotch at 25% lower prices than anywhere else.

                                            Link to PDF of TJ's locations with *s for locations that don't sell booze:

                                            Most, but not all, of TJ's locations in NY, MA, CT, NJ, PA, DE and MD don't sell booze. Either all of our neighboring states have incredibly tough liquor laws, or TJ's doesn't have the distribution capacity to service booze to this area of the country. However, since VA, DC and NC are able to get their fix, I'm guessing it's the laws. TJ's needs some mob ties to do some proper business here, for our sake.

                                            1. re: Joe MacBu

                                              Thanks for the info. Didn't know NY or NJ was puritanical. I'm thinking it's the liquor laws, combined with some of the points made by Woodside Al, at least here in NY.

                                              1. re: Shayna Madel

                                                I didn't mean that they were in the strict sense (despite my capitalization of the term), but more in spirit. For example, I view the more restrictive hours of alcohol sale on Sundays to be originally influenced by the blue laws of New England.

                                          3. re: evets

                                            TJ Union Sq does sell beer. It is in the little corner btwn samples and the dairy aisle (frequently the route to check-out).

                                      2. re: Shayna Madel

                                        there are different rules and regulations for retail (liquor store) and on- premise (restaurant) licenses.

                                  2. re: welle

                                    i would definitely stick with the Q53. it's an express bus so it'll get you where you want to be much faster than the local Q29. also it leaves you on woodhaven and metro...alot closer than 80th and cooper.