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Trader Joe's coming to Warwick

I don't know if anyone has had a chance to see the paper yet today, but there's an article about Trader Joe's opening it's new location in Warwick in October. It will be in the same plaza as Panera Bread, on Bald Hill Road. I had heard rumblings that they were trying to open one in Warwick, but now that it's official I'm quite happy!

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  1. Wow, while that's great news, I'm so disheartened by that choice of location! That area is a traffic nightmare to begin with, I can only imagine what this new attraction will contribute. Surely there were more desirable locations?

    3 Replies
    1. re: GSM

      This is great news!!!

      I think they study their locations well, and they don't give a rat's ass how much traffic bothers people.

      A few years ago, a friend of mine contacted that company to ask if they had any plans for RI----suggesting several east side locations, like the site of the old (and small) Whole Foods. The TJ's people said that they study traffic patterns and only put stores where they're going to get a certain amount of traffic, and that they had actually looked into that location and it didn't give them enough traffic.

      1. re: Moonpie1

        My guess would be that a traffic nightmare for us equals more traffic for them, which would make the spot more desirable, not less. And really, as long as you stay away from rt 2 on the weekends or rush hour, it's not that terrible.

        (I had actual heard the same thing about them looking into the old WF location. I had also heard that Shaw's and Whole Foods put up a big fight to keep them out of RI all together.)

        1. re: dagwood

          I'm sure they did! Like Shaw's held on to that bldg. and fought like hell to keep WF out of Cranston (and what a fabulous WF it is....they've got their market so well pinpointed. first time I walked in there, they had Louis Prima and Frank Sinatra on the soundtrack, and not the Elvis Costello and Los Lonely Boys that I'm used to on N. Main, heh).

          The former Shaw's off N. Main (Prov/Pawt line) would have been a good TJ's location, no? I guess not enough traffic there either.

          Sadly, I don't go to rt. 2 that often, so will only shop there when I'm over there anyway. Looking forward to it, though. I've had TJ's envy toward many faraway friends for years.

    2. I just blurted out THANK GOD! at work. I'd have preferred something closer to Providence (I'm in northern RI) but it's still better than Framingham.

      27 Replies
      1. re: JaneRI

        Hallelujah!!! Any word as to whether or not this will be a wine selling location?
        If not, I'd sooner have my husband stop by the Worcester area location on his way home from work and do the occasional Framingham runs, because the Warwick location is going to be a traffic nightmare.

        1. re: Jenz

          The article didn't say about the wine. It did, however, say that it's owned by the same company that owns the ALDI chain, which I wasn't aware of. They're building an ALDI right now right up the road from me in Cranston. I kind of wish the locations had been reversed.

          It is going to be a traffic nightmare, for sure. But I'm still excited.

          1. re: dagwood

            I sent an email to corporate asking them. Aldi's is coming to Smith St in Providence as well.

            1. re: dagwood

              There is an Aldi in Wawick already...

            2. re: Jenz

              There is some law in RI that prevents the selling of retail food and drink together. Most Whole Foods sell wine, but not in RI.

              1. re: sandman00000

                Seems kinda strange doesn't it? A Trader Joe's without Two Buck Chuck? And silly me, thinking the traffic on Rt 2 couldn't get much worse.

                1. re: RI Swampyankee

                  There is at least one in Mass (maybe Needham) that doesn't sell beer and wine.

                  Lesson - don't mess with small liquor store lobby. See: No Bottle Bill; Non-Sensical Prohibition on Selling Food and Drink Together; No Owning More than One Store and Don't Try to Get Around that Last One By Franchising Because We Now Ban That.

                  1. re: Frobisher

                    I'm just grateful they FINALLY sell alcohol on Sundays. When I first moved here I could never remember that, and it drove me nuts (especially when I was on my way out the door to a friend's for dinner on a Sunday night realizing I had nothing to bring.)

                    1. re: dagwood

                      Amen Dagwood! I always had problems when I was commuting between RI and Wisconsin. Wisconsin sells liquor anywhere. Gas stations on the freeway with a full liquor license? Yah der, hey, you betcha! Here in Vo Dilun, we have to fight tooth and nail just to buy a bottle of wine on a Sunday afternoon.

                    2. re: Frobisher

                      Owning more than one store is a farce! It is probably the least enforced law in the state!

                    3. re: RI Swampyankee

                      I'm pretty sure that there are only two TJ's in MA that sell alcohol: Cambridge and Framingham.

                      I was at the Framingham store on Saturday (loading up on Three(!) Buck Chuck) and the cashier mentioned the Warwick location. He also confirmed that that they won't sell alcohol there (don't know how much we can trust a TJ's cashier, but it makes sense to me).

                      Dumb liquor laws. They'll never change, either.

                      1. re: f1rehead

                        TJ's at Coolidge Corner in Brookline sells alcohol

                        1. re: gato

                          You're absolutely correct. I forgot about that one. Thanks! I think Framingham is still quicker to get to from PVD than Brookline: it's far but at least it's mostly highway driving.

                          1. re: f1rehead

                            The Brookline store is about an hour door to door from PVD. Its my TJ's of choice b/c once you're in Brookline/Boston there is plenty of other things to do, as opposed to Framingham. Even more importantly, its on the way to Fenway, so I can combine two trips in one.

                            1. re: Frobisher

                              I go to Framingham too. If I'm going to TJ's I consider that just a shopping day.

                    4. re: sandman00000

                      That's sort of what I figured. There are a few places in RI that sell alcohol w/ other items including retail food (There's a Brook's Pharmacy in Cranston that sells beer and wine, and also Cameron's general store, also in Cranston), but they were grandfathered in.

                      1. re: sandman00000

                        I believe the law in Massachusetts allows supermarket owners to sell liquor in a maximum of two locations. I tried to find out exactly what the laws are online, but from the articles I saw on line I gathered they're rather complicated.

                        I will say the liquor license laws are total BS both in Mass and RI. I doubt people would drink and drive more just because they didn't have to make an extra stop to buy liquor, and I'm sure a supermarket can check IDs as well as a package store.

                        And there are fewer places to buy liquor than there should be because the number of licenses is limited. License holders can sell their licenses (which is a publicly granted right, that is permission from you, me and other voters) for huge amounts. It seems terribly unfair for new business owners and for consumers.

                        1. re: sandman00000

                          There is actually not a specific law that prohibits the selling of beer, wine &/or alcohol together with food, rather there are specific licenses that allow for the sales of each of these items. Just as there are different levels of liquor licenses, there are also various retail food licenses available. My family owned a convenience store in W. Warwick for 20 years and at one time we thought about obtaining a license that would allow for the sale of beer & wine. The state had no problem with us obtainng the license, but they told us that only so many were available in each municipality. If one became available, they bascially are sold to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, this is how it works and they become very expensive. I know that RI now prohibits chain liquor stores, but I am not sure about other chains selling beer & wine. I suppose that it depends on who the owner of the store may be...TJ corporation or a subsidiary with a different name.

                          1. re: Rhodymatt

                            Really? I can't think of a single place in RI other than a package store where alcohol is sold to go.

                            1. re: JaneRI

                              There are a couple of places in Cranston. Cameron's market, in Pawtuxet Village, and another pharmacy up the road on Broad St, also in Cranston. (I think it just changed hands and is now a Brooks) They were grandfathered in, I believe. I'm pretty sure though that if it weren't against some law at least some of the major markets (Shaws, Stop & Shop), would be carrying alcohol.

                              1. re: dagwood

                                Really?? Wow, and me a lifelong RIer. Never seen it in northern RI.

                                1. re: JaneRI

                                  It used to be common for pharmacies to double as package stores. My dad owned a pharmacy in Newport which had a liquor store attached to it and the Douglas chain of liquor stores (now undone by anti-franchising legislation) grew out of Douglas Drugs.

                                  1. re: Frobisher

                                    The East Side Pharmacy on Hope St. sells alcohol. Maybe just wine? But definitely at least that.

                                    1. re: Moonpie1

                                      how did I get to this advanced age and not know this? You could knock me over w/a feather right now. (not for just the East Side Pharmacy, but for all of them).

                                    2. re: Frobisher

                                      When I was growing up in East Providence in the 80's, Adam's Drugs used to sell beer and wine...

                                  2. re: dagwood

                                    In addition to being supermarkets, Shaw's and S&S are chains, which may preclude them from obtaining a license. I know that you can get a license to sell beer/wine from a gas station, but I am not sure about supermarkets. When the new law passed prohibiting chain liquor stores, haxton's, douglas, etc... simply changed the name of each location...therefore getting around the law. I don't think that Shaw's & S&S are going to change their name in order to sell beer.

                                    1. re: dagwood

                                      The One in Cranston was Brooks and is now Rite-Aid, they sell beer and wine...

                          2. YES!!!!!!!!
                            I haven't had time to read these boards in a while, but I had a sudden urge to do some chowing. I must have a TJ's divining rod in my mouse.
                            With Whole Foods to the north, Trader Joe's soon to be in the south, and the new Farmstead place opening next week down the street from my workplace I'd better get back into a gym habit right away!

                            1. There are only 2 towns in Rhode Island that allow food and alcohol being sole at the same time: Charlestown and Jamestown because of their low population numbers. Trader Joe's does not sell wine in Needham because Needham is a "dry town"--there are no liquor stores in Needham.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sarahbeth

                                I believe the TJs in Shrewsbury is also a no-alcohol location.

                              2. That's good news. If the location is good enough for them, it 's good enough for me. I'll just plan to go at the less busy times, and to spend a little time in transit. Not great news about the wine, but it's easier to pick up their wines in MA because, unlike the food, it can sit in the trunk of the car while we make stops on the way back.

                                1. So what is ALDI like? Is it worth going? I've never been.

                                  Re. previous posts, I too am thrilled about TJs but wish it were closer to Providence. It seems like we really need a supermarket downtown, especially if people move into all the the new condos.

                                  And regarding why TJ's doesn't sell wine everywhere in Massachusetts: Needham is not a dry town. I asked at my once local TJs in Acton, Mass why they didn't sell wine and they explained that Mass laws limit the number of locations at which supermarket chains can sell wine, so they had to pick the locations they thought would be the most profitable.

                                  1. Hurrah!!! I work in Warwick and HATE Rte 2 with a passion, but I'll turn to the right out of my parking lot if it gets me to a Trader Joes!

                                    Thanks Dagwood!

                                    1. And by the way-----I forgot where the Panera plaza was, and just realized. That's not even Bald Hill Rd. anymore----that's freaking Quaker Lane, aka Way the Hell South. Near the Showcase Cinemas and the old Rocky Hill Fairgrounds. On the E. Greenwich line. Is there no more Dave's Market there?

                                      Perfect location, from their point of view----and pretty good from here (Providence) too. Might be Way the Hell Down, but it's right off the highway, so no schlepping up rt. 2 to get there.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Moonpie1

                                        Isn't there also a Panera Bread near were Jamiel's Shoes used to be on RT 2? I would love it if TJ was going on Quaker Lane but I think it is the other location. Am I wrong?

                                        1. re: Alica

                                          I believe it is going in the Northern location. The article gave the address as 1000 Bald Hill Road. http://www.projo.com/business/content...

                                      2. Hi , 1000 Bald Hill Rd is near the newest Panera Bread. Across from Price Rite (formerly RX place) and the now defunkd Comp Usa. As for the new ALDI in Warwick, I like it. It's based on a Price Rite but way less veggies and more grocery food. Its a very small store tho, that was disappointing. Can't wait to try Trader Joe's. Y'all have a great day

                                        1. Any word on the opening date? I drove by a week or so ago, and the signage is all in place. So it must be soon!!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: LMWW

                                            I heard the very last week of october. Sort of like whole foods last year.

                                          2. I saw their sign on Bald Hill Road, but I've never heard of them - what kind of store is it?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: RIRN2008

                                              Do a search on here for Trader Joe's-- there's dozens of threads describing their products.

                                            2. I get my haircut at Supercuts right next door. According to my stylist that day TJ's is set to open on Halloween, Friday the 31st!!!

                                              10 Replies
                                              1. re: booper

                                                Lets get a hold of ourselves here! It's Trader Joe's...nothing specoal except cheap snacks/eats..not much quality here!
                                                Aldi is even worse! Poor quality and average pricing!
                                                Just a comment above,,,Camerons is a liquor store only..owner lost his license to dispense scripts due to some unlawful business...The Brooks just up the road does not sell liquor...no one does other than liq stores in RI

                                                1. re: ronk

                                                  Aldi is getting ready to open a store near the State House as well (Smit St/Rte 44) I drive by there each day to get to work. Not too excited from what I'm hearing.

                                                  Over the past few years there have been rumours that TJ's (as well as Dave's Market) was planning a location for the downtown Providence area as well, to service the students and new residents (empty nesters) moving into the 'lofts' and condos being built everywhere. I'm not sure what ever happened with those plans, though I'm sure the development comission won't let it fail. We definitely need a market in the area to make the newly located residents stay.

                                                  1. re: OOliver

                                                    Those "rumours" [sic] were just wishful thinking by people.

                                                    Discussions with people connected with neighborhood groups, etc that were trying to woo them indicated that TJ's was (and apparently still is) very much against a Providence location, citing "demographics" (likely too many low income) and no locations in Providence fitting TJ's very suburbanesque formula for where to locate (X number of surface parking spaces and Y close to a highway).

                                                    Even the Wayland Square Whole Foods site (which was rumored to be closing but now, with renovations underways, seems quite secure) was apparently rejected for being too far from a highway.

                                                    The "rumors" I heard from people involved in such outreach were that the TJ folks seemed quite hostile. The Warwick location that resulted (as well as such recent uber-suburban TJ openings such as one in one of the blandest and most banal strip plazas in Danbury, CT right off of I-84) seems to have 100% validated these reports from several years ago...

                                                    There *is*, by the way, a small market coming to downtown Providence on Weybosset run by folks from downtown New Haven with experience in similar markets and situations. The space is being cleared out now, I believe...

                                                  2. re: ronk

                                                    I bought a bottle of wine in the Brooks up the street just a couple of weeks ago. They sell both beer and wine. I am in there quite a bit.

                                                    1. re: dagwood

                                                      Yes...I did mention no LIQUOR sold...seems beer and wine are ok

                                                    2. re: ronk

                                                      There is Phred's drugs in Cranston as well as Simpson's pharmacy in E Prov . that seem to be blessed with arare combo license

                                                      1. re: ronk

                                                        Rite-Aid in Cranston sell beer and wine.

                                                        1. re: ronk

                                                          Sorry to disagree, ronk, but TJs is not just for "cheap snacks/eats". They sell pretty high quality stuff...yes, at great prices to boot. I can get alot of organic items there at a fraction of the cost of Whole Foods...and at comparable quality. Even their organic produce has improved considerably over the past couple of years (for basic items). A variety of excellent cheeses and crackers as well. I also enjoy their organic teas.

                                                          This is a chow-worthy place by many folks' standards!

                                                          1. re: ronk

                                                            There is plenty of quality to be found at TJ's. TJ's chocolate, nuts, dried fruits, condiments, olive oil, olives, cornicons and jams are all great products to work with and cost a fraction of what similar products at WF or even Shaws/S+S do. If you like to bake or cook and are tight with a dollar, there is a lot to be excited about TJ's coming to RI, even if it is in Warwick.

                                                            1. re: Frobisher

                                                              I whole heartedly agree. Where else could you buy a pound bag (or is it 2lb?) of frozen haricot verts for $2?

                                                              I really love a lot of their frozen items, they're fresh tasing and not laden with fat and preservatives.

                                                        2. Just to clarify re the Massachusetts TJ's that sell wine/beer--MA state law only allows 3 stores per grocery store to carry alcohol (usually beer/wine, although some also sell hard liquor, not TJs though). The three locations for TJs are Framingham, Brookline, and Cambridge.

                                                          1. tj s coffee is pretty great too....