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Fairway in Pelham is Open!

OK, I'm far far away, but so happy that I will have Fairway to return to this summer. So, Westchester hounds, how is it?

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    1. I've been waiting so long for it to open, it would have taken a lot for me to be disappointed. It's a beautiful, big store. Today it was crawling with helpful folks to be sure your first visit was a good one. Checkout was a breeze. I was there about an hour, didn't buy much (best buy was 2 whole Murray's chickens, .99/lb) but I know it will become my major grocery store. I live just a bit over a mile away. I got a "gift bag" because I was among the first 200 or something like that, with a liter of their nice olive oil, a pound of coffee, balsamic vinegar, and some other doo dads. Very nice. It'll take more visits to really get the lay of the land over there, but I bet you'll like it!

      3 Replies
        1. re: anonymouse1935

          It's hard to know how parking would be on a normal day, because some of the spaces were roped off for the opening. But I got there about 8:15 fearing it would be a circus, and ended up parked very close to the front door. By the time I left the store there were lots of people inside and the predictable confusion caused by no one knowing where they were going! The parking lot looked pretty good to me. Tomorrow it opens at 8. It'll take a while to figure out when the best time to go would be. I think going when it opens might be my choice. We'll see.

        2. re: Pat Hammond

          I would have liked to go for the gift bag, but I had a 9-10am meeting at work, and once I could not get the free bag it wasn't worth schlepping down from Hawthorne (where I am today) and putting up with the crowds. I suspect that this weekend will not be good, either. Maybe I will try to get there one day next week when I am sure it will be much better.

        3. (repost)
          OMG what craziness, do not go today unless you are REALLY bored. I went around 10 am thinking most people would be at work and that it couldn't be THAT crowded. I was wrong. I left around 12 noon and there were police everywhere directing traffic and not letting anyone make left hand turns so getting home took forever and the line to check out went to the back of the store and was not moving quickly. parking was also hard to find, but the parking lot looked a little less chaotic when I was leaving than it did when i was arriving.
          The store has a slightly confusing lay out, sort of like Stews,so I think I missed about half the store. i'm sure it will just take some getting used to. I wanted to check out the cafe but never saw it. Prices were good but I was underwhelmed by the cauliflower and english cucumbers both of which looked a little wilted.
          The aisles are much wider than Harlem and UWS which is great. And there is definitely a much larger selection. I'll probably still use Fresh Direct for a while (so much easier than grocery shopping with 2 small children) but hopefully the crowds will die down a bit and this will be my go-to grocery store for produce and such!
          I just had some of their smoked salmon on a bagel for lunch yummy!

          12 Replies
          1. re: SweetPea914

            Anyone been since the morning? Had to go to city today and couldn't get there this am. Want to go now and am afraid but think I shall try.

            To RLee --- Thank you for remembering and yes, I started the Fairway coming to Westchester discussion on a thread that is now archived on the much missed TriState Board. Link below. Started almost three years ago in May 2007. We Chowhounds are certainly dedicated.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4040...

            1. re: SweetPea914

              When you say the layout is like Stews, presumably the layout is kind of like their Paramus store, which is a single path from the entrance through produce, past the bakery and ending up at deli meat and seafood in the back of the store. Then multiple aisles of groceries heading to the front.

              I was at a family event last night and asked a relative who lives in Tuckahoe whether she was going to the grand opening. She had no idea what Fairway was and asked if it was like Stew's. I told her no, it was like Whole Foods, only much cheaper.

              1. re: MisterBill2

                Your description of the interior layout sounds about right to me. I've talked with folks in Pelham who hadn't heard of it either. By the way, the prepared food section looked mighty good. Who knows how long it'll be until one can sit quietly for lunch there, though.

                1. re: MisterBill2

                  I haven't been to Paramus Mr. Bill but I did go to Fairway this afternoon and while it was still crazy, I am so happy. It is not like Stew's with respect to layout - you can go in whatever direction you choose at any time. Your description sounds about right. I don't think I saw everything because of the crowds - getting through with a wagon was extremely difficult.

                  Many people, myself EXcluded, were less than congenial so that made it a tad unpleasant. I was just so happy they were open I could tolerate just about anything and the counter guys/people couldn't have been nicer.

                  Going to try and get there again later this week..

                  1. re: laylag

                    Sorry to hear about the lack of congeniality, although I would probably describe it as uncivilized. A story I saw on TV seemed to imply they'd be getting a lot of their customers from the Bronx. If the clientele makes the shopping experience less than pleasant, I will probably just keep going to Paramus, which isn't that much further for me up in Northern Westchester.

                    1. re: MisterBill2

                      >> they'd be getting a lot of their customers from the Bronx.

                      If you've met the shoppers in Westchester, you'd know they are highly uncivilized.

                      I won't have the option of Paramus, so I'm going to try the early morning visits in a month or so. From all indications, it sounds like a store that can easily take the place of the other supermarkets. It should be fun to see how the others try to compete.

                      1. re: anonymouse1935

                        That;s too bad. I guess I was being unfair since people from everywhere can act uncivilized in a crowded situation. I may (probably foolishly) try to get there this weekend.

                        1. re: MisterBill2

                          I was there this morning, a few minutes after it'd opened at 8. I didn't really need anything, but wanted to see the level of activity around there. Parking, no problem and people were shopping but the store seemed to be just waking up. Nice and relaxed. I got 1/4 lb. of smoked salmon, a container of natural cream cheese (wonderful!), a tomato and 3 still warm bagels. I was in and out in about 15 minutes and invited my daughter over for a bagel breakfast. First thing in the morning, if convenient, is a good time to go and I'm fortunate that is convenient for me.

                            1. re: Pat Hammond

                              Was the natural cream cheese Ben's Natural? That's the one that they sell in the nyc store and it's just wonderful. But I'm curious if there's a different one out there too.

                          1. re: anonymouse1935

                            your right people will act uncivilized in large crowds that's why its very important to have excellent people skill's in such situation's and lot's of folks to answer questions. their is no comparing stew's two different stores.

                  2. Opening Day can be best described as organized chaos. ... Period.

                    I too arrived around 10am and left a few minutes passed 12. Hundreds of irritable people walking aimlessly about in a store that size was a true test of ones patience. At 10am there was a line to get IN the store and once you were in, the store was so crowded that many of the aisles were impassable. It certainly wasn't a day to do much browsing, but I enjoyed myself all the same.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                      I was there at 6:00PM yesterday. It was organized chaos but parking spaces were available and you could get through the aisles. We did a walk through but didn't buy anything. They have a fantastic selection of prepared foods and a number of tables for "dining". We had "kobe" pastrami sandwiches with cole slaw and pickle...delicious. It makes Stews look like a mini mart and is a totally different experience. I could spend a week in the cheese department alone. A great addition for Westchester.

                      1. re: cookiez

                        We were very happy with our shopping experience yesterday (Friday). We arrived around 9:30 and there were a choice of parking spots. The owner, Howie, was walking around and was amiable but anxious. DH wants to pitch a tent and move in next to the olive station. This store lives up to its promise and will be a great addition to my personal food hunting and gathering.
                        As for Mr. Bill's veiled sneers at the shoppers from the Bronx, by all means do your shopping in a rarified atmosphere where you won't have to rub shoulders with those you feel are less than "civilised". Fairway, and the unfortunates of the Bronx will have to make do without you.

                    2. I went at around 1 pm on Thursday and had a good experience, overall. I really do like the store, despite some issues with organization (and annoying patrons!). We got very lucky with parking, as someone just happened to be pulling out of a prime spot as we were approaching - other than that, the very large lot was a sea of drivers looking for a place to park. I'm not so sure that Fairway's traditional outdoor produce section is such a great idea for Pelham - there were way too many really inconsiderate "browsers" who were apparently oblivious to the hordes of shoppers muttering under their breath while trying to maneuver large shopping carts around them toward the entrance. I think the interior flow of the store is pretty good, considering that it is very large, and probably contains more actual food products than any other in the tri-state area. I was impressed by the sheer number of high quality choices for just about every item, be it olive oil, chocolate chip cookies or yogurt. This store is definitely the nicest of the three Fairway locations I've been to, as it was spacious, airy and very clean - three qualities that city stores just can't offer the same way that Westchester can. The deli has a good selection of both cold cuts and prepared salads, and the people working the counter were very competent. Their fresh turkey breast was just that- juicy and lean and natural. I only got a very hurried glance at the hot prepared foods bar- it looked good, and I was glad to see a small seating area, as well. We had some lox sliced for us just because we could - its a rarity around here! Oh, and their bagels, while not quite as good as my local favorite (Park Place in Bville), are a very good option. The cakes in the bakery looked divine, as did the pastry. We got a raisin walnut loaf that was out of this world, which we ate with a wedge of triple creme selected from their most exciting and diverse cheese selection.
                      I was also happy to find Olympus yogurt in the dairy aisle - its my new favorite Greek yogurt - actually made in Greece!
                      All in all a very good experience. I wouldn't call the prices a bargain, though some items I use regularly, (such as Frantoia olive oil by Barbera in Sicily) were significantly less expensive than Whole Foods or shops on Arthur Avenue, where I usually find it. The staff seemed friendly enough, and helpful, where needed. We'll see how long that lasts!
                      I'll definitely be back soon, but I'll stick to Tues-Thurs 10-3 PM for now, as the shopper traffic jams made it difficult to see everything, and I like to be able to move at my own pace.

                      EDIT: I forgot to mention how pleased I was with the dried pasta selection. A good number of brands, shapes and price points, and a good selection of Italian canned tomato options (both DOP and not). They also had small (but decent) English and Asian grocery sections, as well as a generous assortment of Kosher options in nearly every section.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: vvvindaloo

                        Thanks vvindaloo for the comprehensive report! I can't wait to try the Olympus yogurt and fresh turkey breast among all the other offerings. The one good thing about all the crowds is that everything turns over really quickly. I'm so looking forward to this store as an option. And I agree with you 100% on Park Place Bagels! They are the best.

                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                          Thanks for the review. It sounds like my worst fears of inconsiderate people (with cellphones I betcha?) are turning out to be true, and the parking will be horrific.

                          Sounds like my best time is a weekday at 8:00am. The bagel special for opening week of $4. a dozen was amazing -- at $10. plus a pop at the bagel place in Hartsdale, while the best, is outrageous.

                          A large selection of cheese, and cakes/breads -- like those in Zabar, dare I hope? -- what more could I ask. Oh, yes, incredible donuts.

                          1. re: anonymouse1935

                            I think their normal price for bagels is 50c, which is still much cheaper than the normal places.