Wegmans First Manhattan Store Set to Open

Image: Wegmans

Imagine you just got some terrific news — a promotion maybe. You share the news with your better half, who declares, “This calls for Champagne! Let’s head over to the supermarket.”

The supermarket? Yes, if the reference is to Wegmans, which is opening its first Manhattan outlet in the mammoth two-story space on Astor Square that used to house Kmart.

Wegmans is no ordinary supermarket. This new branch is slated eventually to include a high-end Japanese restaurant and a Champagne bar that dispenses oysters.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the chain has “groupies, who no doubt will show up en masse for the grand opening on Oct. 18. An estimated 30,000 people showed up on the day the company’s Raleigh, North Carolina, store opened.

Wegmans’ entry to the New York market comes at a time when other New York-based grocery chains chains, such as Gristedes, are downsizing. Time will tell if the move was well-conceived.