Trader Joe’s is on track to make history—yet again—with plans to move into the landmarked space beneath the Queensboro Bridge on New York’s Upper East Side.
The Monrovia, Calif.-based retailer’s application to open a store in the storied space occupied by The Food Emporium until 2015 was unanimously approved recently by the Community Board 8 landmarks committee, according to Patch.com.
Located at East 59th Street and First Avenue, the historic space is known for its dramatic tile-vaulted ceiling designed by Rafael Guastavino Moreno, a Spanish building engineer and builder who created the “Tile Arch System” in the U.S. in 1885.
The Bridgemarket Food Emporium, which closed during A&P's bankruptcy, was famous for a reset into a curated specialty store that highlighted the possibilities of its parent's fresh initiative. The reset was visually stunning but local shoppers missed the more conventional store that was replaced, prompting one analyst to call it "the most beautiful white elephant in the industry."
Given that the location is already outfitted for a supermarket, Trader Joe’s hopes to expedite the store’s opening, reports Patch.com. But while the space may prove to be the grocer’s most architecturally awe-inspiring yet, Trader Joe’s boasts a number of unique and historic locations.
Savings & Loaves
Whether it’s a loaf of bread, Trader Joe’s celebrated Cauliflower Gnocchi or its decadent Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups that customers are after, they can find it steeped in history at Trader Joe’s Court Street store in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The site was home to the second-oldest savings bank in Brooklyn. Trader Joe’s moved in in September 2008, preserving its beautiful marble, high ceilings and arched windows. The store’s exterior features a plaque commemorating George Washington’s time stationed there during the Battle of Long Island in 1776.
Movie Magic in Houston
Trader Joe’s store in the former Alabama Theatre in Houston features the old marquee advertising the grocer’s new products. The grocer’s sign artists are at work in the theater’s old mezzanine level, according to Trader Joe’s Top 10 Intriguing Stores announcement from 2018. “They fill the store with beautiful signage, sculptures and other decor to celebrate the artistic community in Houston, including a foam vehicular tribute to the annual Houston Art Car Parade.”
A California Original
Pasadena, Calif., is home to the first Trader Joe’s, which continues to serve the neighborhood after more than 50 years. For more than five decades, its Pasadena store has proudly featured the sign: “Your Neighborhood Grocery Store.”