New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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Wegmans at Astor Place brings a taste of suburbia to NYU

Students weigh in on the popular supermarket chain’s first Manhattan location.
Wegmans+exterior+with+a+line+of+Citi+Bikes+in+front+of+a+red+fencing.
Matthew Petres
Wegmans opened a new location at Astor Place. (Matthew Petres for WSN)

Trader Joe’s no longer holds a monopoly over NYU students’ grocery lists, thanks to Wegmans which opened its first Manhattan location at Astor Place on Oct. 18.

Sophomore Aasia Gabbour went to the store the day after it opened. After walking past the location and seeing posts about it on Instagram, she said she found the store’s prices reasonable, comparing it to a fancier Kroger or cheaper Whole Foods Market with more variety. Although Gabbour plans to continue buying the bulk of her groceries from Trader Joe’s, she plans to visit the new Wegmans location more often for both its novelties and name-brand products. 

“I live 20 minutes away, so it’s not too far, but I probably wouldn’t prioritize it over Trader Joe’s, which is closer to me,” Gabbour said. “But if I need specific items or essentials that I can’t get at Trader Joe’s, I would go to Wegmans.”

The sprawling grocery store could justify its own ZIP code, currently spanning two floors and being almost four times larger than the Trader Joe’s in East Village. Wegmans plans to open a third floor in its Astor Place location next year. It also offers more items than the bodegas and smaller grocery stores on the corner of almost every other Manhattan block. 

As you enter the store, you’ll be greeted with the aroma of breads and rolls from the bakery, which also hosts breakfast items and dessert, including Wegmans’ very own “Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies.” Along with the bakery, the street-level floor has a hot food bar, made-to-order pizza, Mediterranean meals, fresh sushi and other food stations. Take the elevator down to the second level and you’ll come across the usual selections in a grocery store, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and frozen food in addition to a cheese shop and a Tokyo-inspired fish market.

A person serves themselves noodles from the Wegmans hot food bar.
Wegmans offers a variety of takeaway food options, including a hot food bar. (Matthew Petres for WSN)

Unlike Gabbour, first-year Elliot Zheng has visited another Wegmans location before, as the chain originated in upstate New York. Zheng was blown away by the Manhattan store’s massive size and said it was comparable to the one he used to visit 15 minutes from his home.

“Everyone I’ve talked to is super excited about Wegmans at Astor Place,” Zheng said. “It is really popular, and everyone loves it because it’s so big and has good quality products.”

A man walks through an aisle in Wegmans surrounded by products on both sides.
(Matthew Petres for WSN)

The new Wegmans is especially close to students living at Alumni Hall, Brittany Hall, Founders Hall, Third Avenue North and other residence halls near the East Village. In addition to being a new option for groceries, the store can also serve as a new spot when you’re tired of food from dining halls or have an insatiable craving between classes.

According to senior public relations coordinator Mandee Puleo, Wegmans had been looking to open a location in the borough for nearly five years. The company purposely chose a location near NYU as it has observed higher sales near universities and colleges.

Contact Krish Dev and Mikaylah Du at [email protected].

About the Contributors
Krish Dev, Multimedia Editor
Krish is a first-year planning to major in Computer Science and Linguistics at CAS. In his free time, he enjoys posting photos on @krish_dev.creations, obsessing over geography, watching new films with the other Multimedia Editors, taking public transport to new places and letting Arsenal make or break his week.
Mikaylah Du, Illustration Editor
Mikaylah Du is a first-year studying Media, Culture, and Communication. She's a fine art nerd and one of the few people that actually likes writing essays. Follow her art account on Instagram @mikaylahdoodles to see her post once in a blue moon.
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