The year was 2008. The month was October. And it seemed Trader Joe's could do anything it pleased, including opening a bi-level store on 72nd and Broadway, in the heart of Zabar's territory. But that was back in the dewy-eyed, hope-filled fall of 2008. In the harsh afterburn of 2009, Trader Joe's, it turns out, will not be opening on the Upper West Side and, in fact, is in denial that the whole thing happened. When blogger Westside Independent requested an update, he got this strange response:
We regret to inform you that at this time we have no confirmed plans for a store location in this area, customer relations rep Nikki K. wrote ... "We are always looking for new locations and are open to suggestions and we appreciate the information you have provided. It truly shows us what a great fan you are of our stores when you scout locations for us!
At any rate, Zabar's, Citarella, and Fairway can breathe a sigh of relief.