The Gristedes on University Place has never been much of a crowd-pleaser — in fact, one Yelper called it an out-and-out “dive,” as well as “the red-headed stepchild of the chain,” and lamented that “You walk in, and the depression and desolation just hits you in the face like a slap.” Well, that all changed a few weeks ago, when No. 508 got a redesign (a significantly quieter one than when the 14th Street store became Trader John’s). Now it has a bakery, a deli station, a salad bar, and the pièce de résistance — a growler-filling station!
Like an NYU student shamelessly cheating off his neighbor’s test, Gristedes is taking a page from the Whole Foods playbook in hopes that clueless froshes will think it’s cool to show up to dorm parties slinging a jug that says GRISTEDES on it. (Hey, not everyone can make it over to one of the way cooler places on Beer Menus.) Just buy a half-gallon for $3.99, and fill-ups range from $10.99 to $19.99. Currently on tap: Harpoon, Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner, and Bear Republic Black Mamba.