New York area: Waldbaums (Safeway?)

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Edric Floyd
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New York area: Waldbaums (Safeway?)

Post by Edric Floyd » 14 Sep 2006 00:02

I lived in Queens, NY for my high school years (early 1980's). I have a question.

I always wondered if Safeway operated in Queens and Long Island.

There is a Waldbaum's market at Francis Lewis Blvd and Long Island Expy that looks like the popular Marina Safeway buildings. I always wondered if Safeway built one in NY. The Francis Lewis Blvd store is the only one I can recall like that in the NY area.

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Doesn't look like one....

Post by wnetmacman » 14 Sep 2006 00:14

Edric, I looked up the store you're talking about on local.live.com. Most of NYC has Bird's Eye Views. This store, while having the rounded roof similar to the Marina style Safeways, most likely never was one. Most of the Marina stores were nearly square in their floorplans. There are several examples of Marina stores in Washington, DC that were indeed marina stores. I don't think Safeway lasted quite long enough in NYC to build any. If anything, that is a Waldbaums original. Several other companies built rounded-roof stores with the open front, like Kohl's of Wisconsin, Penn Fruit, and others.
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Re: New York area: Waldbaums (Safeway?)

Post by Groceteria » 14 Sep 2006 10:23

I'm not usr about the store in question, but Safeway did operate in the greater NYC area, and did have stores in Queens through the mid-1960s.

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Post by rich » 14 Sep 2006 10:27

Safeway was gone from NYC before the Marina was introduced. They sold their stores to First National--according to this iste, it was in '58;although I think it was more like '61. Either way, it's unlikely to have been a Safeway. Lots of other chains used barrel vault ceilings and you can find non-Safeway examples in odd places like suburban Cleveland (an altered but still functioning Heinen's from around 1960).

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Post by Groceteria » 14 Sep 2006 10:40

rich wrote:Safeway was gone from NYC before the Marina was introduced. They sold their stores to First National--according to this iste, it was in '58;although I think it was more like '61. Either way, it's unlikely to have been a Safeway. Lots of other chains used barrel vault ceilings and you can find non-Safeway examples in odd places like suburban Cleveland (an altered but still functioning Heinen's from around 1960).
Yes, that's why I mentioned that I wasn't sure about the specific store. I haven't seen it, and I ave no idea what it might have been.

But Edric also asked whether Safeway had operated in Queens at all, and I was pointing out that they had. Actually, I've found evidence (since the Safeway article on this site was written) that they had stores there until 1964 or so, which is well into the Marina era. But again, I make no assumptions about this specific store.

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Post by rich » 14 Sep 2006 16:18

What is your evidence that they were there in '64? Everything I've read suggests that First National bought the entire New York division and that they did it well before '64. Something like the Moody's industrial manual would have a listing. The division was a chronic money loser for Safeway and its doubtful that they were investing much in the end. First National had its own problems at this point and the Safeway stores just compounded them.

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Post by Edric Floyd » 14 Sep 2006 18:48

That Waldbaums site may very well be as old as the 1950's. My grandmother moved to NY in the 1950's and used to live near this store in the very early 1970's. I always remembered this store as a Waldbaums.

The First National stores (FINAST) were all over Queens in the 1970's but gone by the early 1980's except for ONE that I knew on Metropolitan Avenue in the Sunnyside/Woodside section of Queens. That store was open well into the mid 1980's. Many of these old Finast stores became drug stores. Mostly Genovese Drugs (later Eckerds)

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Post by Edric Floyd » 14 Sep 2006 19:10

rich wrote:What is your evidence that they were there in '64? Everything I've read suggests that First National bought the entire New York division and that they did it well before '64. Something like the Moody's industrial manual would have a listing. The division was a chronic money loser for Safeway and its doubtful that they were investing much in the end. First National had its own problems at this point and the Safeway stores just compounded them.
I don't know if this helps, but I have one elderly aunt living in Queens, NY since the late 1950's and I just had the nerve to call and ask her if she remembered Safeway.

She confirmed that there was a Safeway on Kissena Blvd in Flushing Queens that she would occasionally shop at in the early 1960's. (She thinks 62 or 63 when she lived five blocks away) I know that store today is a Kissena Farms market. It is an odd shaped curved building. And the store was boarded up for many years. (there is a Pathmark directly behind it. A former Waldbaums that probably opened in the 1970's)

That Kissena Safeway was the only one she knew of since she never had a car. She moved to another area in Queens (East Elmhurst) and lived there for 30 years and rarely shopped outside of her neighborhood unless driven to a large Pathmark by relatives. She could not recall the Waldbaums that I was asking about. She currently lives near that Kissena Farms store.

I guess I have a project when I make my next trip to visit my aunt. Hell, she's gonna send me out shopping anyway. (she always does!)

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Post by John Michael » 15 Sep 2006 00:25

Edric - do you ever sleep? By the way, I also recall Safeway out on the Island - I believe that it was in Great Neck.

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Post by Transit Road » 15 Sep 2006 01:03

Shop Rite (Big V Supermarkets, headquartered in Florida, Orange Count, NY) had a store on NY Route 32 in Vails Gate, NY that had the barreled roof. Shop Rite/Big V also had other locations in their trade area that had the barreled roof. Since Shop Rite operates throughout the NYC Metro Area, could the location have been a Shop Rite?

I have seen photos of a former non-Marina Safeway, turned FINAST, and I believe currently a Stop & Shop at the corner of US Route 9 (Broadway) and NY 119 (White Plains Road) in Tarrytown, NY.

Also, I believe there was a Marina Safeway on Dolson Ave. in Middletown, NY. When I found it, the store was being used as a carpet store, but still had the Safeway "S" over mint green paint on the "wings". At the time - 1977 - 1987, it was unusual to see the Safeway logo so far outside of then-current Safeway territory.

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Post by Edric Floyd » 15 Sep 2006 03:19

John Michael wrote:Edric - do you ever sleep? By the way, I also recall Safeway out on the Island - I believe that it was in Great Neck.
John Michael,

Sometimes I sleep right here on my keyboard LOL!

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Post by Edric Floyd » 15 Sep 2006 03:35

Transit Road wrote:Shop Rite (Big V Supermarkets, headquartered in Florida, Orange Count, NY) had a store on NY Route 32 in Vails Gate, NY that had the barreled roof. Shop Rite/Big V also had other locations in their trade area that had the barreled roof. Since Shop Rite operates throughout the NYC Metro Area, could the location have been a Shop Rite?

.

I don't recall there being many Shop Rite stores in Queens itself. When I lived there, Shop Rite commercials were everywhere but I had never shopped in a Shop Rite store except when we visited friends in New Jersey. The only Shop Rite store I have ever seen in NY was in Westcheste County (Pleasantville).

Most of the New York FINAST stores faded away by the 1980's but remaining stores (In New England) turned into Edwards and later Stop and Shop. I remember their being Edwards Food Warehouse & Finast sharing marketing in the 1980's, mainly in Connecticut. Stop and Shop was also in CT.

Long after Finast faded away in NYC there were some Edwards stores built and those are now Stop and Shop. I am familiar with one that was built in the early 1990's in Long Island City as an Edwards that is now a Stop and Shop. It is next to the Long Island City Pathmark on Northern Blvd.

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Post by Groceteria » 15 Sep 2006 11:01

rich wrote:What is your evidence that they were there in '64? Everything I've read suggests that First National bought the entire New York division and that they did it well before '64. Something like the Moody's industrial manual would have a listing. The division was a chronic money loser for Safeway and its doubtful that they were investing much in the end. First National had its own problems at this point and the Safeway stores just compounded them.
Per the Food Marketing Institute and Supermarket News, you're correct about 1961 as the acquisition date.

The infomation I had was from The Directory of Shopping Centers in the US and Canada, 1964, which actually stated that several new centers in NYC with Safeway as anchor were under construction planned for a 1964 or 1965 opening, including what looked like an urban renewal center in Manhattan. They very well could have been using old information, but this guide has been fairly reliable in other areas. Apparently not for New York, though.

It does suggest, though, that maybe Safeway was still building stores near the end. They started with the Marina stores in 1959, so they would've had a couple of years left.

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Post by Dave » 15 Sep 2006 18:14

Groceteria wrote:...The infomation I had was from The Directory of Shopping Centers in the US and Canada, 1964, which actually stated that several new centers in NYC with Safeway as anchor were under construction planned for a 1964 or 1965 opening, including what looked like an urban renewal center in Manhattan. They very well could have been using old information, but this guide has been fairly reliable in other areas. Apparently not for New York, though...
Perhaps Safeway was considering stores in 1964-1965 and decided not to pursue them. Seems unlikely since they had left NYC fairly recently at that time. That would be a whole new subject for research.

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Big V?

Post by John Michael » 15 Sep 2006 22:11

Somewhere in my supermarket memory the name Big V stands. However, I seem also to recall Victory Supermarkets that we would see when traveling to upstate New York. Would this be the same chain? Why does Big V stand out to me?

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