I was riffling through Municipal Archives 1940 Manhattan photos on 3rd Avenue recently (I do it so you don’t have to) when I happened upon a photo of this Gristede’s warehouse at 2098 3rd, at the NW corner of East 115th. The site is now the location of PS 57.
I was surprised Gristede’s has been around that long. Manhattan, of course, has always been blessed with a number of supermarket chains located almost exclusively on the island, from Gristede’s to Sloan’s to Food Emporium to D’Agostino. In Little Neck, we have Queens’ smallest Stop & Shop (compared to others in the chain I’ve noticed in Bayside and Port Washington, which are virtual cathedrals of food).
Gristede’s was begun by German immigrant brothers Charles and Diedrich Gristede with one store on 42nd Street and 2nd Avenue in 1891. Customers found the selection and service to their liking and the brothers were soon able to open new stores around town, and by 1948 Gristede’s had 141 locations in Manhattan, Bronx, and the northern suburbs. The company had its ups and downs and at one time or the other had partnered with both Sloan’s and Food Emporium. Today, Gristede’s is owned by John Catsimatidis, who ran for mayor a few years ago.