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Mayor Michael Bloomberg does not have to travel all the way to Douglaston to choose from a selection of more than 600 artisanal cheeses or 70 different types of olives, so the fact that he is expected to attend the opening of the neighborhood’s new Fairway Market next week is a testament to the excitement the food store is stirring up in Queens.
The iconic grocery store whose flagship store on Broadway and 74th Street in Manhattan has been drawing devoted customers since the 1930s now has eight stores in the tri-state area. It has a reputation for offering a vast combination of specialty, organic and traditional food items at competitive prices.
A spokeswoman for the market said Bloomberg is expected to join Howard Glickberg and his son Dan Glickberg, third- and fourth-generation members of the company’s founding family, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 16 at 10 a.m.
The store was originally planning to open to its doors to shoppers at 8 a.m. Nov. 16, but the spokeswoman said it will now open after the ribbon-cutting ceremony that day.
With parking for more than 400 cars on its lot near the intersection of Douglaston Parkway and the Long Island Expressway, Douglaston’s newest food market certainly offers more parking for the mayor’s SUVs than does the Fairway near his home on the Upper East Side.
The store will open the doors on its newly renovated, 56,000-square-foot building after the ceremeony for shoppers who want to grab the day’s first cup of coffee roasted on premises or some of the store-made mozzarella.
The market is planning to fire up its huge bakery ovens later this week so they are ready to go next week.
The front of the store, where the walls are covered with a floor-to-ceiling mural of flowers, will be filled with fresh produce.
It has a 30-foot-long organic, frozen food section and 20 registers up front.
“Every second counts up here,” Dan Glickberg said.
City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) said he knew of many people, his wife included, who travel to Long Island to shop at the Fairway in Plainview.
“I’m sure they’ll be delighted to stay at home and support Fairway and Queens,” he said. “Maybe we’ll even get a few people from Long Island.”
Weprin said he was involved in the process to make sure a Best Buy did not go in the location of the old Waldbaum’s and that instead a food market took its place.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “It’s been a long battle and a struggle on the part of a lot of people.”
Fairway announced it filled more than 400 jobs to staff the store, which will include a café, a kosher bakery, a vast selection of gluten-free groceries and frozen foods and a full-service catering department.
“It certainly would be good for the area,” Weprin said. “There’s the movie theater, Grimaldi’s and the dentist office. I’m sure they will all benefit from having more traffic in the shopping center.”
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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