By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The Gristedes at 355 First Avenue across from Peter Cooper Village will be converted into a D’Agostino, owner John Catsimatidis confirmed last week.
Catsimatidis told Real Estate Weekly last week that the change was at the request of neighbors, since there was D’Agostino east of First Avenue in Stuyvesant Town for over 50 years. That store lost its lease over a decade ago and was replaced with a new gym. Catsimatidis said that there are no plans right now to re-brand at other Gristedes locations.
Neighbors notified Town & Village at the beginning of this month that a sign announcing the change was posted in the window and the Gristedes sign had been removed by September 3.
Signage outside the store had already changed over to D’Agostino by this past Tuesday and renovations were ongoing in the store at the time. Construction workers outside the store on Tuesday said that the store will be staying open during the renovations and the grand re-opening is scheduled for next Friday, September 20.
There are currently over 35 Gristedes and D’Agostino stores in operation, mostly located in Manhattan, with one in downtown Brooklyn and another in Roosevelt Island.
According to Catsimatidis, who ran for mayor in 2013, he has survived in the struggling supermarket sector by outlasting his competitors, and at times acquiring them. He also noted that some of the city’s Gristedes stores could become D’Agostinos and vice versa. The company may also decide to open more Foodtown supermarkets, a brand Catsimatidis doesn’t own but does license in more suburban areas.