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Fairway Market Opens Amid Great Fanfare

The sprawling gourmet store—with wine and beer—will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

 

Its slogan is Like No Other Market and—from the looks of the line that ran hundreds deep outside the new Fairway grocery store in nearby Woodland Park early Wednesday—a lot of people believe it.

"We don't get much excitement around here and, no doubt about it, this is exciting," said Bonnie Peak, one of those waiting patiently for the doors to open to the public at 11 a.m.

The atmosphere in the shopping plaza on Route 46, home to Kohl's, GameStop, and Barnes & Noble, was circus-like, with bubbly Fairway employees trying their best to keep those waiting in line happy by passing out coupons while seeking to prevent a stampede.

"We don't want anybody to get hurt and there are a lot of kids around here," said one worker. "We know you've been waiting a long time but we need everyone to be calm."

A stampede? A line that snaked as long as the eye could see? For a grocery store? This Montclair Patch editor, who grew up around sprawling grocery stores in Texas, wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

Among grocery stores, Fairway, the popular Manhattan-based food market, has always been a destination retailer.

And, after taking a quick tour, it's easy to see why.

Not only does Fairway offer a good stock of pretty produce and prepared foods, but it boasts a huge Fairway Wine & Spirits shop, featuring over 600 wines and hundreds of spirits, neatly divided up between "Old World" and "New World."

Indeed, it's a bit disarming for a Montclair resident to come upon an aisle packed with beer—in a grocery store. And there isn't just the likes of Amstel Light, which is priced at $15.99 for a case. There also are unusual varieties such as an Indian pale ale called Titan as well as Fuller's London Pride.

The new Fairway, about four miles from Montclair, is the second Fairway in the Garden State. The new 62,000-square-foot location includes a cheese section with more than 600 cheeses on display, everything from Drunken Goat to Spanish Clara to Rustico Aged Manchego.

There's also a large olive bar that includes Festive Olives, Kalamata Olives, and Lemon Stuffed Olives. Across the aisle is a selection of more than 100 varieties of olive oils including un-filtered barrel oils imported from Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Australia, and California. An impressive bulk grain section gives customers access to Garbanzo Beans, Yellow Corn Grits, and Red Split Lentils, among many other choices. In addition, there is a Kosher bakery, a large selection of Gluten-Free groceries, and hand-selected dry aged prime beef.

In the middle of the store is a 60-seat full service cafe offering more than 50 hot and cold dishes, and stations for chopped salads, coffee, paninis, sandwiches, and sushi.

In general, the prices here don't seem over the top; a can of Del Monte corn was $1.19 while Fresh Jumbo Shrimp was $5.99 a pound.

"We're confident shoppers will be impressed by what we have to offer, an incredible selection of foods for every appetite and budget," said Howie Glickberg, vice chairman of development and grandson of the founder.

Fairway was founded in 1933 as a modest 3,500-square-foot fruit and vegetable market on the Upper West Side. Today there are 10 food stores and three wine and spirits shops in the tri-state area, employing approximately 3,900 people.

Fairway, located at 1510 U.S. 46 West (off Browertown Road) in the Kohl's Shopping Center, is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

What do you think? Will you check out Fairway? Tell us in the comments section below.

Ron Mullen June 07, 2012 at 12:16 PM
One thing is for sure, a lb of Coffee will go down to $7.99.
Melody Lima June 07, 2012 at 01:14 PM
For a former Upper West Sider like me, this inew Fairway is exciting and nostalgic. I have great memories of my early 20s hanging out on Broadway outside Fairway with my dance bag over my shoulder. Yes, I will shop at the new Fairway and be giddy!
Angela June 09, 2012 at 01:40 AM
I've never seen so much floor staff. Bizarre- I had 3 people snapping to to help me find the bulgur wheat. The one in Paramus has a few staff people sprinkled here and there but this operation feels totally different - maybe its just for the opening. And it seems like the whole police dept. is in the parking lot. Like an international incident.
Danelectro59 June 09, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Against my better judgment, I went there after dinner on Thursday because my wife wanted me to pick up one of the $5.99/lb. beef tenderloins they had as a Grand Opening special. The crowds were like the mall at Christmas, but not nearly as civilized. I do plan on going back after the novelty wears off, as I did see a lot of interesting things I don't see elsewhere. And as for the prior comment about the shrimp being "cheaper" at Shop Rite, the shrimp Fairway was selling was wild-caught American shrimp. Shop Rite sells farm-raised shrimp from places like Viet Nam. If you think the two are exactly the same, and the only difference is price, then God bless you. My father-in-law was like that. He knew the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Darlene Sneden June 09, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Just visited the Fairway on Rte 46W this morning and sampled a freshly tossed "Special Salad" made by "Uncle Vinny," one of the Rock Star Chefs of Fairway; it was tasty. Meandered over to the Fish Dept and sampled the freshly made shrimp salad (in-store steamed shrimp, Hellman's and celery); it was fabulous. Nice store, friendly staff, not too crowded (except by the free food giveaways).

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