Williamsburgers have a Whole lot to look forward to.
Grocery empire Whole Foods is finally opening its Bedford Avenue store on July 26 following years of delays, and locals say they’re itching to get their hands on some biodynamic soy milk and bulk flax seeds after all this time
“I can’t wait,” said Leticia Devalar, who has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years and usually buys groceries at the nearby Foodtown. “I’ll shop there all the time.”
The organic market chain has been working on the outlet at N. Fourth Street since 2012, and was supposed to open the doors in 2014, but the whole thing moved slower than a herd of free-range chickens through organic peanut butter.
Amongst the hold-ups, a worker was seriously injured after being hit by a hose in 2014, and the construction company later lost its license for that and other transgressions when a worker died on a separate site.
Some Gowanus residents grumbled about gentrification when the high-end emporium opened its first Brooklyn store in their nabe in 2013, but Williamsburgers say that ship has well and truly sailed on Bedford Avenue.
“The neighborhood has already changed,” said seven-year resident Lisa Gerstel-Zach, who currently shops at Brooklyn Harvest and Urban Market, and is also looking forward to the forthcoming Kent Street Trader Joe’s. “You can’t yell ‘gentrification’ it happened 10 years ago. It’ll be a nice option.”
But not everyone in the area is thrilled about the chain’s arrival — the owners of the Foodtown across the street are suing the developer of the Whole Foods building, claiming it was able to flout parking requirements by filing misleading building plans, according to a recent Real Deal report.
The Williamsburg store won’t be anywhere near as big as the mammoth outpost near the canal, but it will boast a few unique offerings, including prepared foods from crustacean sensation Luke’s Lobster and pastries from Bushwick pizzeria Roberta’s.
— with Lauren Gill