New supermarket is the ‘Key’ to Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge has put out the welcome mat for its new supermarket.

A new Key Food opened last Thursday on Bay Ridge Avenue with rock-star-like crowds and a line down the block in front of the 13,000-square-foot store.

“The Key Food people told me it was one of the best openings they ever witnessed,” owner Sammy Abed said.

The crowd is not a surprise, given that the only other supermarkets in the neighborhood are the Foodtown at Third Avenue and 91st Street; the Food City at Third Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway; a Met Food at 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue; and a small Associated at Third Avenue and 79th Street.

A fourth store, a Key Food at Third Avenue and 94th Street, closed in June, 2008. The neighborhood also lost the Waldbaum’s at Fourth Avenue and Senator Street and a Grand Union that had been located on Fifth Avenue at 94th Street.

Josephine Beckmann, the district manager of Community Board 10, was excited.

“A supermarket is such a big thing for the community,” she said. “It’s beautiful on the inside.”

Beckmann praised the store’s wide diversity of offerings, which Abed said was part of the plan.

“We saw the extreme circumstances in Bay Ridge, where every time a supermarket lease ran out, a drugstore just gobbled up the space,” Abed said. “You walk five blocks, there are eight drugstores, but if you walk 25 blocks, you can’t find a supermarket.”

The Key Food replaces Harry’s for the Home, which had been closed for about 15 months before the Key Food deal was reached.

Besides standard supermarket fare, the Key Food also has a floral department, organic products, hot food, a full service deli, a bakery, and a selection of international foods. In addition, there is free valet parking across the street.