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Trader Joe’s will open Sept. 26! • Brooklyn Paper

Trader Joe’s will open Sept. 26!

Borough President Markowitz donned a Trader Joe’s Hawaiian shirt on Thursday and danced with a calypso band from Borough Hall to the corner of Court Street and Atlantic Avenue, where the quirky gourmet supermarket will soon open its first Brooklyn store.
The Brooklyn Paper / Craig Dilger

Trader Joe’s, the quirky California-based supermarket chain where prices are low and the staff wears Hawaiian shirts, will open its long-awaited first Brooklyn store on Friday, Sept. 26, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.

The 9 am grand opening celebration in the landmark Independence Bank building at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Court Street will feature giveaways, live music and an appearance from Brooklyn’s biggest retail booster, Borough President Markowitz.

But, alas, there won’t be any of the chain’s signature wine, Two-Buck Chuck. This location won’t be selling alcohol, a company spokesman said.

The lack of booze is no big problem for the faithful who were excited that they no longer have to trek to the mobbed Union Square location for frozen burritos and dirt-cheap granola.

“I love it,” said Nicholas Pecsok, a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident. “It’s good living on the cheap and it’s such a madhouse that it’s kind of fun to go and wrestle people for organic apple juice.”

Next week’s grand-opening event won’t be the first time that the Beep lent his support to the company. Last year, when Trader Joe’s announced its plans, Markowitz donned a Hawaiian shirt and led a parade from Borough Hall to the site.

Now that the store is on the verge of opening, the Beep is tasting success (and perhaps also a Trader Joe’s frozen pizza.)

“Trader Joe’s is unconventional, diverse and quirky — just like Brooklyn — and bringing one to our borough has been a dream since the day I took office as Borough President,” the food-loving Beep said in a statement.

According to the company’s announcement, the new store will feature the usual cedar-covered walls and Hawaiian-inspired elements, but also “celebrate the rich heritage of Brooklyn’s history” with some wall hangings co-created with the Brooklyn Historical Society.

The store has “obtained reproductions of the city’s key sites and incorporated these images into several hand-crafted murals [including] scenes of Coney Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ebbets Field and Downtown Brooklyn.”

“In addition, every sign including the shelf tags and chalkboards have been hand drawn to reflect the city’s old town market scene using old fonts and lithograph techniques,” the statement said.

But some shoppers will avoid the new store like the plague. They say you can put localized murals on a crowded, inconvenient market, but it’s still a crowded, inconvenient market.

“I honestly never go to the one in Manhattan anymore, because it’s so crowded,” said Clinton Hill foodie, Malika Gujarati. Plus, “I hate how the produce is pre-packaged” rather than separate so you can buy one avocado or grapefruit at a time.

Two Trees Management, the DUMBO development company, brought the grocer to Cobble Hill as part of a project that also included a controversial residential building next door. That building is almost finished.

Neighbors battled Two Trees, because the company wanted to exceed the height limit of the protected Cobble Hill historic district.

They've come a long way since July. There's now food on the shelves at the new Trader Joe's, and the ribbon will be cut on Sept. 26.
The Brooklyn Paper / Jeff Bachner

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