It's getting to be an increasingly common sight: folks coming out of the subway in Harlem, Washington Heights and beyond, carrying bulging Trader Joe's bags in each hand.
It seems that like the rest of New York, people who live uptown can't get enough of the California-based grocery chain and its Mandarin Orange Chicken.
Still, thirteen years after Trader Joe's first opened in New York–and with as many stores now dotting the city–there is no concrete sign the grocer has any plans to open in Upper Manhattan. (The Curious Uptowner reached out to the company asking about a possible uptown store but never received an answer.)
The interest is certainly there, and not just anecdotally. After recently spotting a Trader Joe's bag on 145th Street–52 blocks from the nearest store at 93rd Street and Columbus Avenue–The Curious Uptowner conducted its own poll on Instagram, asking, "Do you want a Trader Joe's to open in Upper Manhattan?" Ninety-one percent of respondents said they did.
Some uptowners have even tried organizing. A Facebook group called Bring Trader Joe's to Washington Heights–it has more than 2,500 followers–attempted to get the company's attention a number of years ago.
A reporter for the now defunct DNAinfo followed up with the grocer, only for a spokeswoman to say that TJ's had no plans to open uptown. "But we absolutely appreciate and will make note of the community interest," she added.
As Upper Manhattanites continue to remain hopeful, the online rumor mill churns with possible future locations: the new Circa on W 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, the old Fallas/Conway store on W 116th Street and Lenox Avenue, the closed Pathmark on E 125th Street, the Hamilton Theater on W 146th Street, and even the old Coliseum Cinemas on W 181st Street and Broadway.
In the meantime, expect a lot more long-distance grocery bag lugging.
Top photo: Anthony 92931/Wikimedia Commons