Sorry, Trader Joe’s probably isn’t coming to Prospect Heights

washington avenue trader joe's
Some of us are having nightmares at the idea of unloading a truck into this location. THANKS.

The rumor mill has ginned up something mighty frothy today, putting the idea in everyone’s heads that Prospect Heights is about to get a Trader Joe’s on Washington Avenue and Lincoln Place. Someone heard from a guy who heard from a guy who heard from another guy that TJ’s is bringing its Hawaiian shirts to 856 Washington Ave. (such airtight sourcing!) Well, allow us to burst that bubble, because it’s almost certainly not happening, for several reasons.

How do we know? Well, for starters, there’s the store calendar that has no news about a second Brooklyn location. A Boca Raton store is opening up on a Brokelyn editor’s 30th birthday, but that’s neither here nor there.

Second, we spoke to a source within Trader Joe’s management who told us he hadn’t heard anything about a second Brooklyn store and that “most growth efforts are focusing in Colorado, Texas and Florida right now.” We also asked a TJ’s customer service rep in California about any plans in the 11238 ZIP code, and she told us that while she didn’t see any plans for it, there are plans for a store opening in Syracuse.

The other reason? That building ain’t fit for a Trader Joe’s. Trust us: Brokelyn is staffed by enough former Trader Joe’s employees who see a building like that and break down in tears at the prospect of having to get product in to it.

Here’s a tip if you ever want to consider whether a building is good for a Trader Joe’s: it doesn’t matter if the building used to house a bank, it matters that there’s room for a loading dock of some kind. Somewhere off to the side or the back where gigantic pallets stacked high with garbanzo beans and seaweed snacks and green juice can be brought in and out, without getting in the way of customers trying to get into the store. The building at 856 Washington Avenue is surrounded on three sides by other buildings and only has a narrow alley that an electric pallet jack would never fit into, unless you wanted to just jam it in there and leave it. When he saw a picture of the building and was asked about trying to load in to it, our management source responded “LOL at that.”

So, sorry, but you’ll probably have to keep dealing with the line at the Cobble Hill store. It moves faster than it did when we worked there, though.


  1. Corinne

    What about the second half of the rumor – that the Key Foods on the other side of the street is turning into a Duande Reade? Any merit to that? (please please please crosses fingers please)

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