July 9, 2006

53rd St. Co-Op to become new home of Hyde Park Produce

One of the biggest knocks against Hyde Park is its terrible selection of shopping. Basically all we’ve got is the Co-Op. I remember reading or hearing that there was some restriction on grocery stores in Hyde Park, but after extensively searching I couldn't find anything to back this up, regardless, Hyde Park seems to have a pretty intense anti-business feeling complete with plenty of barriers to entry--which explains the rash of empty shops on 55th--and a love of crappy, community run shops.Regardless, the problem with the Co-Op is that it sucks. Like, it really sucks, case-in-point: despite its near-monopoly status (by law or otherwise), it still can't manage to keep its stores profitable. In the past few years two of its three big stores have closed. The best part of this? Nothing has replaced these shopping destinations. So the Co-Op is the owner of the two largest empty boxes in Hyde Park and one crappy supermarket. Well, finally one of those aspects has changed. The Co-Op's 53rd Street store (the one famous for being the only branch to not print your full credit card number on your receipt) is going to be the new home of Hyde Park Produce (link not stable). Now, it is not a Trader Joe's or a Whole Foods, but at least it is something.Also, for the people that actually eat produce, I've heard it is great. Now that it will have four times the space, hopefully it will only get better.