COSTCO NYC’s Opening Day!

By grace.g.yang ยท November 13, 2009
Under: Cheap Eats,Desserts,Dinner,Harlem,My Life,Things to do in NYC

Thursday, November 12th, was NYC Costco Day (according to me, David, Ariel, and Kristen). You see, I didn’t grow up with Costco, Sam’s Club, or any super large shopping store; the closest I got to a large superstore was a Meijer and Wal-Mart in Champaign, Illinois. Since I’m not used to buying in bulk, going to Costco/Sam’s Club/BJ’s is a truly MAGICAL experience for me. It’s like running down the stairs on CHRISTMAS MORNING to see all of your presents…except I see all the savings! All kidding aside, I can probably count the number of times I’ve been to Costco (under 10) and each time has been really fun (I even went to one in Taiwan to pick up bagels with my aunt! Bagels!) Anyway, when I got wind that the Costco was opening in Harlem, I recruited Kristen and Ariel, fellow Costco lovers, for a field trip to East Harlem. The Costco opened at 8am, but we went after work (1. I don’t like Costco enough to skip work for it and 2. I figured the lines would be ridiculous at 8am). I told Dorren, my coworker and really awesome friend, that I was going to Costco and I told him about my plans to bring my shopping cart all the way to East Harlem to pick up groceries; he surprised me this morning by driving his car in (all the way from inner NJ) so I could drive it to Harlem and buy more groceries. Isn’t that the nicest thing ever?! Since we didn’t have to brave the subways during rush hour, David decided to join in on the fun as well. We drove up the FDR (quite a fast trip) and saw the amazing Costco on 116th:


The area up there is amazing; developers came in and built this huge structure for a Costco, Best Buy, Target, Petsmart, Old Navy, AND large parking lot (the other stores don’t open until next year). Parking is very reasonable: $4 for the first two hours and then $9 for the third (I’m not sure about pricing after 3 hours and parking was free on opening day, but I think we stayed less than two hours anyway). The tent in front of the entrance was for people to sign up for Costco cards, luckily, we already had one (another thank you to Dorren!)

The first thing we saw when we entered the store was a large selection of flatscreen televisions:


David and I were THISCLOSE to buying one, but we figured there was no space in our car (or apartment) for a new tv.

They had a TON of uggs:


They had slippers for women and boots for men (although I saw a lot of women trying on the boots anyway). We passed on the Uggs because there was nowhere to really sit down and try them on.

The samples were absolutely ridiculous – there were people at practically every aisle making appetizers, entrees, and desserts for us to sample. The first sample we had was for dried mangoes and tropical fruit:


Yay I’m happy (and so is the guy behind me!):


We also tried steak (yes, they were grilling up steaks and cutting them into HUGE pieces for people to try), macaroni and cheese, chicken, lots of cheese, cream puffs, chocolates (holiday-type chocolate covered cookies also fall into the chocolate category), entire bottles of Kirkland iced tea (the only bad sample of the night – the thing was worse than drinking sugar water, which is what the iced tea basically was), cheesecake slices (seriously, they gave out slices of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory), Eli’s bread, apple strudels, coffee crumb cakes, and snack sizes of cinnamon rice pudding:


Here I am crossing of my grocery list and waiting for a sample of the cheesecake (I got a piece of Godiva chocolate cheesecake):


Their prepared foods were also really good, especially the shrimp couscous salad (in my hand here as I’m trying to find a turkey to buy):


I found a Butterball turkey ($0.99/pound) and asked if they could butterfly it for me; sadly, they can’t cut any meats whatsoever so I’ll have to sharpen my knife/scissors to cut this bird up.

The store is huge (although I’ve heard it’s not as large as other Costco’s); there are two refrigerated sections (one for Milk, Eggs, and Dairy and the other for Fresh Produce). Some of the best buys were the eggs (36 for $3.69!) Here’s David in the dairy section:


There’s also a fresh seafood section that had large crabs, crab legs (they were precooked), lobster tails ($17.99/pound and absolutely gigantic), and mussels ($1.99/pound, which is $1 cheaper than Whole Foods’):


The salmon was about $7/pound and only available in large quantities, so I decided to pass on it (originally, I was going to make a turkey and salmon for Saturday’s party).

Other great deals we found – bulk quantities of vanilla extract (Kristen picked one up):


Bananas (3 pounds for $1.32 – seriously, you cannot beat this deal!):


And my favorite buy – Frank’s hot sauce – two LARGE containers for…wait for it….$5:


We talked Kristen out of buying these Oreos (they’re in fresh packs so they wouldn’t go stale but David was worried that if Kristen bought them and brought them into the office, he’d end up eating them all). Kristen kind of regretted not buying them (can you see the tight grip she has on those cookies?):


They also sell makeup (Stila, Lancome lotions, and Borghese were the brands we saw):


While we waited in line, I took a short video asking what Kristen and Ariel liked and disliked about the new Costco:

Overall, David and I ended up spending about $200 (we also bought other things like socks, underwear, face wash, and body lotion). The lines were super short for opening day (actually, shorter than any other time I’ve been to Costco, and the employees were knowledgeable and really helpful. I think everyone is really happy to have a Costco in Manhattan (although one employee told me he prefers the Yonkers Costco to this one). I had a great time there and I’m really excited to go back, although I don’t know when I’ll ever need to go back since I bought enough food/supplies to last me 6 months! Look at how excited we are:


The ideal situation for going to Costco is having a zipcar because taking that many groceries on the subway is just not a good idea (in retrospect, I have no idea what Kristen and I were thinking when we thought it was okay to just bring a cart even though I was hauling a huge turkey back). A huge thank you to Dorren for lending us his car (and Costco card).

*David and I are hosting our 2nd annual NYC Thanksgiving party this Saturday night…and we’re going to LIVESTREAM IT! My mom suggested it while we were skyping tonight since she wants to see what I prepare (and see if our guests are having a great time) and I think it’s a great idea! I’ll post the link once we figure out the details.

Reader Comments

Oh, is there a Costco opening in NYC? I had no idea, because news of it definitely hasn’t been appearing in my twitter feed three times a day for the past week ๐Ÿ˜‰

Glad the trip was a success.

Written By Andy Brett on November 13th, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

omg, i heard about the target opening up there (so excited for that!!), but had no idea bout the costco!! i love their hot dog deal and their pizza… did the have it there?

Written By merdie kristine on November 13th, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

They have a really small food court, but they do have hot dogs AND frozen yogurt…not sure about the pizza.

Written By grace.g.yang on November 13th, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

Agree. It’s a good article that I can apply this for my routine. I loved it, so usefully. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

Written By ed hardy on November 14th, 2009 @ 12:34 am

Can you get a taxi there (at Costco) to come back w/ your groceries?

Written By Jo on November 15th, 2009 @ 9:03 am

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