The wait to shop is nearly over.
Howard Beach’s new supermarket finally has an opening date.
The new Key Food at 163-20 Cross Bay Blvd. will hold its grand opening on Sept. 5, according to several sources close to the store’s owner.
Work was being done inside the store in the past few weeks, including the construction of a brand-new glass facade facing Cross Bay Boulevard, and a permanent sign was installed in front of the new windows on July 24.
Many residents in Howard Beach have been waiting for the supermarket to open since the announcement that the vacant building would become a Key Food almost exactly a year ago. The neighborhood is only served by two other supermarkets — both Waldbaum’s stores — one farther north on Cross Bay Boulevard and the other in Lindenwood. Some residents travel to supermarkets in Ozone Park, Brooklyn and Glendale as well.
Key Food announced it was taking over the site last summer and displayed a banner over the building facing Cross Bay Boulevard that advertised the market as “coming soon.”
But its opening had been delayed, and the banner was removed a few months ago, leading some to wonder if the supermarket would ever open.
According to several sources, the owner had issues getting the proper permits to open the store as a supermarket.
The building that will be home to the neighborhood’s second big chain supermarket was most recently the home of a Duane Reade franchise, which never returned after Hurricane Sandy flooded the building with more than 5 feet of water. Before Duane Reade, the location was the site of the Waterview Diner. The neighborhood staple was demolished to build the current building.
The new Key Food is directly next door to a larger building that is now vacant after the Staples store there closed earlier this year.