“Is it crazy in there?’ a woman asked us on her way in to the new Wegmans on Corporate Park Drive in Harrison. Crazy? No. Busy? Undeniably, for with apologies to Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that neither a pandemic nor a hurricane – take a bow, Isaias – can keep Americans from a new grocery superstore. Indeed, given that a grocery store has been the highlight of many people’s lives the past few months, Wegmans is like the resort of grocery stores.
There are coffee, sushi, burger, pizza and flower bars, every kind of New York craft beer imaginable and aisles and aisles of well-stocked shelves within a sprawling, handsome, clean, well-lit environment. It’s almost overwhelming – almost. Intrepid, we set out to find packets of Herb Ox Sodium Free Granulated Chicken Bouillon, our lunchtime go-to and hard to score, though we did; a replenishment of party plastic silverware that actually looks like silverware; and rubber gloves; and found everything easily thanks to a large, helpful staff. (The one thing we sought that was not in stock was Lysol spray, the holy grail of this pandemic moment.)
Over in the bakery section, an apple cinnamon coffee cake by Molly’s – which had more layers than ancient Troy – said, “Bring me back to the staff.” So we did – and later devoured a thick, doughy slice. We paid for these goodies at the coffee bar, where we were tempted to try the honey lavender latte but settled for our decaf skim standby. (Perhaps next time.)
Social distancing is always a challenge in the supermarket, but with everyone in masks and hand sanitizer and wipes for the carts front and center, observing CDC guidelines was not a problem. (There are no one-way aisles, the thinking being that one-way traffic tends to create traffic jams, one employee told us.)
Meanwhile, other members of our Westfair team were over there in force to sample the lunchtime goodies. They enjoyed the sushi, hamburgers and big sandwiches but thought Wegmans a bit Whole Food-ie as far as prices went. (Although one member of our staff said that for items like ice cream, store prices were comparable to any supermarket.)
Will we be back? Unquestionably – for dinner takeout; to peruse the home goods and flower sections; and, of course, there’s always that Lysol quest. Look for Wegmans to anchor a former office park that’s now all about mixed use and to become a big asset to WAG country.
Wegmans is at 106 Corporate Park Drive in Harrison. For more, visit wegmans.com/Harrison.