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Trader Joe’s to open Pronto ‘grab and go’ in former E. 14th St. wine shop

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Trader Joe’s is going a bit retro.

The beloved budget shopping chain is returning to its roots by launching a “Pronto” store at the site of its former wine shop near Union Square.

TJ’s suddenly shuttered the wine shop back in August 2022, with the company being accused of trying to thwart a union-organizing effort.

Pronto was actually the name of a small chain of California convenience stores that would eventually morph into Trader Joe’s in 1967.

According to Susuky Zambrano, a manager at the next-door Trader Joe’s market, at 142 E. 14th St., between Third and Fourth Avenues, the Pronto shop will have its grand opening Tuesday.

“It’s essentially grab and go,” he explained, “sandwiches, fresh salads, soups, chips, cut fruit, beverages. Things you can pick up on your lunch hour. It’ll be fun.”

The beverages will not include wine, though.

The location was formerly home to the popular Trader Joe’s Wine Shop.

The Pronto’s hours will be seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be six cash registers.

In November 2022, the United Food and Commercial Workers union filed a complaint over the TJ’s wine shop’s closing. According to a news report, per the complaint, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel this past January said that, to remedy the unfair labor practice allegations, “Trader Joe’s must reopen the wine shop and reimburse employees, making them ‘whole’ for any wages they lost.”

No doubt, Trader Joe’s still retains the rare and coveted supermarket wine license. Although supermarkets can sell beer, the liquor store lobby has fought tooth and nail against efforts to let all grocery stores sell wine, too, feeling it would destroy their business.

However, manager Zambrano said definitively that the next-door Pronto store will not have wine.

One Comment

  1. misch brannock misch brannock March 25, 2024

    This sucks…was hoping for wine

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