Alright folks, not only do we have another Food Bazaar tour today (that's right, I've photographed 18 of the 26 Food Bazaars, so what?), but today's store is the original Food Bazaar. Francis An immigrated to the United States from Korea via Argentina and found it difficult to source food from either of those two countries, despite the fact that Elmhurst and Corona had large Korean and Argentinian populations, respectively. So when this Waldbaum's became vacant on the border between those two neighborhoods, it was only natural that An moved in under the Food Bazaar name. Today, Francis An's son Spencer continues to run the chain with a total of 26 stores and at least one more on the way.
This store also features a Groundswell mural on the side, which we've seen before at the Junction, Wyckoff, Myrtle, and Manhattan Food Bazaars. This one is called "The Seed of Diversity."
This panorama is one of my favorites I've taken. Now let's head inside...
Pretty much nothing exists from when this was a Waldbaum's. However, I don't believe we've seen this decor in a Food Bazaar previously. In fact, this might be the only store (left?) with this decor. I think it might have been in the small store at 58-01 Junction Blvd, the third Food Bazaar on Junction, which is right around the corner from this store.
Produce takes up the majority of the first aisle, with seafood at the back. Meats run along the back wall with dairy and frozen in the last aisle, and deli-bakery in the front corner.
A look at the cool wooden beams across the ceiling. Also the thermometer, which places the store at a nice 60 degrees (on the warm end of Food Bazaar temperatures). As someone who's always hot no matter the weather, I love it; my mother will bring a coat when we go to Food Bazaar in the summer.
The usual enormous seafood department is at the back of the first aisle, although it looks like half the sign is burnt out.
Again, I don't believe we've seen these signs in any other Food Bazaar. Continuing along the back aisle, we see the meat department in an aisle on the back wall with a second aisle in front of it.
In other words, the meat department is behind this shelf.
Great wood details all around, and I love the custom signs. All of Food Bazaar's design is done in-house.
Now heading back over to the grocery aisles...
Every inch of the store is utilized, even the little hallway towards the backroom. (Note the eggs sign from the latest decor package.)
Frozen in the second-to-last aisle and one additional side of the last aisle.
Other signage, such as the deli menu boards, are also from newer decor packages.
Customer service is just around the corner from the deli, leading into the front-end. And can you spot the other new decor elements?
That's right, the checkout lights and the handicap sign. Those are from the latest decor, while the rest of the front end is much older.
And that's a wrap on our tour of the very first Food Bazaar! It'll be a while before we tour another Food Bazaar, but I do have several more coming. Up next we see Middle Village and Maspeth!