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TOUR: Key Food - Riverdale North, Bronx, NY

In the 2015-16 A&P bankruptcy, there was only one grocery store in New York City operating under the A&P banner. "The last A&P left in New York City," as some publications reported it. In reality, this store was a Shopwell and later converted to Shopwell's The Food Emporium banner. When A&P purchased The Food Emporium in 1986, this store remained a Food Emporium.
As part of the 2011 bankruptcy reorganization of A&P, this store was converted to an A&P Fresh. Unfortunately, other than a new exterior sign, no work inside or out was done to the severely outdated 14,000 square foot store. In the 2015-16 final bankruptcy, the store was sold to owner Kevin Luna, who developed plans to complete a total renovation of the supermarket while keeping it open. However, Braun Management, which owns the Skyview Shopping Center, has repeatedly indicated they do not intend to renew Luna's lease at the next opportunity.
At the time of writing, the Key Food remains in businesses but has changed ownership (however, it's still a Key Food). Luna did not want to begin renovations since he didn't know that he will be able to keep the store open for many years to come. So the Key Food, which is located at 5661 Riverdale Ave in the far northwestern corner of Riverdale, still looks like it did at the time of The Food Emporium's last renovation. The new owners are soon to begin a full renovation, and have finally replaced the staff and management team, who were still left over from the A&P days. (You can't run a Key Food with A&P people, you need a new team. Or else you're just running the same old A&P.)
And the store is in pretty bad shape. From uneven floors to leaks in the ceiling, it's hard to imagine this being anyone's store of choice (instead the store of necessity). Produce lines the first aisle, which is the front wall of the store, with meats on the left-side wall, deli/bakery in the last aisle, and checkouts on the right side of the store.
At the end of the first aisle, we see what's probably a closed seafood counter in the corner (now stocked with root vegetables, and my guess is that the counter closed at the time of the switch to A&P if not earlier). Probably at the same time, the butcher counter was replaced with a refrigerator case, shown to the right here. The Key Food does not currently have a seafood or butcher counter, which would likely be included in a renovation.
In the grocery aisles, we see everything original from The Food Emporium. Shelving (including the panels running along the top), lighting, floor, and aisle markers. The two later conversions, to A&P and then to Key Food, have brought no structural changes at all.
Frozen foods about halfway across the store.
Deli and bakery in the last aisle, which is the back wall of the store. Key Food has expanded the deli into what used to be the bakery department. Key Food does bake in-store still, but the bakery is no longer a service counter.
Bakery now mostly cheese and hummus (with one case of baked goods, visible to the right).
And here's a look across the front-end, which is the right side of the store. I am hoping that Key Food is able to stay in this location and complete the major renovation. Also, we've seen the Luna family's other stores -- and they're pretty great (see here and here). I'd love to get to their newest store at 4211 Broadway in Manhattan sometime, too (see here and here). Also, if you ever visit this store, stop by Gruenebaum's Deli & Bakery next door in the mall. Fantastic food!

Key Food Supermarkets

5661 Riverdale Ave, Riverdale, Bronx, NY
Photographed March 2019


  1. It's a shame the first post-A&P owner here wasn't able to renovate, but I can't blame him in the least if he was told that the property owners don't intend to renew his lease. Why bother? I wonder if the property owners' stance has changed, or else I fear the new owner will be wasting money, too. That said, the store certainly deserves an upgrade... but as a retail fan, it's nice to see the old Food Emporium décor still hanging on, too. (Surely not to any regular shoppers of this store, though, as you said.)

    1. Exactly. The Lunas' other stores are really, really nice so it's obvious the landlord was holding them back. I'm almost wondering whether the landlord was hesitant to extend the Lunas' lease because the new owner approached them directly about taking over the store and worked out the details with the Lunas later. It seems like right now the new owners are going for a store reset especially in the perishables departments, so we'll see what additional changes they make if any. But hey... this is the best of both worlds, right? I captured the store's classic decor in my pictures so now they can remodel and make it a state-of-the-art supermarket for northern Riverdale! Very considerate of them to wait for me to post it :)


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