STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A sprawling Restaurant Depot will open imminently at the West Shore Expressway Plaza. After a year of construction, an official date has been set for the sprawling Travis superstore.
A sign recently posted on the building’s facade at 1801 South Ave. announced its inaugural day as Wednesday, Dec. 13.
“Long overdue. Christmas is coming early this year!” enthused Terence Haggerty of Jody’s Club Forest. The West Brighton tavern owner has been making the trek to the South Plainfield, N.J. outpost at least once a week for grocery excursion. So news of the shortened trip comes as a most welcome shopping development.
Crossing all ethnicities and genres of cuisines, Restaurant Depot offers bulk groceries and cookware valued by food service professionals. It cuts beyond the breadth of a Costco or BJ’s Wholesale with respect to commercial grade product, presented in a setting geared to the chef, bartender, institutional kitchen operator and proprietor.
The company does not typically offer delivery. Accepted tender for its “cash and carry” format includes cash, checks (with prior approval and identification) debit and major credit cards.
Yet not all chefs are thrilled with the store’s arrival. One East Shore owner said he has friends and customers who are distributors. He maintains his loyalty to the locals and says they have an established niche with delivery and personal service, an edge over the megastore for the busy business owner.
Restaurant Depot and its sister store, Jetro in Brooklyn, are not open to the public. Free membership cards are issued to applicants who can prove ownership of a restaurant, coffee shop, bar, pizzeria, night club, catering operation, deli, foodservice distributorship and/or non-profit organization such as a school, food pantry or homeless shelter.
The Travis Restaurant Depot will be located at the West Shore Plaza in the former homes of Modell’s Sporting Goods, Asian Foods (currently in Mariners Harbor) and AC Moore. The shopping complex boasts of such tenants as Burlington Coat Factory, the Department of Motor Vehicles, Planet Fitness and renovated Chuck E. Cheese, among the larger ones in the mix.
On Monday morning, the West Shore Expressway plaza was cordoned off around the budding market. Workers said the fresh asphalt would be getting marked for parking and loading zones. In the meantime a five-bay delivery dock in the back appeared actively receiving inventory shipments.
Pamela Silvestri is Advance Food Editor. She can be reached at email@example.com.