Artist’s rendering courtesy of Jeffery Realty

No more driving to Milburn or Wayne to get your Trader Joe’s fix. If all goes as planned, by mid-October you’ll be able to hop on Route 3 and minutes later enjoy free samples of the latest T.J.’s chocolate confection.

Baristanet and many other northern New Jersey publications have been writing about the rumors for what seems like forever. Bill Farkas, Vice President of Jeffery Realty and the broker representing Gabrellian Associates, the owner of the new Trader Joe’s building in Clifton, has confirmed the rumor to Baristanet.

The popular grocery store will be located on the new construction site at 700 Route 3 West, between the Tick Tock Diner and Amazing Savings. You can also get there via the quieter back way, going nearly all the way east down Allwood Road.

Farkas says Ulta Cosmetics will share the space with Trader Joe’s. Three other tenants are expected to close a deal within weeks to move into the soon-to-be-renovated group of stores next door. One casualty of the upgrade is Marty’s Shoes, which will close in August, says Farkas.

Trader Joe’s is popular because it offers low prices for high quality products–mostly under their own store brand. But shoppers like me also dig the quirky shop for it’s friendly, Hawaiian shirt-wearing “crew” members, as they call their employees, and for its promise that all T. J.’s label products are free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, MSG, artificial trans fats, and genetically modified ingredients.

The only downside to the news? Farkas says the Clifton location won’t sell beer and wine.

Artist’s rendering courtesy of Jeffery Realty
Are you a Trader Joe’s newbie? I suggest you accompany a veteran on your first visit to the store, if possible. The dearth of familiar brands can be disconcerting. The next best thing would be to read The Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe’s, Vol. 1-4. You’ll find more than 275 reviews of the store’s items.
  • What’s your favorite Trader Joe’s  product?

28 replies on “Rumor Confirmed: Trader Joe’s Coming to Clifton”

  1. I drive by the construction every day and it looks way to small to be a Trader Joe’s and there is no where near enough parking. It will add to the mess that is route 3. Who approves this stuff?

  2. Nerdherd, you are 1000% right on. What a shame. After my last (and final) visit to that horrible “lifestyle mall” that houses “Cups”, I vowed never again to waste my valuable minutes on this good, green Earth wandering around a poorly-designed parking lot, waiting for someone to pull out so I can fight with someone for the space. Not.Gonna.Do.It.

    Plus, if there’s no Two-Buck Chuck available, then what’s the point?!

  3. Agreed, nerdherd. The strip malls along that area of Rt. 3 are horrendous for parking or ingress/egress. We went to the Bed, Bath and Beyond in the strip mall by Costco and will never go again.

  4. Herb likes the Westfield location because they sell wine. Bag the ‘two buck chuck” and for a dollar more get the ‘Traders Joe’s Reserve” wines, they are much better for the extra bean.

  5. Great!
    It’s NJ’s crazy liquor laws that prevents them from selling wine or beer. I believe one retailer can have no more than two. Westfield has one, not sure about the other location.

  6. Trader Joe’s, yay!!! Trader Joe’s in that location, boo!!!

    I can’t see fighting that madness for groceries. I’d rather deal with Whole Foods, or take the long trip to one of the other Trader Joe’s.

    I so wish they had come to Bloomfield.

  7. Sorry Stu, Marty’s is a casualty of this strip mall re-do …. but there is one in Fairfield next to Funtime Junction!

  8. I approve! Yippee!! As for wine and beer, Stew Leonard’s is super close.

    Sorry to hear Marty’s is going. Curious to find out what will go into the space in Styretowne where that god-awful Kid’s Clothes store used to be.

  9. Arggh! We just moved 2,938 miles to Santa Barbara just because they had a Trader Joe’s and an Ulta cosmetics in neighboring strip malls with lots of parking and no ‘roided out NJ drivers fighting for the one remaining space. The TJ’s here sells inexpensive wines under their own labels, but they also have a nice selection of locally grown/made wines and some imports from France, Italy, Spain and Austrailia/New Zealand at very good prices. We have yet to find a specialty wine/liquor store in our area — every supermarket sells wine and liquor at roughly 20% less than we paid in NJ. They are opening a BevMo (which sounds a lot like Bottle King) right near Ulta.

    But a NJ-style diner? Nary a one! Although there is a Jersey Mike’s Sub Shop. Haven’t triend it yet — I can’t imagine a GobbaGall and provalone’ with avocados, tofu, and sprouts…

  10. When we visit our son in Santa Monica the closest Total Wine is in Torrance so we started using BevMo and it wasn’t bad. They have special discounted wines each week for Bevmo cardholders so be sure to get the discount card when they open.

  11. Howard, thanks! I will do that. I didn’t even know that Total Wine was in California. We have used their stores in NJ and in Chesapeake, VA, on our way to North Carolina. I am finding that the very local (Santa Barbara County) wineries are boutique in size and, therefore, their wines are rather expensive. But there are hundreds of California wines from all over the state that probably are not shipped for sale out of state — especially to the other coast — and we are looking forward to trying some of them. Okay, maybe most of them.

  12. Conan… stop rubbing S.B. in our faces, willya? (such a beeeeautiful place…)

    I miss the local Vons store. Mine had a very serviceable liquor department. (of course, this was umpty-nine years ago.) No shee-shee stuff, but at that age, we didn’t much care…

    And good luck finding a good loaf of bread or decent bagels on a Sunday morning. Last time I was in SoCal for a visit I couldn’t even find a bakery. And bagels came from the frozen section of the grocery store (Lender’s or Sara Lee… shudder… )

    Hah! You’ll be back!!

  13. What’s the deal with Clifton and parking lot designers? Even if you find a space, some spaces are so narrow you have to suck it in to get out of your car. I expect folks will park in Tick
    Tock lot and hike up the hill.

  14. This LOVER of all things “supermarket” says, sorry, no.

    Not excited. Won’t go. But if a Wegman’s pops up, let me know.


  15. I think I will answer the question as to what my favorites are. #1) Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cups. #2) Trader Joe’s Mediterranean style Hummus #3) all of their nuts! (great prices) #4) Frozen BBQ Chicken Pizza #5) bagged salad selections #5) Trader Joe’s BBQ sauce (yum!)….I guess you can say I am a little excited. It’ll shorten my bi-weekly trips that I made to the Paramus store :). And I really love their samples, friendly staff and complimentary coffee (it’s really tasty)!!

  16. I’ll stick with the TJ’s new location in Florham Park. Liked the new Fairway on 3 but you have to bring a parka to shop there. They over pump the AC…….Brrrrrr!!

  17. Prof, Wegmans is supposed to be opening up a location in Bergen Co within the next year or two, though it’s a bit far for a grocery store trip.

  18. Prof, have you been to the Stop ‘N Shop on Broad Street, across from Ploch’s? Just wondering if it’s worth the ride, and the effort of learning a new store layout…

  19. Wegman’s planned a store for Rt. 10 in Livingston a few years back but the town rejected it because of residents complaining about increased traffic. I would gladly drive 20 minutes to a Wegman’s.

  20. Kay, right now we are totally fogged-in and the temps are still in the 50’s. I might even have to put my top up or turn on the heat. 🙂

    We regularly shopped at that Stop and Shop on Broad/Allwood. It’s just okay — produce not very good, very small selection of meat and fish, but normally it is not very crowded so you can park easily — unlike ShopRite on Broad and Bellevue, where all the Buicks in Jersey go to die…

    And I will be back. But just to visit.

  21. (SIGH)
    Conan, welcome to the world of the “on-shore flow”… I miss that… and sunsets over the ocean, as opposed to sunrises…

    and by ‘heat’, do you you mean, a single gas-fired furnace that is built into a wall in the center of the house, which one must stand directly in front of in order to gain any benefit! 😛

    Stop N shop is then not worth my energy. I still plan to hit up dear Sandy’s ShopRite in W.O. eventually.

  22. Thank you all for spending $3.75 p/gallon to drive to a grocery store. Hope you all fill up your cars to make that ROI for driving to PAramus, Westfield, etc. worthwhile.
    I’ll gladly ride my bicycle to TJ in Clifton or drive the 4-5 miles (pending weather) and gladly wait the 5-9 minutes for a parking spot (we are talking a grocery store) as it is still faster than F. Park or Westfield.

    Thanks again – maybe more free spots as you folks fight traffic. Maybe it will be better vs. Paramus location parking.

  23. Conan! You’re in Santa Monica?! As a former, fairly close neighbor I cannot tell you how jealous I am. And how much I miss your regular posts here. Mazel tov!

  24. @tedsheckler, overpriced?! You don’t know Trader Joe’s, do you? Trader Joe’s is UNDERpriced. It contains some of the best deals you’ll find anywhere, especially considering the quality. It’s a “discount gourmet” store.

    I’m really glad to see one opening in Clifton. This is much closer for me than Paramus or Millburn.

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