Second ‘Heaven’ to open

By the end of November, students living in Timothy Dwight and Silliman colleges with late-night cravings for fresh turkey, brie and apple sandwiches will no longer have to make the long hike out to Gourmet Heaven on Broadway.

The construction phase of Gourmet Heaven II, located on 44 Whitney Ave., is nearing completion. Although the opening of the Whitney location has been delayed several times due to problems concerning architecture and construction, store manager Chris Cho said things are for the most part under control.

“We’re confident about opening up before Thanksgiving,” Cho said.

Students are reacting positively to the new dining alternative Gourmet Heaven II will offer.

“I think it’s great — I’ll have a lot more options now,” said Lauren Abendshien ’06 of the store’s opening. “As a TDer, I’m not really inclined to trek out to the other Gourmet Heaven, especially when it gets cold out.”

Gourmet Heaven II will differ slightly from the original. Although Gourmet Heaven II will not have any hot food, it will offer sushi, fresh fruit, a deli and sandwiches. It will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It will be mostly the same, but there will be more gourmet groceries and no buffet,” Cho said. “We [also] hope to do a lot of catering to Yale.”

University Properties Director David Newton said Gourmet Heaven II was chosen for the Whitney location primarily due to the “success of the original Gourmet Heaven and the absence of anything else like it in the area.”

Newton added that the store will likely serve the Yale community as well as other residents and employees in the downtown vicinity.

“There are colleges, business and a lot of administrative staff all in that area,” he said.

Ariane Lotti ’06, a Silliman College resident, said that while Gourmet Heaven does not offer as wide a selection as similar gourmet convenience stores found in Manhattan, it nonetheless is a decent parallel.

“I think it’s a pretty good New Haven alternative,” Lotti said.

Cho said that while the original Gourmet Heaven gets most of its business from the Yale community, Gourmet Heaven II will likely split its business equally between the Yale community and other shoppers.

The new Whitney Avenue location will face competition from other nearby stores and restaurants, including Bruegger’s Bagels, Koffee? and Sweet Relief.

“For the students, it’s good that it’s going there, but there are also lots of other competing stores — [but] they’re not open 24 hours,” Abendshien said.

Lotti said Gourmet Heaven’s 24-hour service is likely to draw students particularly from Silliman and Timothy Dwight.

“A lot of stuff closes pretty early on this side of town,” she said.

Cho admitted his store’s products can be a bit expensive but said Gourmet Heaven offers a quality that is hard to match.

“We always do our best, even though people sometimes complain about prices,” he said.

The store remains in its construction phase, and already has some high-quality shelving and lighting set up. Cho said that Gourmet Heaven II’s manager will be arriving in New Haven next week, and employees will be hired within the next two weeks.

Cho said he has no plans to expand Gourmet Heaven to other parts of the city.

A worker works in the site of the new Gourmet Heaven store which will open on Whitney Avenue by the end of November.
Yusef Syed
A worker works in the site of the new Gourmet Heaven store which will open on Whitney Avenue by the end of November.

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