Another Mogul for Mayor?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

John Catsimatidis owns and runs Gristedes and Red Apple supermarkets. He's made major donations to the campaigns of both Clintons. Now, though, he's announced that he intends to run for mayor as a Republican and self-fund his campaign. He tells us more about why he wants to run the city.


John Catsimatidis

Comments [13]

Noemi from San Diego, CA.

FYI: The "Gristedes" chain was in fact, started by two brothers who came to the states from Germany in the 1890s. Around the 1970s the family sold it to "Southland" holdings, (who also owned the 711 chain).

I don't know how and when Catsimatidis acquired the chain, but no, Gristedes was not built by him.

(My late husband was a grandson of Charles Gristede, one of the founding brothers, and is the source of my information.)

Aug. 28 2007 05:37 AM
Ramona from East Harlem

The busines about not giving back the streets to "the hooligans." Do we really want to go back to the bad old days of a mayor who stirs up racial crap?

His stores. His stinking, nasty stores. Does he want a self-serving tax break because Fresh Direct is kicking his butt?

How stupid is this guy? He does an interview and he's absolutely, totally, completely unprepared. I've heard better from seventh-graders.

This guy's an eejit. Maybe he should be a greeter at Carmine's.

Aug. 09 2007 03:54 PM
Herbert Kaufmann from Bedford, NY

Brian, I enjoyed hearing Mr Cstimenides but I think he was not "The founder of the Gristedes supermarket chain" as you introduced him. The Gristedes grocery stores were around in my childhood and I am 74. He may be the founder of a chain of supermarkets with the Gristedes name. Incidentally, I had thought that Gristedes was an Italian name but the Gristedes family is of German descent.

Aug. 08 2007 01:14 PM
John from Brooklyn


I don't think so.
He didn't have one clear idea and he couldn’t articulate the few muddled ideas he did have.
Allowing any rich person buy an office is not democracy it is an aristocracy. Although Bloomberg and Corzine seem to be doing good jobs we could end up with tyrant. Money buys elections, lets be sure it's money raised from small donations from supporters not the piles of profit money these men command.

Aug. 08 2007 11:18 AM
Selena L. B lackwell from Jersey City, NJ

Gristedes is totally wrong about Guiliani. The current issue of Harper's Magazine (August, 2007) as a wonderful essay, "A Fate Worse than Bush: Rudolph Guiliani and the Politics of Personality" written by Kevin Baker.

Aug. 08 2007 11:10 AM
Hope from Manhattan

I was not very impressed with Mr. Catsimatidis comments on the radio. In fact I caught myself laughing at most of them. He endorses Hilary Clinton because he knows the Clintons and they are "smart". His next choice is Rudy Giuliani solely because of his New Yorker status? His main goal as mayor would be to bring the World's Fair to the city. Please. Sadly, I believe that Mr. Catsimatidis will probably have a chance at becoming mayor due to state of our political system which hinges on how much money one can spend and it sounds like he has a bottomless pit.

Aug. 08 2007 11:04 AM
SuzanneF from Upper West Side

Sounds like a nice guy but hardly someone able to take on the many issues that confront a major metropolis. He'll have to undergo a complete transformation. He's no Michael Bloomberg. Forget it. Run for something else.

Aug. 08 2007 11:00 AM
eCAHNomics from nyc

Boy, this guy is all over the lot, and much of what he sez makes no sense. Prescribe ritalin so he can concentrate better and become coherent. Unfortunately, he'll be the mext mayor because he can afford it.

World's fare for 2014! What a crock. NYC already has plenty of stuff to attrack tourists. Self-aggrandizement, like Bloomberg's cockamamie stadium and Olympics projects.

And that his idea of vision.

Aug. 08 2007 10:59 AM
Jen from Windsor Terrace Brooklyn

This guy has no idea what he's talking about. Please, don't waste our time with people like this just because they're rich and start making noise about politics. This guy can barely put a sentence together. I rely on this show for intelligent conversation, so let's have some instead of this dreck.

Aug. 08 2007 10:59 AM
rick from brooklyn

wild prediction: this guy will not be mayor of new york. First of all, every new yorker knows that his stores are dirty and overpriced. secondly, just listening to this segment you can tell he is not well spoken or particularly intelligent. maybe try for borough president of Staten Island instead.

Aug. 08 2007 10:56 AM
Gary from Manhattan

Dear Mr. Catsimatidis,

If you become mayor, will your administration provide the same level of service as your Gristedes cashiers?

When I was a child in Connecticut and came to visit my grandparents in the Bronx for the summer break, I had always asked by grandmother to bring me to the Gristedes on Metropolitan Circle in Parkchester to get the Gristedes brand vanilla ice cream. It was my favorite.

Twenty five years later, I moved to Manhattan and went to the Gristedes on Eighth Avenue and 54th Street in anticipation of savoring the Gristedes brand vanilla ice cream. It wasn’t as good as the ice cream of 25 years earlier. Maybe it was no different and my memory was affected by nostalgia. One thing that was different was that the Gristedes cashiers at the Eighth Avenue store could not be more surly.

Question: do Gristedes cashiers get paid bonuses for higher levels of surliness (e.g., not saying hello to customers, not smiling, visibly showing their disdain for the customer, not saying “thank you for your business/good-bye” after the transaction is over, not handing the bags to the customer but just leaving them in place where the cashier filled them)? Quite a different experience than at Whole Foods up the street.


Aug. 08 2007 10:32 AM
eCAHNomics from nyc

Oy. What is politics coming to? Voters only choices are from pol dynasties or from wealth. No wonder no one votes. And after the FISA vote, the U.S. isn't even a constitutional monarchy any more.

Aug. 08 2007 09:38 AM
Rick from Kingston NY

Quite a success story for a guy who started with a single, dingy Red Apple grocery store (hardly a supermarket) on West 84th Street.

Aug. 08 2007 08:50 AM

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