New delivery platform lands on Canal

There’s a new odd store on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Canal (61 Sixth Ave. or 1 York) and it is such a mystery that even the company itself doesn’t know about it. I am not kidding. I have now made three calls to customer service to see what I can learn, and none of them could even identify the location, let alone tell me when it’s open or any other details. Maybe folks living closer have intel?

It’s called GoPuff Kitchen, and it’s part of an instant-delivery chain that was founded in 2013 and is expanding across the country. They launched their Kitchens unit last summer and as of late 2021 had around 60, mostly operating in tandem with their fulfillment centers — so you can get a pizza and laundry soap in the same delivery. I guess this one is unusual in that it also has walk-in service?

On my third call, the gal told me that you can’t walk in — and that there are no hours listed. But clearly you can walk in to this one, since it is set up with menus and registers. I’ll check it out again — when I was there on Sunday at around 11a, they were just opening up and couldn’t let me in yet.

You have to create an account or download the app to place orders; I think if you walk in you can just buy things the regular way.



  1. Several dark stores are adding retail, walk-in components to counter the impression and the reality that they are violating the zoning resolution. These startups are trying to counter community opposition to the economic disruption caused by “dark stores.” That is because these dark stores are really last-mile consumer delivery warehouses illegally operating in spaces zoned by law for retail.

    If you listen to opponents, dark stores are the latest set of industry-disrupting startups, heavily fueled by private investor dollars. Airbnb harmed the (primarily unionized) hotel business by violating the Multiple Dwelling Law and Rent Stabilization Law. Uber and Lyft undercut taxi operators by entering the regulated taxi market without buying million dollar taxi medallions. Now dark stores are harming neighborhoods and existing (often minority owned and operated) retail convenience stores, bodegas, etc. by disrupting the retail streetscape with warehouses operating contrary to the zoning resolution.

    I find the dark stores phenomenon fascinating because it is a great example of how business in New York City tries to meet evolving customer needs despite (or because of ?) the dysfunctional, political, and ad hoc regulation and enforcement. This is not an argument against the need for zoning or enforcement. Rather it shows how some groups use government to try to build an economic advantage by erecting barriers to entry for new competitors. Those groups raise prices and drop the quality of their service. Unfulfilled or underserved customer needs are identified and new services pop up, often exploiting gaps in the law or exploiting non-enforcement. The entrenched industry responds not by lowering prices or raising quality, but by leaning on government to enforce the rules that protect their monopoly position, but claiming disingenuously to do so on behalf of their customers, or unionized workers, or residential neighbors, or affordable housing, or overburdened taxi medallion owners. Customers win or lose depending on the strength or laxity of the government crackdown.

    Parts of this phenomenon were seen in the Soho / Noho re-zoning issue. When manufacturing left these neighbors in the 1950s/1960s because of the logistical impossibility of operating a modern business in a 19th century building and because of the alternatives available outside NYC, artists came in and adaptively reused these buildings, creating new housing albeit illegally and de facto protecting historical landmarks. The Loft Law was created to resolve the zoning problem because it was otherwise politically impossible in the face of union pressure for the politicians and city bureaucracy to acknowledge that manufacturing had largely left NYC and change the zoning accordingly. A fiction was employed – that artists dwelling in lofts were “manufacturing” art in their spaces, so that kinda, sorta complied with zoning, except for all the non-artists granted amnesty in the 1980s to live in lofts without “manufacturing” art and all the former artists who live in lofts but no longer “manufacture” art. While the attractiveness of the neighborhoods grew, the industrial zoning was unevenly enforced and high-end housing and retail took over. Like Captain Renault in the film “Casablanca,” in 2021 city council members like Margaret Chin were shocked ! shocked ! to find non-artists living in Soho and Noho and tried to enact huge fines to punish what has been victimless and tolerated by the city government for decades.

    • As always, James, great breakdown on the issue. Still: I would like to know those hours — or maybe it really is just a front!

  2. From

    ” […] a Gopuff spokesperson did address several of the allegations made by app opponents.

    ” ‘Gopuff does not operate dark stores in New York City,’ she wrote. ‘Customers can walk-in, or buzz to walk in at all of our New York City locations. Each location has a Point of Sale System and a cash register to facilitate customer transactions.’

    ” ‘We work to ensure that we are compliant with zoning regulations in any city we launch operations in,’ the Gopuff response continued.

    ” ‘Gopuff has a unique assortment of products…and partners with local brands to support their distribution, as well as work to ensure excess goods from our locations are donated to Feeding America or one of their local affiliates.

    “About employment, the Philadelphia-based company said, ‘If someone wants flexibility and the freedom to work on their own schedule, they can become a delivery partner as an independent contractor (the average U.S. delivery partner earns between $18-25 an hour with Gopuff). If someone is seeking more predictability and benefits, they can join our local or team as a full- or part-time employee.’

    ” Gopuff added, ‘New York has a rich and storied culture of bodegas, delis, and corner stores, and we want to supplement and complement their offering for consumers.’ […]”

  3. Wow, this spot was Barry’s Bootcamp, right? Barry’s still has it listed as being open on their site, so it seems GoPuff is not the only company that was no idea what’s going on…

  4. “Each location has a Point of Sale System and a cash register to facilitate customer transactions.’ I wonder do the points of sale actually accept cash and provide change, or are they card only?

  5. James- thanks for the thorough explanation!

  6. James, what wonderful research. Thank you. GoPuff uses the language of PR majors two years out of college to privilege bodegas and local shops while actually attempting to eliminate them. And yes, the business was started by college stoners wanting late-night post-puff munchies delivered to their Drexel dorms. No kidding. I love the way their PR kiddies expropriate the ideas of inclusion, trade unions, and neighborhood merchants’ resources while working to eliminate all of them.

  7. Originally thought this might be convenient, but have learned that this place is a joke. Although one can in theory walk in and purchase items, they never seem to have the basics that i might need in a pinch, rather the entire assortments seems to be for college aged kids too lazy to go to the supermarket (think frozen pizza), and having wealthy parents who do not mind a $5 order with $15 delivery fees or something like that. Personally, my children are forbidden to order from these stupid places. So yah i was an investor in retail businesses for decades, and this is perhaps the most stupid, after fresh boxed meals being delivered through the mail, and the orginal disaster where they were shipping 300 pound bags of dog food across the country. To the authorities that might think this is indeed a retail store…last time I walked in to purchase milk, they could not make change of a $20 bill, so it is a warehouse circumventing laws by having a fake checkout area.