The Fairway Market in Plainview.  (March 1, 2012)

The Fairway Market in Plainview. (March 1, 2012) Credit: Barry Sloan

Let a thousand Bries bloom: Fairway Market is opening a 68,000-square-foot store in the Roosevelt Raceway Center in Westbury.

The specialty supermarket, known for its extensive cheese department, will occupy about half of the space on Corporate Drive that used to house Home Depot Expo, which closed in 2009. The opening, expected in August, likely will create 400 to 500 jobs, a Fairway spokeswoman said Thursday.

The Westbury location will be Fairway's 11th, and its second on Long Island; the Plainview store, at 50 Manetto Hill Mall, opened in 2001. Asked why he chose Westbury, Fairway chief executive Howard Glickberg said, "This store is more accessible to our South Shore customers."

When Fairway opened in Plainview, it was part of an invasion of specialty grocery chains that married boutique wares with wide aisles and shopping carts. Eleven years later, Long Island boasts three Whole Foods and six Trader Joe's -- not to mention such homegrown upscale chainlets as Uncle Giuseppe's, Iavarone's and North Shore Farms.

Fairway, with its roots on Manhattan's Upper West Side (the original location opened on Broadway at 74th Street in the 1970s), possesses a distinctly metropolitan vibe that sets it apart from the laid-back California-based Trader Joe's or the bigger-and-more-expensive-is-better Texan ethos of Austin-based Whole Foods.

Fairway feels more like a collection of independent shops than a supermarket, with fish counters featuring lots of whole fish along with the steaks and fillets, and bakeries that carry breads from all over, but also bake their own.

The Roosevelt Raceway Center, with 427,000 square feet of space, was built in 1995 on the site of the old Roosevelt Raceway harness track.

With Keiko Morris

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