Grocery Store

Sneak Peek: A Tour of The New Giant at City Market at O

Yesterday I got to do a sneak preview walkthrough of the slightly epic (72 THOUSAND square feet!!!!) new Giant grocery store opening as an anchor to the City Market at O. The soft opening festivities begin today at 2, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 6pm. The Giant opens officially Friday morning at 6am, and will be open from 6am-midnight 7 days a week. Take a look:

The historic market’s facade was maintained, making this one of the prettiest Giants I’ve ever seen (from the outside, at least).

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Inside, skylights and a formerly-exterior-now-interior brick wall mark where the historic space ends and the new construction begins. The place is huge. HUGE.

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Adorable aesthetic touches like these streetlamps with “street signs” pointing you to the store’s various sections are scattered throughout the store.

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The historic-looking street lamps also adorn the checkout lanes instead of the typical boring lights.

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The biggest cheese section of any Giant, complete with a tasting table (not pictured) that will offer samples daily.

 

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View from the upstairs cafe space. Did I mention this store is HUGE?

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(Nerd Alert) The extra space apparently means extra-detailed signs, which I LOVE. For instance, check out the last item on the left side of the aisle 11 sign below. I NEVER know where to find the breadcrumbs at the store! It’s the little things in life, people.

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This Giant also has the largest “natural foods” section of any Giant store. Mostly this is them pushing their “Nature’s Promise” brand, but there really is a very wide selection of “natural” foods, frozen and dry. I didn’t have time to ask what the definition of “natural” is though.

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Honestly, aside from some nice aesthetic touches, some prepared food options (pizza, sandwiches, and sushi prepared on-site), and a space to sit and eat, this is pretty much a normal Giant – aside from being extra huge, of course. But it looks like the hugeness is mostly packed with additional grocery options (so you have 20 different types of chicken broth to choose from instead of 10.) I do enjoy what they did with the outer facade though, and the effort they went to to maintain as much of the original building as they could. My question is whether the neighborhood is actually dense enough to support a store this large. I guess we’ll see!

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Another Whole Foods on the East Side?

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Could it be true? Are the Yuppie Grocery Gods finally smiling upon the east side of DC? It sure looks like it – according to the Hill Rag, Whole Foods has signed a lease at 600 H St. NE. Which means we also finally have an answer to the question that’s been plaguing Atlas District residents for a while now – what is going to replace Murry’s, the most gloriously ghetto-fab grocery store around? (If you haven’t been, I highly recommend a visit before it closes. But save time for a trip down the street to the new Giant to actually get your groceries afterwards.) The bad news, though, is that the store’s not slated to open til 2016. So Navy Yard in 2017, and H Street in 2016. Jeebus folks, does it really take that long to open a frigging grocery store?! Anyhoo, here are the rest of the details from the Hill Rag:

H Street Whole Foods to Open in Late 2016

New Food Options for The H Street Corridor
BY

ANDREW LIGHTMAN

Photo Courtesy of Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market has signed a lease with Insight Property Group LLC and The Lionstone Group for a new location at 600 H St. NE. The company plans 38,000 square foot presence that will open in late 2016. This follows Whole Food’s recent decision to locate in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood at 800 New Jersey Ave. SE. h

“The H Street corridor is a thriving hub of diversity and cultural richness – a perfect match for Whole Foods Market’s goal to support each and every community we’re in,” said Scott Allshouse, Whole Foods Market’s Mid-Atlantic regional president. “Whether you’re a long-time resident or new to this neighborhood, we are proud to have the opportunity to join you and help write the next page of history. Being among the flourishing food scene, culture offerings of the arts district and the exciting mix of residents will make Whole Foods Market a great partner to those in the community.”

“Whole Foods Market has been great partners with the neighborhoods it serves, and they have provided high quality jobs to our City. The thriving H Street corridor embodies many of the characteristics that Whole Foods Market values: innovation, diversity, history and culture. I hope that Whole Foods Market continues to identify other neighborhoods, particularly those with under-served food and grocery needs, where they can continue to add value, energy, wholesome food choices and economic growth to the people of the District of Columbia,” stated DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray.

Whole Foods H Street store will be part of Insight Property Group’s larger development on the 600 block of H St. NE that will include approximately 430 multifamily units, 75,000 square feet of retail and two levels of below-grade parking. The project, aiming secure a minimum of LEED Silver certification, will include green roofs, rooftop garden plots and landscaped area, energy efficient systems and promote numerous transportation options.

“This new Whole Foods Market at 6th and H will be more than a store. It will create a gathering place and a retail anchor at the heart of the community for years to come,” according to Richard Hausler, principal of Insight Property Group. “That’s what ‘five minute living’ means – walking distance to everything. Whole Foods Market brings this idea to life on H Street with this new store. We are very grateful to all of the city leaders and our neighbors on H Street for making it happen.”