It’s Not a Grocery Store, It’s an ‘Urban Lifestyle’

Posted September 9, 2008 at 4:24pm

Many a Capitol Hill dweller has griped about the lack of nearby grocery stores, but they’ll have one fewer reason to complain later this week: The District’s 17th Safeway will open Friday a little more than a mile from the Capitol.

The new store, on the ground floor of the new CityVista condo complex, is less than five blocks in either direction from the Mount Vernon Square and Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stops. The Safeway, at 1045 Fifth St. NW, will also house a Starbucks and a Bergmann’s Cleaners. Until now, the closest Safeway to CityVista was about two miles away at Rhode Island Avenue and Fourth Street Northeast.

Safeway has had stores in the District since 1928, spokesman Craig Muckle said, and today has more than 80 stores in the metro area.

This Safeway, however, is among the first in the chain to be designed to reflect what Safeway calls the “urban lifestyle.” All Safeway stores will be remodeled in the same way to highlight Safeway brands, including O Organics and the Eating Right line.

The stores are intended to have a comfortable, modern feel with wood-grained flooring, rustic fixtures and focused lighting. The stores will offer more hot and cold prepared meals, including a salad bar. Muckle said they are “essentially the Safeway of today and the future.”

“The other stores are kind of like your grandmother’s Safeway,” he said.

Plans are in the works for two more “urban lifestyle” stores in D.C., one in Petworth and the other in Georgetown.

Giant, the silver medalist among major District grocery stores, has six stores. Harris Teeter, meanwhile, opened its first two stores in the District this spring. The second is located at 1350 Potomac Ave. SE, just a mile and a half southeast of the Capitol.