Safeway’s Craig Muckle on Petworth, Walmart and More

Flickr: M.V. Jantzen

The new-ish Safeway at City Vista.

Yesterday, in my “About that Petworth Safeway“-post, I promised that I would speak to someone at Safeway’s corporate offices to confirm and clarify information about their plans for one highly-anticipated renovation. I spoke to Craig Muckle; he’s their Manager of Public Affairs and Government Relations for this region and he was very helpful and informative.

First: DCentric reader Teke Wiggin was correct; Muckle confirms that the Social Safeway in Georgetown is the city’s largest at 71,000 square feet. The next largest location is at Hechinger Mall in Northeast, at 62,000 square feet. That means that the proposed renovation of the Petworth Safeway will put it in third place in terms of size, at 60,000 square feet. My final thought on all of these numbers is this: I don’t really care which neighborhood’s store is bigger, as long as the produce is fresh, the products are priced fairly and the service is good. I don’t shop at the large grocery store that is two blocks away from me because it fails on all three of those counts. If it were half-the size and twice as friendly, I’d be happy to go there, so I think square footage is interesting and useful– up to a point.

While some locals hope that an independent coffee seller like Qualia could be included in the new store design, Muckle confirmed that when it comes to in-store coffee at Safeway, “in the U.S. it’s Starbucks”. I usually don’t drink their coffee (Filter and Baked and Wired, holla!), but I also don’t notice that they are the chain in Safeway (or Target, for that matter); the only time I paid attention to their presence was when I realized that since the Safeway in Georgetown is open 24 hours a day, it would’ve made an odd, yet comforting place to pull all-nighters when I was in school. By the way, Muckle confirmed that the Petworth Safeway’s hours haven’t been established yet.
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A Nice, New Safeway for Petworth (Updated)

UPDATE: One of you kindly informed me that the numbers in this post aren’t accurate. Thanks for that!

Flickr: M.V. Jantzen

Georgetown's renovated, modernized "Social Safeway".

Prince of Petworth has exciting news for the residents of his neighborhood. D.C.’s newest, sleekest Safeway will be built in Petworth, replacing an aging facility which attracts as many complaints as it does shoppers:

Back in May ’10 I wrote a post titled Battle of the Safeways: Haves Vs. Have Nots comparing the new Georgetown/Glover Park Safeway to Petworth’s Safeway on Georgia Ave (3830 Georgia Ave, NW). I am happy to say that, soon, this argument will no longer apply. Petworth is slated to be home to the city’s newest and largest Safeway at 60,000 square feet. While I’m trying not to exaggerate I believe this is the biggest news to hit Petworth/Georgia Ave since the metro station opened. This news is so huge that I have passed out twice since starting to write this and I’m only on the first paragraph. This is, in the parlance of our times, a true gamechanger…

There will be two underground floors of parking removing the current parking lot and curb cuts on Georgia Ave. will be no more. There will be 85 spaces on one floor for shoppers and 135 parking spots on a separate floor for residents. The ground floor will be 60,000 square feet including a full deli, Starbucks and a state of the art pharmacy and will look a lot like the City Vista/Sexy Safeway and the new ultra modern Safeway in SW-Waterfront…

Additionally, the Safeway will increase from 40-50 employees to 150-160.

The entire process should take about 2 and 1/2 – 3 years.

When the extensively renovated “Social Safeway” held its grand opening in Georgetown, people were frustrated at how beautiful and well-stocked (yes, especially with Organic food) it was compared to its siblings in less affluent parts of D.C. Not only does this news address that, it means better options (and more jobs!) for a neighborhood which would welcome them.