Here’s a Preview and Photo Essay of the SE Safeway:  Grand Opening at 6:00am Wednesday, August 12

Safeway says “welcome.” This is what you see when you walk in the door.

The deli and the Kitchen run the length of the north side of the building and the first part of it you encounter is the sushi bar.

The Kitchen has several components designed to appeal to tenants in the residences above the store as well as neighborhood shoppers.

Such as BBQ (click to enlarge)

And Poutine

And Poke Bowls

Chicago’s favorite popcorn in six flavors including a new Old Bay recipe.


The cheese stands alone.

Plants disquised as meat.

Plants disquised as meat…

vs. the real thing.

The 500 bottle walk-in wine celler. (A wine steward is available to assist customers.)

Here’s a Preview and Photo Essay of the SE Safeway:  Grand Opening at 6:00am Wednesday, August 12

by Larry Janezich

August 11, 2020

Safeway’s new 60,000 square foot 24/7 store reopens to the public at 6:00am on Wednesday.  The store will carry 3,700 new items – hundreds of them in dairy and frozen foods – with an emphasis on natural, organic, specialty, healthy and ethnic products – according to the press release.   The selection of prepared foods has been greatly expanded and there is a notable shift to self-checkout  – the store has just five checkout stands but 12 self-checkout counters.

Among the new and returning features:

  • BBQ sandwich bar
  • Sushi bar
  • Raw seafood bar
  • Nuts on Clark popcorn shop
  • Specialty cheese shop
  • Starbucks Coffee bar
  • Key maker and Coinstar and Redbox machines
  • Underground parking and racks for bicycles

The deli provides a wide array of new items, including poutine (French fries and cheese curds topped with gravy – the “national dish” of Canada), a BBQ sandwich bar, a sushi bar, poke bowls, charcuterie and grab and go meal options.  The Italian style gelato and sorbet bar will carry 24 flavors available in cups, cones or ice cream sandwiches.

The produce department offers numerous organic choices, a new array of ethnic choices, an expanded selection of fresh cut fruits and vegetables, and an assortment of juice and beverages – including Kombucha, the sweet, fermented, effervescent, tea from East Asia.

The meat department features dry-aged beef and plant based protein masquerading as meat.  The seafood department has a raw oyster bar with a selection of nine local oysters, such as roaring point, blackberry and Chincoteague.

Beer, wine and spirits are sold from 7:00am until midnight.

The pharmacy will be open 7 days a week; it will offer a variety of immunizations as well as flu shots and clinics.

One notable deficiency is the sparse availability of gluten free options – Safeway seemingly hasn’t caught on yet to that preference or necessity for a substantial portion of the population.

The store has café seating (all temporarily closed, a concession to the pandemic) both inside next to the deli and the Starbucks, and outside at a sidewalk café.

The new store – at 14th and D Streets, SE –  is 10,000 square feet larger than the old store, which closed two years ago.  It occupies the ground floor of the Beckert’s Park development, beneath 325 residential units.


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2 responses to “Here’s a Preview and Photo Essay of the SE Safeway:  Grand Opening at 6:00am Wednesday, August 12

  1. Wendy Blair

    I wonder if we will be lucky enough to find any former cashiers at the few new checkout counters. I heard many asked to work at the Hechinger Mall Safeway, and hoped to return to us.

  2. I don’t like self checkout unless it saves me the task of checking out the way Amazon is experimenting. I don’t work for Safeway and don’t believe, that unless I am provided a significant discount, I should have to do Safeway’s work. So, if I have to stand in line to self check out all of my groceries, I doubt that I will ever set foot in the store. The “eatery,” if that’s actually a word, is interesting but only because it exists, not because of the menu which is plain and uninspiring. The turkey sandwich and the ham sandwich are pretty much what you’d get at any low cost carry-out. Whether the poutine makes it past September will be interesting. French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy don’t do it for me but perhaps that’s because I’m from Wisconsin and cheese curds were cheese waste that was fed to the cows until some marketing guy decided to make a name for himself or herself. The BBQ looks interesting. The chicken will have to compete with Popeyes which is a high mark. Poke and sushi – raw food – don’t fill me with confidence. The dry aged meat sounds attractive if it is better quality than the Eastern Market or Whole Foods which would be a change for a supermarket. It appears that all the new space is taken up with things that have little to do with what I go to the grocery store for – food and staples which, it also appears, I will have to check out and bag myself. Which I won’t.