A little more than a year after the Safeway at 1855 Wisconsin Ave, NW, closed, Georgetown residents can welcome back an old friend this week, though they might not recognize the store after its reconstructive surgery. Following an invitation-only gala tomorrow evening, the new Social Safeway will open its doors on May 6th to the entire community with a ceremony beginning at 8 AM and join the likes of Mayor Adrian Fenty and Councilmember Evans. The Georgetown store will operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and will be the first Safeway store to offer catering services in its geographic division, which stretches north to Pennsylvania.
Unlike the former store, which sat at the rear of a surface parking lot, the new store fronts the street and sits on top of sheltered parking at grade with an additional parking deck in the rear. Acqua nail salon, a wireless phone store and a "high-end" pet store fill the three retail bays, according to Safeway spokesperson, Craig Muckle.
Though much of the fare will be the same, there are a few additions that help the store meet the expectations of its customers, including a "wine cellar." Not just a wine area, but a separate chilled wine cellar that will be run by Georgetown native, Michael Quinn, and offer upwards of 2,500 bottles. The store will also offer a sushi bar and a Starbucks that open from 5 AM until midnight, longer than any other Starbucks nearby. Additional features include an indoor/outdoor terrace and a lounge with a fireplace and flat screen TVs. This is sounding more like a college campus than a grocery store.
Once the store opens, Safeway will submit their Torti Gallas-designed building for review by the U.S. Green Building Council, expecting LEED certification for the final product. According to Muckle, the team "believes" that it will achieve LEED Silver certification, but there is a chance that the project could reach Gold.
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