Thursday, March 14, 2013

Belleview Safeway Has Opened!

Back on January 6, I swung by the Belleview Shopping Center to grab a Subway sandwich and a 12-pack of beer on my way to the Redskins-Seahawks games.  I walked up to Safeway and then suddenly realized - it's closed.  You don't realize how important something is until it's not there.

The Belleview Safeway is a community institution and it's absence has been felt.  The Hollin Hall Safeway has been a mob scene for the last six months as it handled all of the overflow, but all that is coming to an end! 

The newly renovated and expanded 45,000 square foot store is OPEN!

Tonight, I was invited to a special event to celebrate the re-opening of the Belleview Safeway. It was a great event. Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Senator Adam Ebbin and I all helped cut the ribon along with the new store manager Mike Nguyen and senior Safeway management.

The store is also staffed with members from United Food and Commercial Workers Local No. 400. Safeway took extra efforts to ensure that no one lost their position during the renovation. Unlike some other grovery chains, their employees are also paid real wages that allow them to live in the community. Growing up, one of my favorite things about Safeway was that the folks who worked inside were my neighbors. They earned a wage that allowed them to live in our community. 
The Safeway Foundation also presented a $1,000 check to United Community Ministries which operates the largest foodback in the U.S. 1 Corridor. 
And then there is the super bonus that comes with the new store. We now finally have a Starbucks on the east side of U.S. 1. I think I'll be spending some time there on the way to work. 

There is even a lounge area in the back in the wine and beer section. 
It also brought back some memories for me. This location was originally a Grand Union. It was purchased by Safeway in the early 1980's when I was about twelve years old. It's interesting to see how things change. 

Here's an old picture from the 1950's where you can see the old Grand Union. The house in the foreground is still there. There's just a lot more trees....
Here's one more from tonight.  The place looks a bit different. 

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